Tip 1 – Time Management
Work-life balance can be defined as finding a good balance between your work life and personal life. Many men working in the healthcare industry struggle with maintaining this work-life balance. As a healthcare worker you may be more vulnerable because of the long hours and shift work you’re required to commit to working. The nature of your job, providing health care to others, may put you at a higher risk for fatigue and stress. One of the things that you can do to maintain a healthy work-life balance is learn how to better manage your time.1,2
Work-life balance may become difficult if you’re struggling with not enough time in your day. You may find that you feel conflicted and anxious about the all the things you need to get done. You only have so many hours in a day. If you’re watching the clock at work and mentally going through all the things you need to get done after work, you may be feeling a lot of stress and anxiety. This can affect your job as well as your personal time after work.
One way to achieve work-life balance is by learning how to better manage your time. Each week, create a daily planner, listing that day’s priorities. This should include work, family, personal time, and fitness. It’s up to you how much time you spend on each item. By mapping out time for each specific daily activity, you can alleviate some of the stress that comes from worrying about when and how you’re going to get everything done.
Tip 2 – Recovery Time
When your work-life balance is out of alignment, you may experience burnout, not only in your job but in your personal life as well. Burnout from job related stress can affect you emotionally, mentally, and physically. This can have a negative impact on your personal and professional life. Healthcare workers often don’t take sufficient time after a shift to recover from their day. Your job can be demanding and exhausting, so take time to transition from your professional to your personal life.3
Immediately after leaving your job for the day, try to give yourself some time to recover and leave your work behind you. Even 10 minutes is valuable time spent getting yourself into a different mindset. Take this time to look at your time management planner to see what things you need to get done. When you’re not working it’s natural that you feel obligated to take care of the many routine things in your life that need attention, such as chores and buying groceries. Make sure that one of the items on your daily to-do list includes something you enjoy, even if it’s reading a book or playing a video game.
Tip 3 – Mindfulness
Working in healthcare means long hours and often stressful conditions. Even when you’re not at work you’re still thinking about the demands and pressures waiting for you when get back. There have been a lot of studies done on the benefits of practicing mindfulness. Results show that men who make time in their day to focus on being mindful are more focused and less susceptible to pressure and stress. Practicing mindfulness may help you slow down and prioritize what’s important in your day. Your work-life balance may become more aligned as you tune into yourself and your needs.4
Research around the world shows that a healthy work-life balance can make you more productive in your job and have a happy and positive personal life at the same time. Find some alone time. When job and family become too demanding, men often forget about taking a step back to just breathe and do something that makes them happy. Give yourself permission to slow down and set time aside for yourself. It can be as simple as meeting a friend or watching a movie.5
Tip 4 – Nutrition and Fitness
Part of the work-life balance equation is eating right and staying physically active. It can be tempting to grab whatever food you can when you’re short of time during your day. But what you fuel your body with has a direct impact on how you balance all areas of your life. If you’re not feeling healthy, you’re not going to be able to perform at work or at home.
Eat nutritious foods that give your body the nutrients it needs for physical and mental health. Many studies have been done confirming that eating nutritiously may help to reduce the effects of stress. Maintaining a good work-life balance is easier when you take the time to feed your body what it needs.6
No matter what your fitness level is, or your choice of activity, make time to be physically active every day. A walk, run, or 30 minutes at the gym. Being active should be part of balancing your life. If you find that you don’t have the energy to be active upping your testosterone levels may help. Many men find that natural testosterone support supplements like Double Strike Red Six can help fill any nutritional deficiencies linked to low testosterone (like vitamin d). Also talk to your doctor about the best supplements for men that can help to reduce stress. Studies show that taking a complex vitamin b may help lower your stress and anxiety, particularly stress that is work related.7,8
Lastly, make it one of your priorities to get enough rest, so that your mind and body can energize and recharge.
Tip 5 – Learn to Say No
Learning to say no also means establishing your priorities. Men often feel they’re the breadwinner and they must be successful in all areas of life. Working in healthcare means that you’re most likely working long hours and doing shift work. Your time is already stretched thin, so you need to make the most of the time you’re not at your job. Saying no to extra shifts at work or saying no when a friend asks you to help him out on your time off, is okay. Prioritize what’s important for you. Focus on the things in your life that you’re already doing well, rather than agreeing to take on more.
Consider outsourcing some of the tasks that take up a lot of time in your week. This frees up some of your precious time for the important relationships in your life. Hire someone to do your cleaning and laundry. Sign up to have nutritious meals delivered to you. Learning to say no and freeing up your schedule are both ways to help you feel less overwhelmed by your job so can find the right work-life balance.
After reading this article, you may find that you’re better able to separate your work and personal life, feeling less stress while at the same time feeling more motivation throughout your entire life. The process of work-life balance can help you manage your life according to your own priorities.9
It’s important that you remember you can’t do it all yourself and it’s okay to ask for help. Turn to family, friends, and co-workers for support when you feel it’s getting to be too much. Using some of the tips in this article may help to provide you with more control and ownership of your life so you can achieve work-life balance.
- Balancing Your Life at Work and Home. (2009). Journal of Oncology Practice, 5(5), 253–255. http://doi.org/10.1200/JOP.091018
- Rose, DM. & Seidler, A. (2017). Associations of fatigue to work-related stress, mental and physical health in an employed community sample. BMC Psychiatry. 17: 167. Retrieved on September 29, 2018 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5420158/
- Koinis, A. & Giannou, V. (2015). The Impact of Healthcare Workers Job Environment on Their Mental-emotional Health. Coping Strategies: The Case of a Local General Hospital. Health Psychol Res. 3(1): 1984. Retrieved on September 29, 2018 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4768542/
- Davis, D. & Hayes, J. (2012). What are the benefits of mindfulness. American Psychological Association. Vol 43; 7. Retrieved on September 29, 2018 from http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/07-08/ce-corner.aspx
- Shivakumar, K. & Pujar, V. (2018). Work Life Balance in the Health Care Sector. Retrieved on September 29, 2018 from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/324675149_Work_Life_Balance_in_the_Health_Care_Sector
- Singh, K. (2016). Nutrient and Stress Management. J Nutr Food Sci 6:528. Retrieved on September 29, 2018 from https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/nutrient-and-stress-management-2155-9600-1000528.php?aid=76425&view=mobile
- Angwafor, F. & Anderson, M. (2008). An open label, dose response study to determine the effect of a dietary supplement on dihydrotestosterone, testosterone and estradiol levels in healthy males. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 5:12. Retrieved on September 29, 2018 from https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1550-2783-5-12
- Stough, C. & Simpson, T. (2014). Reducing occupational stress with a B-vitamin focussed intervention: a randomized clinical trial: study protocol. Nutr J. 13: 122. Retrieved on September 29, 2018 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4290459/
- Byrne, U. (2005). Work-life balance. Why are we talking about it at all? Business Information Review. Retrieved on September 29, 2018 from http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0266382105052268