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  • Writer's pictureDr. Nicola Finley (Internist)

A Healthy Balance to Avoid Work Burnout

Balancing life with work can at times feel like a juggling act. When we have a healthy work life balance, we feel satisfied both outside of work as well as at work. Having balance allows us to grow in all of the areas that we decide are important in our own lives. This results in the avoidance of placing an over emphasis on work related activities at the expense of other areas of our lives. A healthy work life balance can lead to less stress, less exhaustion, less anxiety and less depression. In short, this can help prevent work burnout.

While working is important, as it affords us a certain lifestyle, our health is also important. Lack of healthy balance can lead to burnout, which can negatively impact our health. There are many factors that make it challenging to achieve work life balance, and a significant contributor is working long hours. Have you noticed that working longer hours doesn’t always equate to being more productive? On the contrary, we can be more productive at work if we have a healthy work life balance. Taking time away from work gives us an opportunity to have more energy, creativity and motivation when we go back to work. In addition, time away from work gives us an opportunity to connect with friends and family. This allows us to focus our attention on activities beyond work, which can create meaningful memories with loved ones. Most importantly, time away from work gives us the opportunity to practice self-care.

In fact, balancing work and our personal lives gives us the space to expand our self-care practices into other areas. Some of these areas can include quality time with family, learning a new skill, concentrating on our own wellbeing, relaxing, exploring hobbies, developing and maintaining friendships, strengthening romantic relationships and getting involved in the community. This gives us the opportunity to appreciate the joys in all areas of our lives. Over time, we may notice that we value certain areas more than other areas. That’s why being flexible is essential. We may need to periodically re-evaluate our work-life balance needs as our priorities change. Furthermore, having work-life balance in our daily lives can also give us a sense of accomplishment. The goal is not to do it all. Rather, the approach is to work towards a healthy work life balance.

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