Labor Day is not just a day off; it is also a way to recognize the American labor movement and the works of laborers who developed the United States. In addition, this Labor Day weekend is a great way to decompress and start planning how to achieve a healthy work-life balance.
Working long hours has proven to affect both the employee and the employer negatively, but it can be difficult to break these unhealthy habits. A study from the Harvard Business Review found that people achieved a healthy work-life balance when they realized that there is no one-stop fix and that as our circumstances change, so must our priorities.
Tips for Achieving Work-Life Balance
- Pause and denormalize. Taking time to think about how you are feeling in your professional life can be a good thing. Asking what am I prioritizing, what am I sacrificing, and how is my work affecting me, can be a beneficial first step in realizing that work may be prioritized above your personal life. Sometimes a major life event, like the birth of a child, marriage, or death of a loved one, can be the tipping point that makes you stop and reflect on what is important.
- Pay attention to your emotions. Once you have analyzed your current situation, it is time to start thinking about how you feel. Really take the time to explore if you feel energized, satisfied, or happy versus feeling angry, resentful, or sad. After you note your emotions, you can start recognizing how a situation makes you feel. With this realization, you can determine how to make a change in your professional and personal life.
- Reprioritize. After you realize how you feel while at work, you can put things into perspective to determine how to adjust your priorities. Set aside time to figure out what is important to you and if you have any regrets about the order of your list. Our priorities shift daily, so it is important to adjust based on what items are at the top of your list.
- Consider your alternatives. Before making a drastic decision, consider if there are aspects of your work and life that could be changed to better align with your priorities. This change will not happen overnight. You must experiment to see how much time should be spent with family, hobbies, or work. It may take years to come to a point where you are happy with your work-life balance, but the more you work on it, the easier it will become to prioritize what is important to you.
- Implement changes. Now that you have collected your thoughts and analyzed if a position change needs to happen, it is time to analyze how this transition can affect your financial wellbeing. You can’t balance work and life if you struggle to be financially secure. Consider utilizing podcasts, books, articles, and shows that provide financial guidance. For a more hands-on approach, research financial literacy events or classes hosted by credit unions or other financial institutions in your area. Several credit unions in Ohio have certified financial counselors who are trained specifically to help improve financial wellness and plan for the financial future you desire.
By implementing the steps above, your mental health is in good shape, supporting your physical health. Allowing you to perform better at work and achieve a work-life balance.