Consciously choosing life over work: how to find a balance

In my last two blog posts I’ve been talking about our relationship with work and how it affects our mental health. Generally speaking, the workplace has a huge impact on us – including our mental health. Working in a negative environment can be really detrimental. If everyone around you is demotivated or unhappy in their jobs, or if everyone is extremely stressed… no matter what it is, it will affect you.

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A mini interview series on mental health

As I have been going on this journey with mental health, I have met many people along the way who all have their own stories to tell.

In fact, one of the things that inspired me to start sharing my story was hearing from others. Every time I heard from a friend or an acquaintance of some sort of hellish situation they were experiencing at work, I knew I was not alone.

After blogging about the topic for a year, I am now feeling inspired to share more than just my story. After all, my primary goal with these blog posts is to help people, and I think that by having diverse stories on the blog I can do that. So I’m excited to have launched a “mini-series” of interviews on the blog, that I published during mental health awareness week.

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What does recovery mean to you?

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I was recently listening to the Go2Thrive podcast (episode 1), and as they were talking about the work-life balance, one of the guests brought up the interesting topic of “rest and recovery”.

This sparked something in me. Having previously written that the “work-life balance” can seem pretty binary, and that balance will look different for everyone, it occurred to me that rest and recovery is quite the same.

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How to react if a colleague tells you they have a mental health problem

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Cue: this ridiculous stock image is certainly not the right answer.

One of the reasons we’re still struggling to address mental health issues, is because of the stigma that comes with them.

In the past (and probably still today), telling someone you were seeing a psychologist was often met with raised eyebrows as if to say “oh no! They must be crazy” or “they must have serious issues”. Same with the word depression, people have a concerned look and are worried your’e suicidal, don’t know how to respond, take pity on you or are worried you’re going to become a burden.

Even worse in the workplace: admitting to suffering from burnout is like admitting you’re weak, and there’s a fear of not being a desirable candidate for future employers.

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The end of year breakdown

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Originally this blog post was going to be tongue in cheek – recounting funny experiences of end of year breakdowns. But since no one answered my call for stories – I decided to turn this into something that I hope is more meaningful and helpful.

In my experience, the end of the year at work is madness. You’re rushing to finish off the last projects, leave no loose ends before you go on holiday, but you’re also desperate to finally have a break! Meanwhile you may be reflecting on everything you’ve done this year, thinking about the performance review and conversations you want to have, and wondering what you’ve achieved. Or you may be – as I have in the past – ridiculously overworked and racing against the clock.

Nevertheless when we finally catch a break, the end of the year is a time we use to reflect. A page is turning, what are we doing with it? In this blog post, I’d particularly like to focus on what this means professionally. Continue reading

What is the work life balance?

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The work life is balance is a concept that is constantly being sold to us. In particular in today’s context of increased pressure and burnout, we are all running after it as if it were some sort of treasure. Countless articles are out there telling us how to find it, in fact I myself wrote one a few years ago.

When we interview, we want to know what the work life balance is like at the prospect employer’s. Companies that are under fire for toxic cultures are criticized for their lack of work life balance. And I even heard that you can be asked questions to test your work life balance, or should I say, how much overtime you will work. Shocking, but true!

But one day someone said to me, “why does it have to be so binary? Isn’t it just about balance in general?” and that really got me thinking…

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Letting work encroach on life

falling-asleep-at-desk-woman-her-grounbreaking-see-share-onToday I’d like to talk about what happens when work takes over your life. By that I mean more than working long hours, I’m talking about when work starts to ruin your social life, your relationships and your health. When it changes you, to a point where you’re not who you used to be. What can we do about this, and how can we prevent it?

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