Jump off the treadmill…
National Work Life Week is ‘an opportunity for both employers and employees to focus on wellbeing at work and work life balance’. Occupational psychologist and author Sharon De Mascia shares her top tips on improving your work life:
1. Jump off the treadmill – Monitor and manage your pressure levels
Stress can be a tricky thing, as we habituate to it and get used to working at increasingly higher levels of stress. We are all different in the amount and type of stress that we can cope with. However, we can help ourselves by constantly checking in with how we are feeling both emotionally and physically. Learn to recognise when your stress level is moving off the charts and take action to manage it: for example, go for a walk outside, practice mindfulness or meditation, take exercise.
2. A problem shared is a problem halved – Build your social network
Feeling supported is crucial to our wellbeing and having someone that we can talk to when the chips are down is very important. Do you have someone at work or at home that you can confide in? If so, make the most of them and share your concerns and niggles before they become big issues. Talking to someone else is a great way of gaining perspective and challenging our perceptions. If you are a very private person or do not have anyone that you feel able to talk to, write your thoughts down in a diary or journal. Once again, it can be a good way to start tackling your issues more logically and objectively.
3. Make your work more meaningful
Sit down and work out which aspects of your work motivate and energise you and which do not. See if you can find ways of gently recrafting your role so that you are doing more of the things that motivate and energise you. You may have to discuss your suggested changes with colleagues and/or your manager, depending on how much latitude you have to make changes.
- Read more from Sharon De Mascia.
The British Psychological Society are holding an event, 'Work Life Balance – are we there yet?' in London on 14 October. Deadline for registration is 9 October!
Here are our top articles from The Psychologist and Research Digest archives on this topic
Forging a new politics of work
We meet David Frayne, author of The Work Cure
The changing workplace
Six contributions consider how the pace of economic, technological, social and environmental change requires a re-evaluation of how we work now and in the future.
Eldercare: The new frontier of work–family balance
Lisa Calvano on the psychological impact of caring for spouses and parents.
‘People need a period of stability, otherwise they may actively resist beneficial change’
From compassion fatigue and burnout to resilience – Gail Kinman on her work as an occupational health psychologist.
The seventh day
In an exclusive chapter from 'The Psychology of Working Life' Toon Taris considers recovery from work.
‘They took off their uniform when they got home, but couldn’t remove the armour’
Christina Maslach on her pioneering work on ‘burnout’.
Creating compassionate NHS organisations
Maria Kordowicz on compassion in the workplace.
'It doesn't have to be this way'
Michael West on creating compassionate cultures in the NHS
Managing to make a difference
Emma Donaldson-Feilder on employee health, wellbeing, and engagement.
‘Be brave, psychology needs you!’
Cary Cooper on stress at work and his efforts to change occupational culture through wide dissemination of psychological theory and research.
The hidden costs of working when sick
Mariella Miraglia and Gail Kinman review the evidence on presenteeism.
Making holidays work
Jessica de Bloom takes a tour of the world of vacation research.
Striking a balance
Ellen Ernst Kossek on work-life balance.
Here’s a simple way to improve your work/life boundaries
Alex Fradera for the Research Digest.
Poor work ethic at uni predicts burnout 17 years later
Christian Jarrett for the Research Digest
BPS Members can discuss this article
Already a member? Or Create an account
Not a member? Find out about becoming a member or subscriber