The summer months are a time for enjoying warmer weather, outdoor activities, and weekend getaways. Whether planning for a vacation or caring for children home from school, balancing the demands of life while finding time for the things that bring joy can sometimes seem challenging. When too many responsibilities build up in one area of life, maintaining the time and energy needed for other areas can begin to decrease, and things that were once enjoyable may feel overwhelming to fit into a busy schedule. Here are a few ideas for finding a healthy balance between life and work to help gain a greater sense of satisfaction and well-being in both.
With about a third of workers in the U.S. with jobs that can be done remotely now working from home, separating the blurred lines between personal and professional life has become essential for sustaining job productivity, managing stress, and maintaining overall wellness. Yet, more than half of American workers say they may respond to emails or messages outside of normal working hours and 46% say they take less time off than their employers allow, according to the Pew Research Center.
Shutting down workstations and not answering business calls or emails at specific times throughout the day is a good start for unplugging from work and establishing boundaries around personal time. Regularly taking time off from work to rest and taking breaks throughout the workday—even for 10 minutes—can help reduce burnout, refresh the brain, and improve focus. Enjoy the summer sunshine by pausing work to take lunchtime walks outdoors and get the most from weekends and vacation days by scheduling plans early in the season.
To establish additional healthy boundaries around time, consider taking a moment to review each week’s schedule to determine if any work or personal projects, obligations, or activities might be limited, reduced, or removed. It’s okay to sometimes say “no” to low-priority or optional obligations to reclaim valuable time and energy for higher-priority tasks in both work and personal life.
Caring for Physical and Mental Health
Practicing healthy habits, like eating a nutritious diet, exercising regularly, and getting quality rest are the basics for promoting physical and mental well-being. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week, or about 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Checking in on feelings and admitting when stressed or overwhelmed can be an important first step toward supporting mental wellness. Adopting a mindfulness practice, like meditation, gratitude, or journaling can also help to manage life’s stressors, while fostering personal relationships with friends and loved ones can help to maintain emotional well-being—and may help live a longer life.
It is also important to schedule routine preventive care screenings and an annual check-up to address health issues early when they may be most treatable. Our Health Maintenance Guidelines provide the latest health screening recommendations for members at any age. Many preventive care services are covered at no cost share for Sutter Health Plus members. And, when care for common health issues is needed during a busy work week or on weekends, virtual care appointments may be a convenient, time-saving alternative to making the trip to a doctor’s office.
Reaching Out for Support
Sutter Health Plus members have access to resources and support to help manage mental wellness. The Health Coaching program for stress management is available at no out-of-pocket cost. Members work one-on-one with a trained, personal health coach by phone to uncover barriers to self-management, link behavior to personal values, and set goals to make healthier lifestyle choices. For more information, call (844) 987-6095 or visit the Health and Wellness site accessed through the Member Portal.
Members may also self-refer to confidential in-person or virtual visits with a participating behavioral health provider through U.S. Behavioral Health Plan, California (USBHPC) by calling (855) 202-0984 or visiting liveandworkwell.com. For 24/7 support, members have premium access to Sanvello—a top-rated app for daily mood tracking, coping tools, guided journeys, and clinical techniques—also available through USBHPC.