How to Build Work-Life Balance, According to Therapists
Building a healthy relationship with work can be difficult when you’ve just entered the workforce.
You want to excel and prove yourself, and “it’s so easy to be defined by what you do,” says Mary Gleason, a Mentor, Ohio-based therapist who works with teens and adults and specializes in depression, anxiety and grief. This could lead to daily overtime and possibly even burnout.
Nearly a third of American workers reported feeling emotional exhaustion in 2021, according to the American Psychological Association’s 2021 Work and Wellbeing Survey. Almost half said they felt physical fatigue.
That’s why it’s essential to remember that “there’s more to your life than work,” says Gleason. Setting boundaries is essential for your health and well-being.
If you’re one of the millions of recent college grads getting ready to kick-start your career — or even if you’ve already started — here are some strategies therapists recommend you use to make sure your job doesn’t take longer than it doesn’t take much.
Ask about job settings
During job interviews, before accepting an offer, ask lots of questions and take stock of your expectations: what does a typical day look like at the office? When do people usually start and finish their work? What is the company policy regarding sick days or vacations?
You can also try connecting with current employees on sites like LinkedIn or check reviews on sites like Glassdoor to see what it looks like on the inside. The idea is to learn the company culture and your boss’s requirements from the start.
For example, in some jobs and industries, pulling more than 40 hours per week is the norm. This may or may not suit you – and either way, it’s useful information. The more you know about the parameters of the job, the easier it will be for you to see if it matches your priorities.
Create a life outside of work
Once you go into labor, set boundaries by “creating a life that you really enjoy outside of work,” says Hannah Springer, an Austin, Texas-based therapist who specializes in anxiety, life transitions, and the stress. Make time for hobbies like joining a dodgeball team, editing cat videos, or reading National Geographic.
Also spend time with family, friends or a significant other. We “get a lot of great chemicals in our brains when we’re connected in healthy ways with people,” says Ann Kearney-Cooke, a Cincinnati, Ohio-based psychologist who specializes in life transitions and mental health struggles. self-image. It gives your brain a boost of oxytocin, which “helps reduce stress, regulate emotions, and leads to feelings of relaxation.”
Springer suggests actively scheduling time into your calendar for recreation or socializing. Maybe a Sunday Zoom call with your parents is your way to spend some quality time, or sitting in your backyard and crocheting on weeknights gives you a chance to nurture that creative side.
“If you’re intentional about what you do outside of work, it helps you quit work at work,” she says.