Between career responsibilities and checking off the boxes on a to-do list, it’s easy to forget about caring for one’s own health and well-being. It’s time to flip the narrative on work/life balance and keep your health top of mind. Building a routine of self-care and doing more of the things you enjoy—even for a few minutes a day—can help to improve productivity and concentration while working and may help you to gain a greater sense of satisfaction in your personal life. Here are a few resources and strategies for finding balance.
Checking in with Yourself
Balancing life and work may require checking in with yourself and admitting when you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed. Then, be honest when considering what the main stressors may be in your life. Some tasks, activities, and obligations may be a low priority or optional. Determining which can be limited, reduced, or removed—even temporarily—can help with reclaiming time for more productive and fulfilling things.
Write down some activities you would like to do more of, the time you would need for each, and one small step to take toward making them happen. This might include scheduling time for traveling one weekend a month, taking a class around a hobby, going for a walk during a lunch break, or just reading a good book before bed. Setting a goal to take breaks while working can also help with maintaining energy levels throughout the day.
Research shows that the length of the average workday increased by 48.5 minutes in the past few years. Finding ways to establish boundaries, like saying “no” to some projects and obligations and not taking work calls or checking emails during lunch or after hours, can be major steps toward disconnecting and protecting your well-being during personal time.
According to a 2016 study by the World Health Organization, people who worked 55 or more hours a week had a 17% higher risk of heart disease compared to those who worked 40 or fewer hours a week. Keep up with routine and preventive care to address any health issues early on when they may be most treatable. During the busy work week, virtual care appointments may be a convenient alternative to making the trip to a clinician’s office for everyday care.
Reaching Out for Support
Sutter Health Plus members can schedule 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. The site also offers a variety of self-care and wellness articles, videos, tools, and resources. For 24/7 support, members also have premium access to Sanvello—a top-rated app for daily mood tracking, coping tools, guided journeys, and clinical techniques through USBHPC.