The rest of the civilized world takes a couple of months off each year. Here in America, some of us are proud of the fact that we take an entire weekend off. While that may seem like a good thing, all of this dedication to work, what is it doing to us personally?
If we take more time for ourselves can we still be competitive? When our phones notify us every time we get a new email, is it okay to ignore those once we are home? And what happens to our relationships when all we ever do is work, or get stressed because of work? How can we have a relaxing and healthy relationship with our partner, our children, our family? Does doing well at our careers mean we can’t have a good personal life?
Chris Boyce published a post on EBN addressing this issue and I like some of what what he is saying:
“…The great news is we can have it both ways. The key to achieving a more fulfilling existence personally and professionally requires an acceptance that work and personal life will continue to blur, that finding gratification in a busy job and a rich personal life is not about creating walls between them, but proactively, productively and successfully allowing them to integrate.
We’re all in the process of adjusting the way we work. The economic downturn, combined with the rapid evolution of workplace, personal and social technology, creates jobs that are more demanding, require near-constant attention, and lie quite literally in the palm of our hand; our to-do list is never further than our cell phone.
Of course employees are stressed out, but instead of viewing this new level of accessibility as an interference with extracurricular life, employees and employers need to view it as a new pathway, one that works both ways. For successful work-life integration we simply can’t bring work into the home. We also need to also carry personal goals, challenges, passions and priorities into the workplace.”
It is important to understand that personal relationships play a vital role in our overall mental health, and the two need not be mutually exclusive. A person who has a relatively happy and satisfying personal life will probably do better at work. Just as more companies are offering fitness programs and incentives, healthier meals and other benefits, so should they emphasize the importance of taking time to rest and renew.