Balancing work & life
Work-life balance is important. It helps reduce stress and prevent burnout. Chronic stress is one of the most common health issues in the world today. It affects mental health and wellbeing, and could lead to a range of physical conditions, including indigestion, aches and pains, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes and more. The impact of stress on mental health can be significant because it increases the risk of depression, anxiety and insomnia. High levels of stress over prolonged periods of time could lead to burnout.
But work-life balance means different things to different people. What does it mean to you?
It always used to be closely associated with what we do for a living – how and where we work, and how hard. However, both scientific and anecdotal evidence suggests that it’s also strongly linked to where we live.
With more and more people moving to cities, this is a reality that many city planners are taking seriously. It’s given rise to new thinking about urban and inner-city living and a widening trend of new building and construction projects going the way of mixed-use developments. The thinking is that living and working in such environments improves quality of life and makes it easier to maintain balance.
Living and working in a mixed-use precinct makes it possible to cut down on the daily commute and time spent in traffic. The results can be significant. Less stress and frustration, more free time, cost savings in terms of either public transport or vehicle maintenance and fuel, etc. It’s also easier to counter a sedentary lifestyle because mixed-use developments are designed to be walkable so that it’s easy to get from A to B on foot.
These trends are also evident in South Africa, where respected property developers like the Amdec Group are not only building big new mixed-use developments like R15 billion Harbour Arch in Cape Town, but also growing their existing portfolio by adding to their expansive Melrose Arch development in Johannesburg. Harbour Arch will take modern city living to new heights in Cape Town. Not only will it include residential apartments, but also a range of restaurants, two hotels, and large public areas with beautiful mountain views, where residents and fellow Capetonians can get together to enjoy the best of the Mother City.
Apart from time, work-life balance is also about priorities. If you manage to prioritise your health and happiness, your life could improve exponentially. This includes everything from creating a safe and comfortable home environment, to personal and professional growth, knowing what’s going on in the world at large, and remaining socially connected.
Mixed-use precincts facilitate many of these. They’re safe and secure, people are more likely to run into each other and therefore get to know one another. It’s easier to remain socially connected because of the many lifestyle options on offer – coffee shops, bars and restaurants, areas of greenery, good connectivity, and more. These are certainly not the only places where a healthy modern lifestyle can be enjoyed, but it certainly makes it easier to achieve.