How to stop work from taking over your life

''Downtime is vital for a healthy work-life balance''

By Sara Bunny
Workplace issues can take their toll.
If you start to feel like work is taking over your life or a work issue is getting you down, it's best to address it early rather than letting things get worse.
Try these steps for getting the balance back:
Limit extra working hours:
Work commitments can get crazy sometimes, but when long hours become the norm rather than the exception, it can negatively impact our health. If this sounds like you, have a chat with your manager first.
Schedule meetings during work hours:
Arranging meetings to begin and end only within core working hours will help to ensure your precious 'out-of-hours' time is protected.
Take regular breaks:
A solid bit of graft is rewarding, but being busy all the time will ultimately lead to burnout. There's more research than you can shake a stick at that says taking breaks, both physical and mental, can boost our productivity.
Try not to take work home:
Adding an extra hour or two at home to tidy up a work project can quickly become a habit, but again, think of it as the exception and not the rule. Downtime is vital for a healthy work-life balance.
Take your holiday leave:
A complete break from work has big mental and physical health benefits. Taking a holiday can help to reduce work-related stress, prevent anxiety and depression, and increase work performance and productivity.
It's okay to say 'no':
It can be difficult to say, but 'no' isn't a dirty word as far as your workload is concerned. Be genuine and state your reasons clearly. In the long run, the outcome will be more positive, and you'll be in a better position to say yes the next time.
Have a tech 'switch off' time:
Resist the pressure to look at work emails outside of work hours. This can be a creeping habit in lots of workplaces – lead by example and don't let the late-night email scroll become part of your work culture.
Make use of EAP:
Many employers offer an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to help employees with personal and work-related issues that may impact their job performance, health, mental and emotional wellbeing.
Explore flexible working arrangements where possible:
Making work fit better into your day-to-day life can help to improve your general wellbeing. Work closely and negotiate with your employer – you will need to be able to do your job in an effective manner that works for both of you.

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