Monday, November 16, 2009

Work and Life Balance

Work can be a high stress factor in many of our lives and contribute too many forms of mental, physical and emotional illness. It doesn’t help that most of our personal lives are just as stressful. How do we escape from these stressful situations? One can easily say try not to be stressed-out, whether work or life related but it’s never that easy. I am not entirely sure we can truly escape stress but I know first-hand that the best way to deal with stress is find a balance—equal or unequal---or middle ground where you can take the time to relax and pamper yourself.

At work, when we have demanding work schedules and workloads, it’s hard to feed the mind and body. When we leave the workplace, we have other factors that contribute to living the stressful life. The stressful life includes worrying about student loan repayment, rent, car insurance, credit card debt and all the countless bills. I know I spend so much time worrying about the problem that it makes me sick. But I’ve realized that I am not superwoman and cannot do it all. I can only put programs and methods in place to lessen the severity of certain situations.

The most important way to deal with stress is for one to find the core problem(s) that is causing many aches and pain. By assessing the many challenges we face at work and in life, we can find specific ways to deal with our problems and ways to reduce stress. I am not an expert or a doctor but I do know that at times, we need to evaluate what we want out of life and if our place of employment or other personal areas are conducive environments to our health. However, at the end of the day, we need to feed our body and soul. That is key and the main message I can provide to you on your journey.

I don’t have all the answers or ways to ensure the mind and body is properly fed. Everyone’s situation is different and we all find ways that work best for us. But we can learn from the experts at the Mayo Clinic, WebMD and other leading sources for mental health.

Thanks to eHow, here are a few tips to maintain a healthy work life balance
  • If you can, leave work at work. After the workday, go home, sit back and relax. Or if you have little ones and partner at home, focus on yourself and your family.
  • Use your vacation days before you lose them! If you don’t receive paid vacation, take a short trip or go on a staycation.
  • Institute a policy of work-free weekends. If you work weekends, devote time to yourself, family and either relax or have much needed fun. Its okay to have fun once in a while.
  • If you belong to a gym or attend an exercise program, devote pockets of time in your schedule to exercise. If you don’t belong to a gym, take walks during breaks, walk longer from the subway or bus on your way to work or house clean.
  • Last but not least, sleep! Sleep is very important. Most doctors will say they don’t know why but its very important to our health.
Mayo Clinic- Adult Health

Web MD- Health & Balance

Desiree Frieson, 24, is a marketing & pr coordinator at Odyssey Networks, a non-profit interfaith media production organization in New York City. She is a member of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women- Manhattan Chapter where she serves as the Chair of Membership and Co-Chair of Fundraising/Public Relations.


  1. These are great tips. It makes so much sense. Sometimes a small switch in the daily routine can make the world of a difference.

  2. Great article!
    I never sleep enough and it does affect me negatively.