Consciously choosing life over work: how to find a balance

In my last two blog posts I’ve been talking about our relationship with work and how it affects our mental health. Generally speaking, the workplace has a huge impact on us – including our mental health. Working in a negative environment can be really detrimental. If everyone around you is demotivated or unhappy in their jobs, or if everyone is extremely stressed… no matter what it is, it will affect you.

Likewise, if you are very overworked and people just keep piling on the work while no-one is there to look out for you, chances are you will be feeling more than a little stressed. This might cause you to experience anxiety or other mental health issues.

How our own perceptions of work influence us

At the same time, I do believe that our own perceptions and beliefs about work can cause us to experience some distress or discomfort when it comes to work. For example our vision of success can cause us to push ourselves to work harder even though it might not always be necessary. Likewise, if people around us are demonstrating that “busy” is the way to be, we might feel compelled to work crazy hours just to fit in.

This means it’s extremely important for us to take control over our thoughts and the stories we are telling ourselves about work. Starting by being aware of the beliefs we have, questioning them, and if necessary taking steps to change them.

In this context, I wanted to talk about consciously choosing life over work, which is something I did a few years ago. It took me a while to realize that most of the pain and suffering I’d been experiencing I had brought upon myself, and little by little I took steps to change my relationship with work.

I took to video again, and I talk about a specific time when I made a conscious decision to prioritize dance (my passion) over work. Let me know what you think. I apologize again for the edits but as last time, my software is still super basic…

As I mentioned in the video, I personally believe it’s really important to take time out and consciously choose life over work – if that’s what you want. If you find that you’ve been struggling to find a balance, or you’re too committed to work, start to think about the changes you can make. This could be small things like leaving a task until the next day, or bigger things like the project I undertook.

No matter what, make the decisions that work for you so you can feel more balanced and satisfied with the way you manage your work-life balance.

Have you ever undertaken an important side project outside of work? What was it? Let me know in the comments

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Currently working in marketing and comms in Amsterdam. Passionate about all things digital, writing, dancing, travelling and much more. Mental health blogger and advocate.

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