The inability to relax and enjoy free time outside work can seriously contribute to stress and issues with mental health. A survey from the Mental Health Foundation found that as a person’s weekly hours increase, so do their feelings of unhappiness, and when working long hours more than a quarter of employees feel depressed, one third feel anxious, and more than half feel irritable.
Here are a few tips to help you improve your work life balance and reduce stress:
Take proper breaks at work. One study found that 31% of employees were rarely able to take their lunch break. When you do break for lunch, try to get out of the office, even if it’s only for a brief time.
Unplug from the computer and your phone when you’re not in the office; turn off emails on your devices on evenings and weekends, and take a break from screens. This will help you draw a clear distinction between work and home life.
Try your best not to bring work home with you to complete in your spare time. If it’s unavoidable, make sure you designate certain areas of your home to working and don’t work elsewhere.
Speak up at work if you feel as though your work life balance is being compromised. Employers need to be aware of when requests and demands are putting too much pressure on you; only then will they be able to address it.