Essay on Work and Play: The Key to Success
Work and play can often be seen as a juxtaposition, or two contrasting ends of a spectrum. While seeming contradictory, when they work together in harmony, both can help prevent exhaustion and improve one’s mental health. Being in this state of equilibrium, where a person prioritizes both the demands of their profession and personal life, is vital for many reasons such as preventing burnout, combating chronic stress, and helping productivity and happiness levels.
People often work long hours; many are committed to climbing the corporate ladder. However, overworking can often be mentally taxing. As explored in previous studies, arduous work increases an individual's likelihood of developing anxiety and depression (“Too Much Overtime May Raise Depression Risk”). It is crucial to make time for both labor and leisure. To add on, the CDC shares that physical overexertion has been one of the leading causes of illness that kept employees from working (“Young Retail Workers - Avoid Overworking | NIOSH | CDC”). Moreover, maintaining a balance between work and play can prevent a state of mental and physical fatigue, widely known as burnout. By creating an environment that prioritizes both job responsibilities and rest, the chances of triggering igniting burnout are slim. Employees overwhelmed by stress get less work done; as a matter of fact, a survey showed that employees who successfully balance work and life worked 21 percent harder than their burned-out counterparts (Rampton).
Furthermore, a balanced lifestyle increases productivity and engagement at work. When employees are less worried and have better health, they are more likely to be engaged and motivated by their job. This increased motivation often means a higher level of engagement and performance. To illustrate, Oprah Winfrey, a talk-show host, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, has mentioned that although she works a lot, she recognizes the significance of making time to rest. Work-life balance is the strongest driver of productivity.
Lastly, balancing the leisurely and laborious aspects of life will help one obtain a fuller sense of fulfillment and joy. More specifically, activities done during downtime, such as hobbies, help define people by providing color and a sense of individuality to the dull clockwork of daily life. Free time gives people a break from the daily pressures and boosts happiness levels by mitigating the consequences of stress. Work-life balance encourages increased creativity and new innovative ideas. Studies in positive psychology have also found that leisure activities are associated with a hormone that is engaging and produces positive feelings like fulfillment (“The Importance of Hobbies for Stress Relief”). Time for play benefits one’s well-being, overall happiness, and sanity.
In brief, both working hard and relaxing is the premise for good mental health and is a principle for living a prosperous, happy life. Although work and play seem like contradictions, they are evidently dependent on one another, and a healthy balance between the two brings forth the elements needed to be successful.
“Too Much Overtime May Raise Depression Risk.” WebMD, 24 Jan. 2012, www.webmd.com/depression/news/20120124/too-much-overtime-may-raise-depression-risk#:%7E:text=Long%20Hours%20and%20Depression&text=At%20the%20workplace%2C%20the%20prolonged,study%20researcher%20Marianna%20Virtanen%2C%20PhD.
“Young Retail Workers - Avoid Overworking.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 21 May 2018, www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/retail/motion.html.
Rampton, John. “How Work Life Balance Can Keep Your Employees Happy and Your Business Healthy.” Inc.com, Inc., 29 Feb. 2016, www.inc.com/john-rampton/how-work-life-balance-can-keep-your-employees-happy-and-your-business-healthy.html.
“If You Neglect to Recharge a Battery, It Dies. And If You Run Full Speed Ahead without Stopping for Water, You Lose Momentum to Finish the Race.” Oprah Winfrey: If You Neglect to Recharge a Battery, It Dies. And If You Run Full Speed Ahead without Stopping for Water, You Lose Momentum to Finish the Race., www.quotes.net/quote/19154.
Elizabeth Scott, MS. “The Importance of Hobbies for Stress Relief.” Verywell Mind, 14 Sept. 2020, www.verywellmind.com/the-importance-of-hobbies-for-stress-relief-3144574.