In today’s hectic life, our ability to attain a healthy balance in both work and life is becoming extremely challenging. We increasingly put additional pressure on ourselves to achieve greater results and manage every aspect of our lives. Maintaining work-life balance is not only important for our personal health and relationships, but it can also improve the quality of our lives. Work-life balance allows us to separate work and the rest of our lives. This means that the stress of work should stay at work and not follow us after office hours. Allowing work stress to infiltrate our home is one of the primary indicators that we are not achieving a work-life balance. 

While work and life can be demanding at times, they should never become a priority over overall wellbeing. We all need time to re-energize and play. We need time for hobbies and other interests, for family and loved ones. We should not spend all day working and go home to neglect the things that bring joy and balance to life. Here are healthy tips to improve overall work-life balance: 

Don’t be afraid to unplug – taking time to “disconnect” from the world allows recovery from stress. When planning the week, make it a point to schedule time with family and friends, and plan activities that help to recharge. 

Take time for yourself – it’s important to set aside time to do something for yourself. 

Make health first and foremost – daily meditation, healthy diet and exercise can improve emotional and physical health. It’s hard to make time for exercise when schedules are jam-packed, but it may ultimately help to increase productivity by boosting energy levels and the ability to concentrate. Even during a hectic day, take 10 or 15 minutes to do something that will recharge your batteries. 

Ensure you have a good job fit – do you work to live or live to work? Are you working in a toxic or healthy environment? When we don’t connect with “what” we do, it reflects in how we do, and we must wonder “why” we are doing it. 

Last but not least, recognize that there is no ideal or perfect balance – be realistic, it is important to remain flexible. Be open to redirecting and assessing your needs on any day to maintain a healthy balance. 

For more information to achieve a healthy work-life balance, contact the Fort Belvoir Army Substance Abuse Program to connect with your Employee Assistance Program Coordinator, Jorge Grandela, PsyD, at 703-805-5588.