Does the pursuit of a healthy work-life balance seem like an impossible goal? If so, you’re not alone. Many of us feel torn between juggling long work days, relationships, caring for our parents and children, and fitting in exercise or hobbies. According to a recent Gallup poll, 80% of Americans said they experience stress in their daily lives, and they report that children and work are their biggest stressors.
Stress has many undesirable effects on us. Stress can diminish concentration, cause irritability and depression, affect relationships, deplete our energy and impact our sleep. Over time, stress can also contribute to health issues including high blood pressure, asthma, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, headaches and back pain. We all need some stress to help us perform at our best, but the secret to managing stress is to achieve a healthy work-life balance.
Here are some strategies to help ease stress and gain balance in our lives:
- Set achievable goals each day. Check things off your “to do” list as you go. Ask for help when necessary.
- Make the best use of your time. Evaluate when and if it is necessary to do “busy work”. Spend your time productively at work and with your family.
- Request flexibility. Flex time and telecommuting are becoming more common in today’s business world, and many companies now incorporate flexible schedules and encourage telecommuting to maximize productivity.
- Give yourself a break. Taking small breaks clears your head and improves your ability to deal with stress.
- Speak up. If you are overwhelmed, be honest with your boss, coworkers, and family and ask for help.
- Make yourself available to your employer, but realize the need for personal time.
- Set family time as a goal. Set aside a specific amount of time for your family. Explore fun outings like an easy hike through a local part.
- Don’t over commit. Learn to say no to extra requests for your time.
- Divide and conquer. Make sure chores and responsibilities at home are clearly outlined and distributed so you aren’t shouldering the burden of home tasks alone.
- Be active. Regular exercise reduces stress, depression and anxiety.
- Stay healthy. Eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep. Do not rely on drugs or alcohol to reduce stress.
- Assign tasks to share the joy. Try incorporating family time into everyday tasks like meal preparation that have to be done anyways.
Don’t let stress stand in the way of your health and happiness. If you are persistently stressed and have trouble achieving balance between home and work, talk to your healthcare provider about seeking help from a mental health professional.
The Women’s Health Advisory Council and Henry County Medical Center recognize that stress is a routine part of life for most women. Join us for a ladies’ night out to de-stress and learn more about resiliency in our lives. Our annual Little Black Dress Event is coming up on Tuesday, September 17, 2019 at the Paris Convention Center. For more information about the event or to get tickets call the HCMC FindLine at 731-644-3463. This year, tickets are $5 and funds raised are going to our HCMC Women’s Center.