May is Mental Health Awareness Month: What Better Time to Talk about Work/Life Balance

National Mental Health Awareness Month is an observation celebrated each year since 1949, when the month was designated by Congress as a way to raise awareness of mental health conditions and mental awareness as a whole. With mental health an issue that has probably touched many lives, this is a good time to bring up an issue which is often not spoken about or considered to be taboo.While we can’t focus on mental health issues specifically, we’d like to focus on strategies that we can help with – specifically, strategies that can improve overall health and wellness as it relates to work. Maintaining good mental health impacts every aspect of your life – from work, family and relationships with friends. So here are some good strategies to follow.

  • Relax. How many really take the time to actually do it? One of the best tactics is to devote a portion of your schedule to downtime, attaching the same significance you would put towards work, family obligations, or other cardinal tasks. A weekly night out, weekend excursion with your spouse and children, or the precious extra two or three hours you give yourself in the morning are all deceptively simple methods of staying calm and revitalizing yourself for the times where concentration is key.
  • Eliminate activities or distractions that are not essential to accomplishing your daily tasks. Pay special attention to every action you do for a given period of time – a single hour or two during your workday – and weed out the tasks that don’t have any specific purpose or value.
  • Consolidate daily or weekly errands. How could you accomplish them all in a more conservative time frame? Order your groceries online and have them delivered instead of going to the store; prepare a lunch for the following workday the night before to avoid rushing in the morning; wake up an hour earlier in the morning if you have to make a trip to the bank, getting it out of the way before work, rather leaving it for the weekend
  • Exercise. Even a short 20-minute walk in the morning before work, or one in the evening after you’re off, will leave you energized, more alert, and in a better mood.
  • Finally, take a moment to remove yourself from your day-to-day labor. Whether it is a short, but satisfying stroll on your lunch break, listening to music for an hour, or ending your day by sitting down and watching television, the little moments of relaxation are the most important for keeping you going.

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