With our world being connected by technology on a constant basis, achieving a work-life balance is more difficult than ever. The continuous strain to juggle heavy workloads with relationships, family responsibilities and hobbies can cause high-level stress that can result in major health issues like heart disease and heart attack.
According to a 2015 study by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 30 percent of college students stated that stress had negatively affected their academic performance, and 85 percent reported that they had felt overwhelmed by their responsibilities during the past year.
As our lives get busier with assignments, work, extracurricular activities and a social life, it’s important to actively make an effort to achieve a work-life balance. Here are five tips to help:
Create a daily to-do list. Creating a daily to-do list allows you to prioritize important tasks first and helps relieve the anxiety of less essential tasks that can be completed later. A to-do list also allows you to realize when you need to ask for help.
Set attainable goals every day. Setting small goals and achieving them allows us to feel a sense of achievement. Be realistic with your workload. You won’t be able to get everything done, and that’s okay!
Unplug. Technology is a double-edged sword. On one hand, technology can make completing tasks easier. On the other hand, technology can quickly burn us out if we use it nonstop. Give yourself an hour each day to unplug. Read a book, take a bath, or pursue a hobby.
Take care of yourself. Exercise, eat right, and get adequate sleep. Set time aside each day to go to the gym or take a walk. Exercise is known to reduce stress and boost your immune system. Make a conscious effort to select healthier food options and schedule a consistent bedtime.
Seek help. If you are constantly overwhelmed and nothing seems to help reduce your stress, seek help from a mental health professional. Mental health treatment can dramatically improve your quality of life.
Visit EMU’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) website for more information on seeking mental health help on campus: https://www.emich.edu/caps/