New age professionals are struggling to maintain the tenuous balance between their careers and their personal lives.
BY ASHIM NEUPANE
Many couples go through marriage problems. In this case, both the husband and wife were professionals and were engaged in hectic jobs. Due to their busy schedules and work pressure, they had little time to enjoy their married life, and had no time for their kids too.
Frustrated at their lack of an ideal work-life balance, the couple sought the counselling of Dr Ritesh Thapa , a consultant psychiatrist at Star Hospital, Sanepa. Dr Thapa, who is also the Director and Consultant Psychiatrist at Rhythm Neuropsychiatry Hospital and Research Centre Pvt Ltd, Jawalakhel, suggested the couple to get out of their busy schedule and enjoy a vacation with the family. As per the suggestion from Dr Thapa, the couple went for a short vacation, and it helped strengthen their bond. “They also started allocating a certain amount of time for their family members,” recalls Dr Thapa.
At present, maintaining a good level of work-life balance has been a tough task for many people. Almost five professionals visit Dr Thapa every day complaining about work related frustrations. Often, spending long hours at work, taxing work requirements, and evening shifts can lead to work related frustrations. Failing to manage their personal and professional lives, people show symptoms such as dizziness, physical pain, weakness, irritation, among others. In some cases, the professionals know they are finding it challenging to balance work and life. Understanding the consequences, they consult psychiatrists, who in many cases fail to identify the symptoms. Dr Thapa says professionals often deny being stressed after diagnosed with work related frustrations. The concept of work-life balance was raised in the late 18th century, as the United States and the United Kingdom had limited the number of working hours of the employees.
Proper counselling and some other measures can help professionals get rid of work related frustrations. However, in some cases, if the professionals are already depressed, psychiatrists opt to treat them by suggesting medicines and regular counselling sessions. “Monetary gain is not everything. If professionals are not enjoying the work and feel the job is not helping their career development, it is better to shift to a new job, which will help towards better mental health,” he said, adding that the young generation is frustrated about the situation of the country, and they go overseas for employment and higher studies.
“Society has become more competitive in recent times, and the parents also put an unnecessary burden on the kids from an early age, which results in frustration,” he said, adding that families thrust added pressure on the kids if they fail to achieve success academically or professionally.
The people of the new generation have little time for family and friends, as they are busy in their professional lives. “Professionals are also not allocating the necessary time to balance their work and life. Anyone can take out half an hour in the morning for a walk or meditation. People’s lifestyles have significantly changed over the years; as a result, work-life frustrations have increased in recent times,” Dr Thapa adds. Even if professionals do not have enough money to enjoy a vacation, they can opt to spend time with friends and family on a regular basis.
He suggests corporate offices organise retreats and office get-togethers to boost the energy of professionals. “Putting unnecessary burden on the employees will not increase productivity, rather it will hamper their morale and confidence,” he said, adding regular activities such as yoga, futsal, among others refresh the mood of the employees. Work-life imbalance leads to stress in the workplace. It can also lead to other physical health issues such as high blood pressure, headache and backache, weakness, among others. Dr Thapa suggests professionals change jobs if the current one is making them unhappy and depressed. “Spending too much of time and energy on the job can create a lot of regrets and frustrations for professionals. Situations like these can have a negative impact on both their careers and their personal life,” he said.
If the current job is not your cup of tea, you can always shift to another workplace or start a business, Dr Thapa shares. “If the corporations are not in the position to increase the salary of the employees, they can at least provide additional facilities to professionals,” Dr Thapa says.
Tips for an Ideal Work-Life balance
• Get up early in the morning and go for a walk
• Spend time with family members
• Try to avoid official work at home
• Join health clubs, or start meditating everyday
• Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol and cigarettes
• Go for a short vacation with family members
• Organise family get-togethers
Symptoms of Work-life Frustration
• Dizziness and irritation at work
• Physical pain and weakness
• Strong urge to smoke and drink
• Agitation with seniors and colleagues at work
• Heavy head in the morning
• Mood swings and behavioural changes
• Loss of appetite
Consequences of Work-life Imbalance
• Stress and high blood pressure
• Anxiety and depression • Loss of confidence
• Fear of falling behind
• Regular backache and headache
• Weakens the immune system
• Eating disorder