Now more than ever, it is timely to reflect on the importance of career well-being to overall mental and physical health. There is no doubt that our careers significantly shape our well-being and yet people often underestimate the influence of their work on their overall quality of life.
Throughout your life, you will likely spend more time working than anything else. It makes a lot of sense therefore, to invest time and attention to ensure you feel good about what you are doing and where you are heading. Every day I learn of or see people in my practice who are highly-stressed at work, cannot find a job they like, are stuck for direction, or aren’t succeeding at job interviews. Often this is accompanied by sagging confidence and energy, lack of clarity and certainty, and diminished creativity and resilience. For some, the words of Coldplay’s song Fix You reflect their situation:
When you try your best, but you don’t succeed
When you get what you want, but not what you need
When you feel so tired, but you can’t sleep
Stuck in reverse
Stress at work plays a very big part in your ability to perform in your job and manage your personal life. The comprehensive site, Health Ambition, provides some great insights into the importance of exercise and nutrition in proactively managing stress.
The non-profit Helpguide.org provides further valuable advice:
When your own needs are taken care of, you’re stronger and more resilient to stress. The better you feel, the better equipped you’ll be to manage work stress without becoming overwhelmed… Taking care of yourself doesn’t require a total lifestyle overhaul. Even small things can lift your mood, increase your energy, and make you feel like you’re back in the driver’s seat.
Happily, in my practice I also see people who with a little thought, planning and determination, have re-focussed themselves, won a better job and are now much happier and productive because they are moving in a direction that is right for them. They are reaping the benefits of managing or crafting their careers effectively. This ability to pro-actively monitor and adapt your career is without doubt a further significant factor in reducing stress and supporting overall well-being.
As part of World Mental Health Day each year, Mental Health Australia asks you to make one mental health promise to yourself. Its a great idea and one that could positively impact your career as well. Take a look at Healthy Career Checklist for a quick review on how your career is tracking. If you feel your work is actually negatively impacting your well-being, now is the time to take action to address it.
Until next time … go well