How do I get a healthy work life balance and how do I know if it is unhealthy?

By splitting work and leisure by 50/50, feeling fulfilled and content, able to sleep well, eat well, not worrying about work or home life; it sounds simple enough in theory to achieve!

Getting that work life balance is a choice that takes motivation and a conscious effort to achieve, recognising when the balance of the scale’s tips one way so that the other area is neglected.

It is important to check in with yourself regularly to make sure you are happy and if not, what are you going to do about it, as happiness is a choice. Paying attention to our feelings, being open to change, considering alternative options and reprioritising what is no longer making us happy, for something that is.

The NHS suggests that there are 5 steps that individuals can undertake to improve their mental wellbeing:

  • Connect with other people – taking time to connect with family, friends and community gives you a sense of belonging and self-worth.
  • Be physically active – not only does exercise build your self-esteem, but evidence also shows it is good for your physical health, mental health and overall fitness.
  • Learn new skills – this boosts self-confidence, helps us connect with like-minded individuals and is in general good for our mental wellbeing.
  • Give to others – acts of kindness are rewarding and creates positivity for ourselves and others, giving us self-worth and a sense of purpose, allowing us to connect more with those around us.
  • Paying attention to the present moment (mindfulness) – living in the present, paying attention to the here and now with full awareness, can also improve your mental wellbeing.

It takes time to build a routine and pattern into our lives to keep ourselves well, which we all know is good when there are no events happening outside of our control, but the important thing to remember, is to try and deal with situations when they arise and then get back into your healthy pattern, to give back that self-care.

When it comes to work, again it is about making the right choices and trying to find your niche that you enjoy doing, as you will then thrive with a team of likeminded individuals.

Changes can happen outside of our control which we need to be open with and work with, recognising if it is not a change that is going to fulfil you, then you need to make the change whether in another role or somewhere different.

When work is finished try to disconnect, put down the phone and laptop, if a remote worker keep your work set up in a different area to where you relax, try to be more efficient, so that work does not eat into your personal time which can lead to resentment.

Finances are important, as we must live and pay bills, so this is a major determining factor, but is it worth our health and happiness and if this is the case then we need to motivate ourselves to make a difference to our lives, to get our work-life balance back.

Work-life balance will always tip to one area more that the other at times, but it is for us to recognise this, step back, reflect and move forward again, don’t beat yourself up about your choices as there is no such thing as failure, it is a lesson learned to make the next step more positive for our futures.