“Happiness comes from living as you need to, as you want to. As your inner voice tells you to. Happiness comes from being who you actually are instead of who you think you are supposed to be.” —Shonda Rhimes

May is the official Mental Health Month, a time when we turn our focus to raising awareness around the mental health needs of every member of our society. Throughout the month, The Steve Fund community will be spreading the word about the importance of mental health so that this critical area becomes something everyone cares about.

To achieve the mental and emotional wellness we all deserve, we must start by tackling a trend in today’s world: the imbalance between personal life and work and school commitments. People who strike better balance between work and life report remarkable benefits. Surveys show that feeling engaged at work improves the likelihood of overall well-being. At the same time, having more control over your hours and schedule correlate to better mental and physical health (2016 study), as well as better job performance and greater satisfaction (2006 study).

At some point or another, most of us run the risk of letting work and school commitments take on too great a role in our lives, and suffer the consequences. Here are three things you can enact today to achieve more balance in your life.

Know your needs. Do an inventory of what you need to feel good both emotionally and physically. Write down what you come up with, and make an effort to prioritize at least one of those each week.

Establish a routine. Routines can change your life, especially your morning and nighttime habits. Start off with a morning meditation on what you want from the day. End it by taking account of where you went right and where you went wrong, appreciating the journey that brought you to the day’s end and forgiving yourself for what didn’t go as planned.

Hack your schedule. You are in control of how you spend your time, and on what, so take a close look at what you are spending your time on and change it. Research shows that people who plan their free time are happier and have an all-around better quality of life. Check out this TED Talk on time management to get inspired.

This month, as we raise the conversation about mental health, let’s not forget how important it is to take care of ourselves. Work-life equilibrium is a worthy goal to pursue to enhance well-being, so try small changes like the ones listed above. And, check out these tips from our partner, Mental Health America, for even more ways you can work toward greater balance.

Be well,

Anuja Khemka
Executive Director