One of Canada’s most common illnesses is also the least understood. Everyone feels “blue” or sad from time to time. It’s a normal life experience. But when these emotions increase in intensity, persist for more than a few weeks, and start to interfere with a person’s life, it may signal depression. No amount of “cheering up” can make the depression go away; no amount of exercise, vitamins or vacation can make it disappear. That’s because depression is an illness, not a weakness.
Many feel that there’s nothing they can do to bring their lives back into balance. After all, the demands of the workplace continue to increase, as do the number of hours most Canadians spend at their jobs. According to Human Resources and Social Development Canada, one in four Canadians work 50 hours per week or more, compared to one in ten a decade ago. But you can make changes happen – significant changes that will make your work more effective and your time with family and friends more enjoyable.
As a manager or employer, your primary concern is the success of your business or department. Success for most organizations means controlling costs and optimizing performance. That’s your bottom line. But have you considered the impact that work/life balance – both for you and your staff – has on that bottom line?
Assessing our mental health is not as simple to do as measuring our physical health. There are no scales or endurance tests that rate mental fitness. But with the help of the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Mental Health Meter, you can reflect on your unique strengths and identify areas where your level of mental fitness could be improved to help you cope with all of life’s up and downs.
For people experiencing a mental illness, a good work/life balance is critical. The relationship between stress and mental illness is complex, but certainly stress can exacerbate mental illness for some people. In fact, according to Statistics Canada, employees who considered most of their days to be quite a bit or extremely stressful were over 3 times more likely to suffer a major depressive episode, compared with those who reported low levels of general stress.
Do you find it difficult to balance the different roles in your life? If so, you’re not alone – 58% of Canadians report “overload” as a result of the pressures associated with work, home and family, friends, physical health, volunteer and community service.
Take this quiz to see if you’re in balance.
If you’re finding it difficult to balance the different elements of your life, you’re not alone. 58% of Canadians report “overload” associated with their many roles – work, home and family, friends, physical health, volunteer and community service.