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What are the signs of an unhealthy work-life balance?

In our latest series of blogs, we’ve looked at the importance of a healthy work/life balance when it comes to both your personal and professional wellbeing.

Check out our 12 tips to help you find the right work/life balance and the five reasons why it’s important to have a healthy work/life balance.

In our third and final blog, we’re exploring how you can recognise the signs of an unhealthy work/life balance.

work life balance spelled out on cubes

Here are nine things you should look out for that might mean you need to rebalance your life.

Feeling like you have too much to do, all of the time

At the time of writing, we’re still in the grip of the coronavirus pandemic. We’re all trying to juggle a lot of things right now; friends, family, hobbies, work and home-schooling, to name a few.

stressed man at work with too much to do

All of these are important, but you should take some time and think about which of them mean the most to you.

Now more than ever, you should focus on the things that bring you happiness and learn to say no to the thing that benefit you less.

Sleeping less and feeling tired

Sleeping badly is a sign of stress.

If you are struggling to get to sleep or to stay asleep, then it could be a sign that your work/life balance is out of check. There’s also a link between sleep deprivation and sickness absence.

tired woman pouring coffee on kitchen top

Exercise is a great way to keep a healthy sleeping pattern. Try and fit in a 20-minute walk each day to keep your body moving and get some fresh air.

Focusing on perfectionism

Of course, perfectionism can be great for getting us noticed at work but sometimes it’s for the wrong reasons.

You may be so afraid of ‘failing’ that you try and get every detail correct and end up missing a deadline. In fact, mistakes can teach us some of the best lessons.

Not spending time with friends and family

Your work/life balance is definitely out of touch if you don’t have any spare time to spend with your loved ones.

overworked man ignoring young child

If your laptop or phone see you more than your partner does, then something’s wrong.

Keep at least one room in the house as a work-free zone. Or better yet, have one room devoted solely to work and don’t look at your laptop or work device out of it.

You should also make sure that you don’t take any technology into the bedroom. This will help to make sure that you get a better night’s sleep.

Feeling irritable

When you do find time for your friends and family, do you feel unusually irritable?

This might be because your unhealthy work/life balance is not giving you enough ‘me time’.

Reflect on your current priorities. Don’t just think about what you should be doing, but what you want to be doing.

Plan out your ideal day and make sure it has an even balance of work and home life. Now try and stick to it for a week.

Not having time for self-care

Are you struggling to find the time to pamper yourself?

woman relaxing and reading a book

It could be as simple as a haircut, getting your nails done, relaxing in the bath or reading a book.

Taking some time for yourself could make all the difference to your wellbeing.

A little treat every month will give you something to look forward to and help you get through those more stressful days.

Struggling to focus

Struggling to focus can be a major sign of an unhealthy work/life balance.

As a Stanford University study found, spending a lot of time working can actually hinder your productivity.

There is only so much your mind can cope with in one day. Taking regular breaks will help you to work more efficiently and reduce your stress levels.

You can’t remember the last time you had fun

If you can’t even remember when you last took a break, then your work/life balance is definitely in trouble.

Getting away from it all can really help to give our mental wellbeing a boost.

With the current restrictions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, travel may not be possible.

But if a holiday is out of the question, it doesn’t mean you can’t take a break.

family watching a movie

Taking time off to go out for a walk or even staying in and watching a movie can give you a much-needed rest from the stresses and strains of your working life.

Maintaining a positive work-life balance

There will be times in your life when you have even less time than normal. You might have small children, you could be starting a business or caring for an elderly relative.

In these instances, there may be little you can do to change your circumstances. But simply learning to accept where you are in life and knowing that this is a phase can help you to feel less stressed.

If you're feeling stressed at work, talk to your manager about your workload. Sometimes it can help to review priorities together to help you schedule your work. Employers need to be aware of where pressures lie so that they can address them.

At Fusion, we help organisations improve the health and wellbeing of employees. This can include occupational health strategies to improve their work/life balance.

If you want to find out more, contact us today.

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Categories: Health & WellbeingMental HealthOccupational Health

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