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5 Ways to Prioritize Your Mental Health and Achieve Work-Life Balance

5 Ways to Prioritize Your Mental Health and Achieve Work-Life Balance

Guest Contributor:
Charlie Svensson


Balancing your personal and professional life can be overwhelming. However, it is important. Research studies have shown that millions of people are having a hard time trying to balance their personal and professional lives. 89 percent of Americans reported experiencing stress and burnout last year.

Why does this happen? In most instances, we tend to prioritize work above everything else. Our desire to survive and thrive professionally can propel us to set aside self-care and wellbeing. Every adult needs to create a harmonious work-life balance to improve their physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing in the long run.

Definition of work-life balance and why it matters

Work-life balance is the state where an individual prioritizes the demands of personal life and career demands equally. Some of the reasons behind a poor work-life balance include:

  • Putting in more hours
  • Increased responsibilities at home
  • Taking care of children or family members
  • Increased responsibilities in the workplace

According to Amplio Recruiting, a good work-life balance has several positive effects such as a lower risk of burnout, less stress, and an increased sense of wellbeing.

A good work-life balance is not only important to employees but also to employers. Managers who are committed to supporting work-life balance for their workers will experience fewer absentee cases, save money, and boost productivity. Employers who offer flexible work schedules and telecommuting can help their employees have a good work-life balance.

When creating a schedule, you need to think of the best way to balance your personal and professional life for the sake of your mental health. Work-life balance is not about dividing the hours in your day evenly for your work and personal life but incorporating flexibility into your life to get more things done.

There will be days when you’ll be required to put in more hours. However, you can compensate for this with some enjoyable activities over the weekend. To prioritize your mental health, you need to focus on achieving a work-life balance. Here are five great ways that will help you create a good work-life balance.

1 Perfect work-life balance is a myth

When most people hear work-life balance, they imagine having a good productive day at work and leaving the workplace early to spend the evening with family and friends. While this seems great, it’s quite difficult to follow such a routine.

You’ll always have more things to do at work and home.

Therefore, don’t spend too much time focusing on creating a perfect schedule. Instead, focus on creating a realistic plan. There will be days when you’ll work more and others where you’ll have more time to spend with your loved ones and pursue your hobbies.

Balance is not achieved each day but gradually. You need to be flexible and analyze your goals and priorities regularly. At times, you’ll be required to travel to attend key meetings, and other times, you’ll spend a huge chunk of your day with your loved ones. Assessing your current needs and staying open is the key to achieving balance.

2 Find a job you are passionate about

While work is an expected norm in society, your career shouldn’t restrain you. If you hate your job, you’ll never be happy. You don’t have to love everything about your job. But you should be excited enough to not dread getting out of your bed every day.

You need to find a job you are so passionate about that you’ll be willing to do it for free. If your job is tiring and awful, something is not right. You might be working for a toxic person, or in a toxic environment. If you don’t love your job, now is the best time to find another one that will excite you.

3 Focus on improving your health

Your physical, mental and emotional health should be your number one priority. Are you struggling with chronic stress or depression? Now would be a great time to find a therapist and fit sessions into your schedule even if you’ll be required to ditch your evening dancing classes or leave work early.

If you have underlying health conditions, don’t hesitate to call in sick when you have to. Overworking yourself will lead to stress and burnout. And these will harm your productivity and destroy your life. To become a better person and employee, you need to prioritize your health. Daily exercise and meditation can help you prioritize and maintain your health in the long run.

4 Take a vacation

At times, unplugging means shutting off work completely by taking a vacation. Whether it’s a two or three-week vacation, you need to take time off to recharge physically and mentally. A study conducted by the American Vacation in 2018 found that 52 percent of employees reported not using their vacation days at the end of the year.

Most employees are worried about taking time off because they think that it will disrupt workflow or they’ll find a lot of work on their desks when they return. This should not restrict you from taking a break. You have to keep in mind that you won’t get anything by failing to take time off. When you plan properly, you’ll manage to take time away and stay on top of work-related activities.

5 Make time for you and your loved ones

Your job plays an important role in your life. However, it should not be your life. Before landing your current job, you were an individual with hobbies and interests. Therefore, you should prioritize hobbies or non-work activities that make you happy. If you don’t manage your personal time effectively, you’ll never have the opportunity to do things outside your job. No matter how busy you are, you have control over your life. Since time management is life management, you need to sit down and plan time with family and friends.

You can consider setting a few hours aside for family dates and romantic dinners. If you are not used to planning one-on-one time with your loved ones, this idea might seem weird. However, it will ensure that you have quality time with your loved ones without work-life conflict.

Just because you are a busy person doesn’t mean that you should neglect your relationships with family and friends. Remember, no one in your organization will love and appreciate you like family and friends. Plus, everyone is replaceable regardless of their rank. If you are gone tomorrow, your company won’t miss you. But your family and friends will.

Bonus Tips!

1 Set clear boundaries

Setting boundaries for you and your workmates will help in relieving stress and preventing burnout. After leaving your office, avoid thinking about replying to work emails or thinking about projects. You should consider having a separate phone and computer for work-related tasks so that you can shut them off after leaving the workplace. If this isn’t possible, you should consider using a separate email, and browser for personal and work activities.

You also need to set work hours whether you work in the office or from home. Determining when you’ll work and when you’ll rest is essential otherwise you’ll find yourself carrying work during vacations or over the weekend. You need to notify your manager and colleagues about your working hours to avoid being engaged with work-related tasks when you should be enjoying your personal time. Doing this will help in ensuring that everyone in the workplace understands and respects your expectations and limits.

2 Set clear goals

Setting clear goals will allow you to analyze your to-do list and cut out tasks that don’t have value. You need to know when you are most productive and block that time to work on your most important tasks. You should avoid answering phone calls and checking emails after a few minutes as these are some of the biggest time wasters that will harm your productivity and performance in the long run. When you structure your day, you’ll manage to stay on top of things at work and get time to relax.

Supporting your team

Managers need to support their team members’ efforts to achieve a good work-life balance. They can do this by:

  • Knowing their employees’ goals: Everyone has different work-life balance goals in the workplace. Talking to every employee about their key objectives and finding out what you can do to them is essential. Some employees will enjoy working remotely for a few days each week while others will prefer changing their work schedule. You need to be flexible for this to happen.
  • Set an example: Every employee looks up to their leader. If you call your employees or send them emails at odd hours, they’ll think that they are expected to do the same. And this will harm the organization’s productivity and performance in the long run.
  • Keep up with the trends: The best way to help your employees develop and thrive is by staying ahead of the curve. What works today might not be good for your employees next month.


These are the best tips that will help you prioritize your mental health and achieve a good work-life balance. What are you going to start doing today to achieve this goal?

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