The term “Work-Life Balance” may be a bit overused these days. What does it mean, and why is it important?
Balancing where you put your energy and time can impact your health. Disconnecting from work after you physically leave the work environment can be difficult for us all. At MHC, leaving work at work can be particularly challenging for our direct care staff.
The mental health field is notorious for causing daily stress and anxiety, leading to high rates of burnout and what’s known in the industry as “compassion fatigue.” There are specific strategies and coping mechanisms that MHC and other workplaces deploy to help give employees the tools they need be aware of work stress and how to prevent it from taking hold on their long-term health and wellness.
One of the best strategies is to not leave self-care to chance. Putting activities on the calendar and intentionally disconnecting your mind from thinking about work is a great start.
“I work hard to get into the mindset of leaving work where it is. I put something on to listen to and I call people who I can to talk about work or other things. Sometimes I take longer to get home to do that. I also make time for myself like getting my nails done or going for a walk on my lunch break,” said Jean Yarochowicz from MHC’s Waterbury office.
- “When I come home, I leave my phone in my room so I can’t find it.”
- “I enjoy cooking foods from different cultures and will research recipes that I’ll try to master or a create a fusion. I also recently took up baking with my daughter.”
- “It’s important to have someone to talk to who understands. There is nothing better than to have someone who works in the field that you can talk to.”
- “I went to a restaurant and enjoyed a meal by myself, and it felt good when I came home. I recently started going to the movies by myself too.”
- “I spend my off-time with my family and I enjoy running. And, as soon as I get in the car, I crank up my tunes. If you’re bitter and sour, everything you look at will be bitter and sour so I work hard at letting things go.”
As you’ll see below from Mental Health America’s #4Mind4Body focus this month on Work-Life Balance during Mental Health Month, “People who feel they have good work-life balance are more satisfied with their job and their life, and experience fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety.”
How do you work on your own work-life balance? Use the hashtag #31DaysofWellness and tag us at @mentalhealthCT on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.