Maintain Work-Life Balance to Improve Your Mental Health

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance and mental health can be challenging. Learn key points here.

Mental Wellness in the Modern Age

Stress levels are on the rise around the world. People are so focused on meeting their professional career goals that they may forget the importance of balancing work with real life. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is crucial since the effects can be so wide-reaching, good or bad. Allowing work to encroach on every aspect of your life may seem tempting, but those short-term gains come at a high cost to your mental health.

Defining Priorities

Establishing personal and professional priorities, developing realistic schedules and routines, and educating yourself on time management are all key to maintaining an excellent work-life balance for improved mental health. Work-life balance can include removing tasks and events from your schedule, but there is more to it than that. Even those with heavy workloads can benefit from a balanced schedule without their productivity–in fact, the improvements in mental health as a result of work-life balance could very likely result in increased productivity.

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance requires you to know what a work-life balance looks like for you, and your circumstances. Many people have misconceptions, or no conceptions at all, as to what work-life balance can and should look like, and underestimate its importance.1 

What Is Work-Life Balance?

Work-life balance is defined as a person’s ability to fulfill their family and work responsibilities and fulfill other non-work-related commitments and activities done after work hours and free time. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is not about allocating equal time to your activities or each aspect of your work. Work-life balance refers to our ability to manage our time properly, allocate our labor appropriately, all while continuing to maintain satisfaction in our personal and professional lives. 2 

Work Life Balance and Mental Health

When Does Work-Life Balance Often Suffer?

A lack of balance between the workplace and the home can occur when too many responsibilities are left unorganized. Unfortunately, dropping all responsibilities to live a life free of duty is hardly a viable solution, and would be described by many as an unsatisfactory and meaningless way to live. Consequently, we must find ways to manage our responsibilities as best as possible. The goal is to create a work-life balance wherein the things we spend our time and energy on produce satisfactory results to ourselves.2 

Why Is a Good Work-Life Balance Important?

A good work-life balance is essential because it helps reduce stress and prevent burnout in both our professional lives and personal lives. It can also help improve mental health, prevent chronic pain and hypertension, and digestive issues.3 

How Does a Poor Work-Life Balance Affect Employees?

The effects of poor work-life balance can most often be categorized into two areas–mental health and workplace productivity. Mental health does not always immediately and directly impact a person’s workplace productivity, it will almost always have an indirect impact.

Impacts of Poor Work-Life Balance on Mental Health

Employees suffering under the weight of a poor work-life balance will experience unhealthy stress levels for prolonged periods of time. The effects of prolonged stress have been found to have profound effects on the physical and mental wellbeing of individuals. Workplace burnout can create an increased risk of anxiety, depression, mood disturbances, substance abuse, workplace injuries, and interpersonal conflict between coworkers. Insufficient time off from work, and high-pressure jobs (legal, medical, emergency response teams, to name just a few examples) can be especially damaging to mental health when experienced concurrently.

Impacts of Poor Work-Life Balance on Workplace Productivity

When employees are put in positions of being forced to perform their professional duties, while experiencing symptoms of burnout and fatigue, they are effectively asked to perform two jobs at the same–and unsurprisingly, their quality of work suffers on both sides. Not only are employees unable to adequately address the collateral effects of their burnout and fatigue, they are additionally, incapable of performing their work to the best of their abilities. Healthy, well-rested employees will always be more capable of shouldering the burden of their workloads than their exhausted counterparts.

Common Factors That Lead to a Poor Work-Life Balance

Studies have shown that more than half of the employees globally complain of the difficulty balancing their work and home lives. Some common reasons for poor work-life balance and mental health will be detailed below.

Increased Responsibilities at Work

Some people report a lack of work-life balance due to increased obligations at their workplaces. It is not uncommon for employers to “reward” high-performing employees with additional responsibilities, or to avoid hiring employees to refill empty positions when other employees leave, choosing to instead distribute these responsibilities across the remaining workforce. This slow and typically unnoticed increase in work demands can result in an erosion of workers morale and substantial increases in stress, accelerating the development of burnout.

