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Mental Health Series: Work/Life Balance

How would you rate you work/life balance? How many hours a week do you work? When you are done with work do you shut off all work emails, cellphone calls, and any interaction with work? What do you do to relax?

In a world where technology is king, it is becoming increasingly difficult to separate work from life.

According to a recent survey, 81% of employees check their email outside of work.

Are you one of these users? I do not blame you. I used to do the same. Something happened a couple months ago that changed this. My phone somehow disconnected from my work server and you know what, I never reconnected it. This was the best choice, as far as promoting work/life balance, that I ever accidentally did.

What does this balance mean to you and how can you achieve it?

It is well documented that stress has a potential to cause disease. That our brain absolutely loves simple, easy task, that promote happiness and relaxation. How is your stress level, especially during this COVID pandemic? We are in unprecedented times where stress is at an all time high and the workforce is being condensed to fit the needs of  the essential services. As a result, overtime is at an all time high. Stress due to work increases cortisol levels, increasing inflammatory responses, usually resulting in more sick time. Doing something enjoyable triggers the increase of dopamine receptors, which promotes rest and relaxation. The body can always be under a low grade stress, but continuous stress caused by work can have a negative effects on the health of a person.

Separating work/life balance into three categories, makes is easier to understand.

Work/Work Breaks

More and more, employers are promoting mental health and relaxation in the workplace. It is mandatory for employers to have at least a 30 minute break for every 8 hours worked, even though some have increased breaks to an hour. Most employers have an employee assistance program that can be contacted if you need assistance with anything concerning wellness. Employers have realized that providing these services increases retention rate of employees and decreases sick time. So why not take advantage of these offers!

So what do you do during breaks? Do you sit on your phone and scroll through social media? Do you sit by yourself or with others? Do you sit inside or outside? All these factors play a role in relaxation during break. Do me a favor, remove any and all cellphones from your break. We are addicted to our cellphones. A recent study from UC health has shown we unlock our cellphones 100-150 times a day. It is time to put that phone down. Next, go outside and grab some Vitamin D. Vitamin D promotes energy and is necessary for many bodily functions. Also, separating yourself from work for even a couple minutes promotes rest and relaxation. After that, listen to some music, close your eyes, read a fictional book, whatever you can to calm yourself down from the stresses of work. Sit with a friend and laugh a little. Remember that dopamine receptor I was talking about?


Have you ever blocked out me time in your schedule? This is a time to venture out a do what you want to do. Let’s say you want to explore a new hobby. My passion is landscaping. It may sound crazy, but when I walk outside, turn on my headphones, and start the lawn mower, all stresses of life are drowned out and I can relax. This is also the time to start healing our body and getting ready for the other priorities of life. Chiropractic is an excellent way to relax the muscle and joints of the body and promote healing. You can also take a trip to the spa, or even lay in that hammock that was collecting dust. Remember to block this time off as me time, and let no distractions interfere. This includes work.


Priorities are probably family, then yourself, but without time for yourself you can not expect to be the best for your family. Remember to shut off that cellphone first. Anytime work is not involved, you should not be answering emails. This is a time to laugh and smile. Set this time aside during the evening. This will give you something to look forward to and increase your focus at work.


Balance in the life of COVID

In this new unprecedented territory, the work/life balance line is becoming more blurred. With the increase of virtual jobs, work is becoming life and home…literally. It is important to continue to shut off anything related to work when your work day is completed. Eight to ten hours of focused work, is much more effective compared to 12-20 hours of tired, stressed out work. Do yourself a favor and Book a Chiropractic Appointment and start treating yourself with a well deserved break.

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