The topic of work-life balance isn’t a new one. The term was first used in the UK in the 1970s but it’s meaning has changed as we charged further into the information age and the lines between work and personal life began to blur. While an overwhelming 97.9% of UK employees agree that a work-life balance is important, achieving harmony between the two is an art. To help you, here are four tips to help you maintain a work-life balance when your return to work post Covid-19.
Give yourself time to find a new balance in the new normal
If you’ve had some time away from work chances are you’ve settled into a new routine and maybe even started to embrace the “new normal”. It’s understandable that the thought of returning to work will bring up feelings of stress and anxiety because you now must find a new way to balance your personal life with your work. But it’s important to give yourself the time to adjust. 41% of employees admit that stress harms their work productivity so it’s actually counterproductive to worry about how you’re getting on with your work. Try and remember this next time you feel a tip in your work-life balance.
Take a step back to assess
Ask yourself if you’re struggling to switch off at the end of the workday and finding yourself thinking about what needs to be done tomorrow or even the following week. If you catch yourself in this situation find an activity that you know will help divert your attention away from work. It may be a walk – which is one of the top tips to look after your mental health – playing with your children or dog, or looking for a new recipe to stretch your culinary skills. Experiment with different activities to see what works best for you.
Keep up with lockdown hobbies
During the time away from work many of us will have dabbled in new hobbies – baking bread, knitting, tackling DIY projects or even spending more time reading. Whatever it was, making the time for activities that you enjoyed in lockdown is a great way to maintain your work-life balance and help you with the transition back to work. For those who enjoyed trying their hand at a new activity, it may come as no surprise that studies show hobbies are good for mental health.
Speak to your boss
A recent survey by Mind Share Partners found that 60% of people had refrained from talking about their mental health in the last year, but this needs to change. If you’re struggling with the transition and finding it’s having a negative impact on your work-life balance one of the best things you can do is speak to someone about it. Sharing your experiences with your boss gives them the chance to take meaningful action. The outcome of the chat may be that you need a day off to focus on your mental health, you need more support with your workload or you simply need more regular check-ins.
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