According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 25 million Americans reported that they work more than 49 hours per week. 11 million of those people said they work more than 59 hours per week! But these long days, weeks, months…years, even…might beef up your bank account—but potentially at the cost of your mental health.
A new study from the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health reveals that working excessively long days can be unhealthy for your mental and physical health. The study revealed that women who worked more than 55 hours per week, or worked most or every weekend (or both), had a decrease in mental health, compared to those who work only 35-40 hours a week.
The study also showed that men tend to work longer hours than their female coworkers, whereas married men worked longer hours than married women. The theory was that women were more likely to work longer hours during the week if they were in a male dominated profession, and those who work weekends were often in service jobs with lower pay. The types of jobs with interactions with public clients have been linked to higher levels of depression.
Women also often have the double job of managing household duties and taking care of the family, which ends up increasing the total number of hours worked per week.
The study showed that unpaid housework and family care adds up to extra hours worked for more women than men, which has been linked to decreased quality of health and mental state. Simply stated, those who are overworked are at a higher risk for developing anxiety and depression.
The leaves us to ask the question…how do you achieve a healthy work-life balance in order to protect your mental and physical health? Here are some tips for achieving work-life balance:
· Respect of your own needs and create boundaries. Find out what is truly important to you, make that a priority, and then let others around you know this need is important. Do you need one day off a week that is free from calls or texts? Let your coworkers know of your boundaries and encourage them to reciprocate with theirs.
· Be aware of time. Take notice of things that eat up your time unnecessarily, that may cause stress later. For instance, surfing through the internet or engaging in social media can add many hours to your day. Are those things necessary, or do you stress about lack of time later?
· Have a healthy lifestyle. Eat right and exercise every day, and sleep enough each night—it will make a huge difference in your overall health.
· Focus on one thing at a time. In this day and age where multitasking is king, try to do only one task at a time that is worthy of your energy. This includes work and personal items—do work only at work, and try not to work during your play time. This creates a boundary for yourself, and a work-life balance for a healthier mental state.
For those who need a break from the long working hours and want to treat themselves to something therapeutic, Elev8 offers relaxation services such as reiki, massage and acupuncture. If you’re feeling depressed, our ketamine infusions have been helpful in alleviating symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Treat Yourself to Some Well-Deserved Rest & Relaxation
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