Guest Blog: Top Tips for a Successful Work Life Balance - By Laura Boxall, Freelance Writer

Being able to balance both working life and home life is becoming increasingly difficult as employees struggle to cope with a demanding work culture.

Zero-hour contracts, dependency on technology and expectations to work outside of contracted hours is blurring the line between jobs and personal time – leading to increased levels of stress and mental illness. Data from the Centre For Mental Health revealed that workplace mental health problems costs the UK economy over £26 billion a year through sick days, high staff turnover and low productivity.

With Stress Awareness Month coming up in April, it’s an opportunity to read up on tips and advice to achieve and maintain a healthy work life balance. Research from Mind UK reported that: one in five people said workplace stress puts a strain on their marriage or relationship with significant other, and 11% had missed important events such as weddings or birthdays. Aviva  conducted a study and spoke to a series of experts, putting together their top tips to help you put the balance back in your life.

Manage Your Workloads

Multitasking at work reduces productivity and can be quite draining. Avoid working long hours to complete tasks, otherwise you’ll end up feeling stressed and unproductive. If your work is getting on top of you and it’s effecting your personal life, you should speak to your manager to discuss a solution to help manage your workload.

Finish Work And Leave It There

The boundaries between work and home life are slowly blurring together, which can affect relationships at home. It’s important to leave work at work when you finish for the day, no matter how dedicated you are.

Switch Off

It can be difficult to turn away from that one email or call you get when you’re out of work, but it’s important to switch off as well. Setting up an ‘away’ or ‘out of office’ reply for your emails will help you take your mind away from work. This will allow you to focus on ‘me time’ and other personal responsibilities. Spend a bit of time after work reflecting on your day and what you’ve achieved, so you can feel refreshed and ready for the next day.

Get Your Heart Pumping

Make sure getting active becomes part of your routine outside of work – join a gym, start learning a new sport or take up a new hobby. This is a great way to help you destress before or after work, and will make you feel good by releasing endorphins or ‘feel good’ chemicals. By doing this, you’re in contact with people on a regular basis, you’ll improve your social life, and feel great about yourself.

Spend Time With Family And Friends

Unwind outside of work by spending time with your partner, children or friends. You could plan an activity or book a holiday together, which  will help you to make up for all the overtime you’ve been doing in the office. It doesn’t have to cost the earth, but it’s important to have that break away.

Be Realistic

Remember, you can’t be perfect all the time; so don’t expect to always get everything right, and don’t be so hard on yourself when you make mistakes.

It’s important not to overlook your personal life, otherwise it could lead to feelings of stress or even serious mental health problems. Learn how to manage your time better as well as remembering to give yourself enough time to relax. For those who suffer with stress, 31% say work is their biggest concern and 20% say it’s caused by juggling their work life balance. Aviva says to “take a ‘work smart, not long’ approach to your job” by following these tips to help you reduce stress levels and regain control for a happier work life balance.

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