How can I achieve a healthy work/life balance?

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How can I achieve a healthy work/life balance?
Liv Shaw

How can I achieve a healthy work/life balance?

With Mental Health Awareness Week upon us, we gathered up some best practices for getting your work/life balance perfect.

Work/life balance is a top priority for many employees, but sometimes it’shard to achieve. Realistically, everyone wants to enjoy their free time without thinking too much about work, whilst also being able to focus on tasks during working hours. Not only is this great for your wellbeing, it also ensures you’re getting the best out of both aspects of your life.

But how can workers attain this? For Mental Health Awareness Week, we’ve put together some helpful advice that will hopefully introduce a healthy work/life balance into your life. Read our tips below!

What is work/life balance?

Before we go straight into our advice we need to clarify – what actually is a work/life balance? It varies from person to person, but generally the idea is that you manage your work efforts in a way that won’t burden your thoughts during your free time. Many of us know all too well the feeling of work piling up and bleeding into our free time, whether that’s just in your thoughts or you sacrifice your own time to finish tasks.

Whilst it isn’t out of the ordinary to work a little overtime, where exactly do we draw the line? This is where the practice of a healthy work/life balance comes in. It’s key to keep the balance even, and not focus too heavily on your work responsibilities.

How to achieve a work/life balance

Every person will have their own idea of how they want to spend their time outside of work – be it hobbies, spending time with family or just generally relaxing – but it’s important to reach a happy medium between the amount of time you spend on work and the time you spend on yourself.


This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week theme is movement, and exercise – in all forms – is proven to improve quality of life. Regular physical movement can also help your mental and physical health in many different ways,  offering a good way to keep your mind busy and focused on something that isn’t work. Group exercise, such as sports, can also boost your mental health as it’s part of a routine and allows you to socialise.

If you’re just starting out, something as simple as a brief walk can help to clear your mind and take in nature. However, If you wanted to step it up there are many free exercise offerings, such as Couch to 5k or local groups. The next time you find yourself overwhelmed by work or needing a small break, consider a form of exercise to help relax your mind.

Set boundaries

One way to introduce a healthy work/life balance is to manage professional expectations and set clear boundaries. If you receive a last-minute request for a task that needs to be completed and your working day is almost over, ask yourself – is this a high priority? There’s no doubt that sometimes there are urgent matters at work that may need extra attention, but if a task can wait, then it’s important to communicate this effectively with stakeholders, and set a new, more realistic deadline.

Another way to set boundaries and manage your workload is to speak with your manager. At the end of the day, your manager wants you to succeed and if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just generally need a chat about your mental health, it’s good to communicate this. This will allow your manager to be sensitive to your workload before suggesting you take on new tasks, as they will be mindful of what you’re working on.

It's also crucial to utilise the breaks you’re given, such as starting and finishing work at your set times and taking your designated lunch break. This might seem obvious, but many people often log on early to ‘get ahead’ or work through their lunch. This isn’t healthy, and being firm on your working hours and your daily break will allow you to take yourself away from work and focus on yourself.

Nurture relationships

Positive relationships and social support help build resilience and lead to more adaptive ways to cope with stress. Strong relationships take time to nurture and develop, but making time to socialise and talk about shared experiences can hugely benefit your mental health. Prioritise quality time with your family, friends, neighbours and loved ones.

Why is it important?

A good work/life balance is important for a number of reasons. Firstly, it stops you from getting burnt out. Burn out can not only affect the way you do your work – and how successfully you do it – but also leaves you lacking energy to do activities in your free time. This leads to an ‘all work, no play’ type mentality that often impacts professional and personal life.

Striking a balance between your work life and your personal life can also reduce stress. Often, you see people who appear to be excelling at work and making the most of their spare time, and you probably ask yourself how do they do it? Well, the answer is probably that they have a good work/life balance. .


In summary, no one person can ‘have it all’, but by practicing to balance work and personal life you can make yourself happier and healthier – and your life will be all the better for it! For more career advice, click here.

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