Increased Responsibilities at Home

Overbearing home life responsibilities can negatively impact work life balance as well. Caring for children, spouses, and family members can be a draining chore that makes achieving a perfect work and home life balance difficult. Accessible care for children and the elderly, expanded remote work options, and other support networks, are all godsends for employees striving to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Working Longer Hours

ALmost half of all managers globally report working more than 40 hours a week.4 In 2020, a study found that more than 745,000 people died from overwork.5 While many employees are not in a position to refuse to work the hours assigned by their employers, lest they be fired, or unable to afford basic necessities, for those who can, it is imperative to take personal health and safety into account when negotiating workloads.

Work Life Balance and Mental Health

Reasons Why Work-Life Balance Is Important

The importance of work-life cannot be overemphasized. The effects not only impact yourself, but those around you. Those who you interact with both in and outside of the workplace will appreciate the benefit of getting to interact with you at your best. When your work is no longer allowed to take up space in your personal time, your personal relationships will improve as a result of the dedicated focus. Inversely, a well-maintained personal life can reduce unexpected workplace interruptions, resulting in increased productivity.

Positive Outcomes of a Healthy Work-Life Balance

In addition to the aforementioned, here are some further reasons to improve your work-life balance:

  • It helps you improve your mental health.
  • It allows for better physical health and improved well-being.
  • It means reduced stress.
  • It increases your ability to be productive.
  • It boosts your creative thinking.
  • You enjoy fulfillment and accomplishment.
  • Improves your relationship with your family and friends.
  • It increases work engagement and productivity.6 

How to Improve Your Work-Life Balance

Now that we’ve addressed the issue of just how important work-life balance is and the benefits you can gain access to through its development, you likely have questions as to how exactly to actually go about doing it. The first step in deciding on a goal is to determine what you want. From there, what is left is to cultivate a strategy for how to reach this goal.

Essential Tips for Work-Life Balance Maintenance

Here are a couple of tips to help get you started figuring out how to improve your productivity and maintain an optimum mental health state;

  • Prioritize your mental health.
  • Ensure that you have a job that you actually love and enjoy doing (especially if you feel your job harms your mental health).
  • Don’t be static; accept that no work balance is perfect.
  • Don’t be scared of plugging out from a job.
  • Create time for your loved ones and family.
  • Set boundaries between work and personal life.
  • Go on a vacation.
  • Set goals and ensure to stick by them7 

How Do I Know If My Work-Life Balance is Unhealthy?

Many people feel frustrated with their jobs, and may not even be aware that the main issue they may be facing has little to do with the work itself, but an unhealthy work-life balance. It can be somewhat challenging to detect an unhealthy work-life balance.

Work Life Balance and Mental Health

How to Assess Your Work-Life Balance and Overall Wellness

If you feel like you may be struggling with work-life balance, here are a couple of thoughts to keep in mind:

  • Ask yourself the reasons behind your stress or unhappiness.
  • Be attentive to your feelings.
  • Consider alternatives that help you prioritize your mental health.
  • Make necessary changes.8 

Finding Opportunities for Wellness that Work For You

As every situation is unique and different, it is impossible to prescribe a one-size-fits-all solution for work-life balance. Some individuals may cope with similar workloads differently. Outside factors, such as childcare responsibilities, or commute times, could all impact the solutions at one person’s disposal.

However, no matter what kind of work-life balance you are currently in, the best thing you can be is aware of how you feel about your life, how your work impacts your mood, and how your time, energy, and resources are currently distributed. Discussing these considerations with those who have worked in similar fields under similar life circumstances may be able to offer relevant guidance and advice.

Find More Help For Your Mental Health At AMFM Treatment

Finding a balance between work and life to enjoy the full benefits of an optimal work-life balance can be challenging, especially if you don’t know how to go about it. However, help is available for you. These questions are not ones you have to answer alone.

At AMFM treatment center, you will have access to highly-trained specialists that can help you identify your work-life balance problems and develop solutions specific to you. Our counselors and therapists have helped people of a variety of lifestyles and professions to develop balance in their lives. Find the work-life balance that feels right to you. Reach out today.9 


We also accept many others insurance plans. verify your benefits with no obligation required.


OR CALL US 24/7: (844) 926-0729


We also accept many others insurance plans. verify your benefits with no obligation required.


OR CALL US 24/7: (844) 926-0729