A healthy work-life balance: Why it’s important

a healthy work-life balance: WHy it's important

Amber Sunner, Editor at PressPad talks about the all-important work-life balance, and why it is something that can help us in the long-run. 

The idea that journalists should always be switched on is not only detrimental to journalism as a whole but it can also negatively impact journalists mental health. Over the first lockdown, I grew to become very busy of my own accord. This feeds into a thinking I am trying to shake out of – busy = happy. In fact as the work began to mount my happiness began to dwindle, as you would expect. 

This is my first year of work – and it became quickly apparent to me that I had a lot to learn. Namely, developing and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. In these strange times, however, this seems like an odd concept. During the time I was studying the ‘life’ aspect of the ideal work-life impression was to see friends. In a pandemic, this is hugely different – Zoom fatigue has admittedly caught up with me. 

It seems from talking to the people around me that the work-life balance has been blurred beyond belief. Not least because a lot of us are working from home – a place where before the pandemic was our place to switch off, relax and recuperate. A healthy work-life balance has been nodded to creating better self-reported health too. 

Mental health is also very important – especially in times like these. An article from The New York Times states that Citigroup is aiming to help its workers with the stresses of working from home by introducing ‘Zoom-free Fridays’ to help combat that Zoom fatigue I wrote about earlier. Meetings will still be conducted as normal – but workers will not have to turn their cameras on. Citi is the third-largest bank in America, hence why this move could set a trend amongst companies to do the same to help their workers thrive.

Burnout – a feeling of exhaustion and lack of motivation towards your work – is said to be on the rise; something which is understandable too. One article suggests that to prevent this is to say no more often. It seems simple but it is very effective. Saying no to certain projects helped me focus on other things – such as another project I was more invested in or allowed me to have more time with the people I love. It is the case of not spreading yourself too thinly and maintaining that healthy balance.

Realistically, we are all humans who have limits. I have come to learn that the hard way, unfortunately. Nowadays, I’m tackling each task one at a time and in manageable chunks for the sake of my mental health. We deserve time off, breaks and a healthy work-life balance. I truly believe it is time to foster a community of healthy working and understanding our limits – both of these outcomes, in my opinion, is when we do our best work.