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One thing that the last 15 months has taught us all is that there is more to life than work. So how can we handle our stress to keep a better work life balance.

We should work to live, not live to work. It’s not been easy for many people who are employed in busy jobs to switch off from work when they have finished for the day, and like many of you I know my mental health has suffered during the pandemic because of this.

Here’s a great little checklist from EAP provider Life & Progress to help you to manage your stress so that you maintain a better work life balance.

Take some ‘offline time’

For many people, the working day is spent in a flurry of emails, online meetings, phone calls and texts. If this sounds like you, you should make sure that you take some offline time. When you have finished work for the day, turn off the computer, turn off your smartphone, and ignore your emails. Concentrate on relaxing and come back to the messages the next day with a clear head.

Take time off

The value of time off really cannot be overstated. You can’t hope to be productive if you’re constantly working – and, perhaps more importantly, it can be bad for your mental and physical health. Make sure that you schedule time off, and that you stick to it. This includes taking time in the evenings and making sure that you get a proper holiday from work.

Remember to exercise

Daily exercise is vitally important. Regular exercise will boost your mood and help you get in shape. Find at least 30 minutes a day to get up and move around. Half an hour walking around your local streets can be enough to get the oxygen flowing, and make sure that you’re able to focus. It will help you minimise stress, boost your energy and allow time to recharge while not staring at a computer screen! Proper cardiovascular exercise can also help you to sleep better – as well as helping you to keep fit.

Learn to delegate

Many people find it difficult to delegate. This is completely understandable; you want to maintain control over your activities. But you need to learn how and when to delegate. By identifying the tasks that can reasonably be given to someone else, you can free up your own time and get on with the important tasks.

Prioritise your tasks

Take a look at your to-do list (if you don’t have one, make one), take a pencil and start trimming your task list. Separate your weekly tasks into must-dos and want-to-dos. Must-dos are things you absolutely have to get done. Want-to-dos are things you can work on later. Shave off the extras you don’t really need to be doing to give yourself some breathing space.

Remember your achievements

In the struggle to get everything done, it’s very easy to forget what it is that you’ve already achieved. Set aside some time, perhaps once a month, to go back over your accomplishments. Remind yourself of the good things that have happened, rather than constantly focusing on the problems.

We recommend an Employee Wellbeing Policy as a great addition to your Employee Handbook. You can purchase one here.