As we enter into the fifth part of the Eight Dimensions of Wellness series, it is time to look at occupation. Your job is a big part of your life. Yet finding time for you is critical for your mental and emotional health. Finding value and enrichment from your job takes achieving a work-life balance.
Occupational Wellness And Addiction Recovery
Occupational wellness is one of the eight dimensions because work plays a large role in most people’s lives. Working too much can lead to self-neglect and the inability to be our best selves. It can also cause exhaustion, depression, stress, and burnout. Working too much can take a physical, mental, and emotional toll on a person. It could even be a trigger for alcohol or drug use disorders. Gaining control over your occupational wellness is an important part of long-term recovery.
Find Satisfaction In The Work You Do
The first step toward occupational or vocational wellness is enjoying the work that you do – or at least finding it satisfying in some way. For many people, loving what they do is a faraway dream. Yet you do have the power to find a career that fulfills you. Start by asking yourself what your passions are. Then, write down a list of objectives you would need to complete to have a career in that field. Perhaps you need to go back to school or enroll in a certification course. If you have a more menial job in the meantime, at least you will know you are working toward a greater goal.
If you work in a career you are passionate about, you can better establish who you are and what you value. Doing something you love can make you feel like you don’t have to make as much time outside of work for yourself. Explore your career options and find one that speaks to you. If doing what you love is not currently possible, however, you can still achieve occupational wellness. You simply have to focus on creating a work-life balance instead. Your career does not have to consume your life. Prioritizing your time outside of work can give you better mental, emotional, and physical wellness.
Aim For A Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance means you have other aspects of your life outside of the workplace. It means you have prioritized your hobbies, personal interests, social activities, and/or family even while having a job. If you work a full-time job, work-life balance might be taking advantage of the hours you have when you get off work. It may be tempting to sit on the couch and do nothing, but this could lead to a physical and intellectual decline that ultimately harms your recovery journey. Instead, take full advantage of your free time.
Write a list of activities you have time to do when you’re done with work for the day. It could be going on nature hikes, cleaning the house, exercising, reading for pleasure, eating a family dinner, or attending night classes. Then, dedicate a margin of each day toward pursuing that thing. Write out a calendar to hold you accountable, if necessary. Then, stick to your after-work tasks when you get home each day. Staying organized can help you find time in the day you didn’t think you had. Being productive right when you get off work can help you stretch the time you have at home.
Find A Flexible Job
The definition of work-life balance has changed in recent years thanks to modern technology. The typical nine to five workday is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Thousands of workers today enjoy more scheduling flexibility, such as the ability to work from home. Mention the possibility of working from home to your boss. It might be something that is available to you. If not, consider looking for a job that does offer more schedule flexibility. Technological innovations have made a nine to five obsolete in many industries.
Make Time Where You Can
Look at a typical day. Break it down hour by hour. Where are you spending most of your time? You might not have a choice about how long you have to stay at work, but you do control the time you have when you clock out. Are you spending it as efficiently as possible? Cutting out thing that might be wasting your time, such as social media or a long commute, can help you feel more satisfied with your days. You could trim a commute by carpooling with coworkers or working from home some days. Using the time you have wisely can give you more time to spend on self-care.
On a weekly or daily basis, create a list of priorities. Put the most important items at the top of your list. Ask yourself if something on your list is important or urgent. If something is both, do it today. If something is neither, you can move it to your list for a different day and allocate that time instead toward doing something for you. If your job offers you paid time off, take it. Do not feel guilty taking a vacation or using your sick days. These perks can help you perform better at your job and feel more content in your daily life.
Career conflicts can be a trigger for people who have substance use disorders. Do everything you can to avoid a job that takes a toll on your mental health. Identify workplace stress so that you can manage conflicts and make the right career decisions for you. If you don’t like your boss, your hours, your coworkers, or the job itself, see what you can do to make a change. You may be able to request a new schedule or find a different job entirely. Your occupation takes up the majority of your time during the week. Make sure you’re spending that time in a way that contributes to your overall wellness.