Finding the Balance Between Work and Play

Feyan Hoffman, Online Editor/Social Media Manager

Students aren’t always just students; they’re athletes, musicians, workers–overall very busy people. Their engrossed schedules make us wonder just how they do it all without losing their minds. It also provokes the concern of how work-life balance can constitute a healthier workflow–if such a balance is actually beneficial.

Ignoring mental and physical needs while consumed with studies and jobs can have consequences, so students should better regulate their balance of work and leisure. To achieve work-life balance doesn’t mean managing equal amounts of labor and fun, it means assessing one’s priorities and accomplishing them in a routine that benefits you in terms of mental and physical health. This means that you feel fulfilled in your workflow and personal life, aren’t overly burdened, and exude positive energy and passion.

Lauren Ulribe, a dancer for Empower Dance Academy and Bingham junior, says, “I definitely work more than relax. But I think that a lot of times I try to make the work that I’m doing or extracurriculars fun, too, so I don’t feel like I’m giving so much of myself.” Lauren also says that she struggles to balance her weekly 20+ hours of dance and work with personal downtime. Many high school students like Lauren sympathize with that same frustration.

In order to achieve work-life balance you also should have a healthy social life. Adding this to your mental and physical health stability, it must seem daunting to attain a steady footing on this balance. “I think I try to make time for my friends and myself, but a lot of times it ends up not happening. I have to try and stay caught up with school and make sure I have nothing to worry about outside of school,” says Ulribe.

Although workaholism has a negative connotation to it, the ‘addiction’ itself isn’t entirely the root of the problem. Nancy Rothbard, PH.D. in Organizational Behavior, studies the way people interact within groups. Rothbard conducted a survey on the health of compulsive workers, and concluded that there are two types: people who perform their work in an engaging and fulfilling manner and those who find their work uninteresting and a burden. The engaged workaholics were healthy and happy, and the less engaged displayed signs of poor health and Metabolic syndrome. All in all, a healthy work-life balance requires a driven, fulfilled person, not someone who exerts themself less.

Perhaps it’s time to evaluate the priorities you gravitate to the most. Give rest to your workaholic or couch potato mentality, and work towards finding a healthy balance between the two. The balance of work and play isn’t always symmetrical, and it just needs to prove to be mentally and physically beneficial. Work smarter, not harder.