I come from a family of workaholics. Ambitious, dedicated and worthy of any accolade or promotion they get. I am proud of them all and nothing makes me happier than to hear of their accomplishments and see their hard work rewarded. I guess it’s in the Sutho genes, but then again, most people I know dedicate so much of their time and energy to their career. While I’d still call myself a hard worker and haven’t found a way out of the ambitious, workplace rat race, I have certainly learnt that looking after one’s mental health is beyond important in the pursuit of personal happiness.
I know I jest at my obsessive compulsive tendencies but since I was 18, I have in fact been treated for OCD, anxiety and depression. I now live a pretty balanced lifestyle with the support of friends and family and am open about my experiences in the hope of helping others. If given the option, on most days, I wouldn’t change my past, because I am now aware of such a serious and prevalent issue that isn’t always easy for people to discuss.
So, I’m doing my little bit to make people aware of one special day next week that aims to encourage a more healthy work/life balance. Just one of the many small things we can recognise and amend in our lives if we’re feeling a little overwhelmed. This day, Wednesday November 21, is Go Home On Time Day.
The website explains research findings that show:
- Each year, Australians work more than 2 billion hours of unpaid overtime, the equivalent of a $72 billion ‘gift’ to employers!
- Australians are now working three times more hours of unpaid overtime than they volunteer to community organisations.
- Time with family, physical exercise and healthy meals are common casualties of overwork – gohomeontimeday.org.au
And basically the whole thing is just about setting aside one day to make sure you leave work on time and spend the afternoon with loved ones or relaxing while enjoying a favourite activity.
Happy workers are more effective workers and employers promoting the day, an initiative of The Australia Institute and supported by beyondblue, provide an opportunity for open discussion between staff and management about working conditions. It is a step in the right direction for creating a more productive and upbeat working environment. Everybody wins.
I know all too well the strange feeling of wanting to be happy and not understanding why I can’t be and now I do everything I can to help myself find joy and am not afraid to ask for help if I’m struggling. I am a huge fan of days like this and the small steps people can take to reduce stress in their life that often bring on bouts of depression or anxiety. I am also aware that it is often easier said than done. So we truck on through another day, supporting each other and doing our best.
Mum, when you read this, make sure you tell Dad I said he had better be home before the sun sets next Wednesday!