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A balanced life – better than Prozac!

A balanced life – better than Prozac!

As anti-depression drugs hit the spotlight this week, work/life balance expert Diane Child says we are suffering from an ambulance-at-the-bottom-of-the-cliff mentality. Let’s help people avoid depression and stress in the first place, she says.

“By building individual resilience and getting back to basics people are less susceptible to depression. Employers can help by resolving to reduce workplace stress and by supporting their people to become more balanced and healthy. People must be allowed time to recover and restore their energy to be able to work productively,” says Diane Child, Director of Success Consultants Ltd.

A study published by the Mental Health Foundation reported higher rates of depression amongst females, those with low incomes, and divorced or separated people - however suicide rates are higher for males. These are all indications of a changing society with increasing pressures on individuals and families.

Success Consultant’s research shows that only 30% of Generation X (those born between 1964 and 1978) are getting regular exercise and enough sleep. This is the generation that are raising children and so it is not surprising there just isn’t enough time - however this is compounded by two-career families now being the norm.

“Our study shows that there is a general dissatisfaction amongst all generations about the time they have to spend to restore energy, clear the mind and focus on pleasurable pursuits – these all help to bring important balance to life and mean that when people are at work they can contribute their very best. Society is working in a new paradigm and employers need to adapt as they are often still working in the old paradigm of inflexibility,” says Diane.

“When working with our clients in the field people constantly tell me that being able to have access to flexible working options is the key to achieving the balanced life they are striving for.” Success Consultants then helps to put in place a work/life balance plan and building blocks towards creating a healthier and more productive workforce for its client companies – often starting at CEO level and working across all areas of the organisation.

Senior leaders can begin the journey to creating a healthy workplace by:

1. Developing strategies to achieve your own work/life balance so you can be a great role model.

2. Initiating work/life balance and flexible work strategies and plans for your organisation and involving employees in the development of those plans. By opening communication channels and having open discussions people are more likely to feel valued and supported.

Individuals can begin their journey to finding balance by:

1. Understanding what is at the source of your imbalance. What is lacking – sleep, time for yourself, time away from a desk, proper exercise or even proper support networks? Once this is figured out positive changes can be made.

2. Take action – you are not doing yourself or anyone else any favours by not getting what you need to be healthy and happy. A happy and healthy mum, dad, employee, friend or partner is able to contribute more. Commit to being good to yourself and make some positive changes in your life. And don’t be afraid (or embarrassed) to ask for help or support if you need it.

Success Consultants works with organisations and individuals to develop and strengthen work/life balance strategies and improve productivity and success.


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