Your Mind Matters! How to Keep a Healthy Work-Life Balance
October 8, 2021
Work can be stressful. No matter how much you love your job, everyone has bad days in and out of the workplace setting. Separating work life from home life is an important boundary we all need to learn how to set, so work problems don’t follow you home and personal problems don’t follow you to work. Keep reading to learn more about healthy work-life balance, why it matters, and what steps you can take to achieve it!
What is work-life balance?
Think about a typical day in your life at work. Are there phone calls to make? Meetings to prepare for? Paperwork that needs to be filled out? Thinking about all of the things you have to do in one day can seem like a huge, overwhelming task that must be completed. Now think about what you need to accomplish when you arrive home after work. Does dinner need to be made? Kids entertained and taken care of? Pets to walk and feed? Any household chores that you didn’t manage to get to over the weekend? Now your day seems to be even more jam-packed and exhausting.
Work-life balance is the equilibrium between work life and personal life, where a person equally prioritizes the two parts of their life. Creating a healthy balance between these two major pieces of your life is essential for a happy, healthy mind and body.
Why does it matter?
According to Mental Health America1, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting overall mental health, the stress created from rushing to get everything done at work and at home can tank our concentration and productivity, make us irritable or depressed, and can harm both our personal and professional relationships. Stress also weakens our immune systems over time, which makes us more susceptible to things like colds, backaches, and more seriously, heart disease. In fact, new research has shown1 that chronic stress can double our risk of having a heart attack!
Employees who lead balanced lives are more productive, take fewer sick days, and are more likely to stay in their jobs.
How can I achieve balance between my work life and personal life?
We’re glad you asked! Here are some ideas to consider while at work and at home, some of which have come from our own staff and financial professionals at Skylight Financial Group:
- Set manageable goals each day. Research shows1 that the more control we have over our work, the less stressed we become. So, be realistic about your workload and deadlines, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- “Yoga!” – David Freno, Financial Planner, Cleveland
- “Take a little time for yourself. Crafting is my way to relax. Meet a friend for lunch or dinner, do a manicure or pedicure or take an hour to just chill. Remember you deserve a little me time.” – Louise Stalzer, Advisor Assistant, Cleveland
- “I make it a point to take a lunch break every day and to make sure I eat somewhere else other than the room I work in. I also try to do something physical every day, whether it’s working out or taking my dog Molly for a walk.” – Jill Taplin, Director of New Business, Cleveland
- Listen to music. Listening to your favorite music while you work can reduce stress and anxiety and stimulate creativity. Studies have shown1 that the presence of music in everyday life can lower blood pressure!
- “You need to have a hobby that stimulates your brain outside of work. Something that challenges you and for which you have passion. Something you do for you, and only you.” – Joe Johnson, Agency Supervisory Officer, Toledo
- Divide and conquer. Make sure responsibilities and chores at home are evenly distributed and clearly outlined – this will help you avoid any confusion or conflict later!
- As an advisor who is still relatively new, staying late in the office and putting your nose to the grindstone is just all part of the job. Some days I am here from 8:00 am to 7:30 pm only to go home, eat dinner, and instantly fall asleep. If I did that everyday, I think I would go insane. Working hard is important, but I am not a robot, and I need some me time so that I can de-stress and enjoy life. I keep my work-life balance by holding myself to a schedule. Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday are my ‘late days’, while on Wednesday and Friday I make sure that I am out of the office no later than 5:30 p.m. I use that extra time to focus on my hobbies, like learning about history, watching the latest Star Wars or Marvel content, and taking part in re-enactments, such as Renaissance fairs.” – Will Sergio, Financial Planner, Dublin
- Learn to say ‘no.’ Evaluate your priorities and try to cut or delegate tasks if possible. Don’t accept tasks out of guilt or a false sense of obligation if your plate is already full – you know your limit!
- “Unplug: Try to allocate 30 minutes a day (or even every-other day) to completely plug. No laptop, no TV, no cell phone. Put your phone on silent so you are not interrupted and have conversations with your family, do a project around the house or spend time with your pet. Allocate time for you. Work/life balance doesn’t mean loading your calendar with just as many family activities as work activities. Time and energy are finite. Be sure that an equal percentage of time and energy is spent on yourself. Reading a book, soaking in the tub, working out, going for a walk, and meditating are just some examples of things that can be done, just for you.” – Erin Stidham, Director of Financial Planning and Sales Operations, Cleveland
Sunday, October 10th is World Mental Health Day. At Skylight Financial Group, we aim to support our staff and financial professionals in any way we can. Always remember: “Just because no one else can heal or do your inner work for you doesn’t mean you can, should, or need to do it alone.” – Lisa Olivera.
Securities and investment advisory services offered through qualified, registered representatives of MML Investors Services, LLC. Member SIPC (www.sipc.org). OSJ: 2012 W. 25th Street, Suite 900, Cleveland, OH 44113.216.621.5680. CRN202410-1023270