Work-life balance is concerned with how each aspect of your week is prioritized and managed for not only well-being, but also the enrichment of both your work and play time. A good work-life balance can provide a range of mental health benefits, including greater satisfaction with quality of life, lower levels of stress and physical improvements, such as better energy levels and longer life expectancy. Here are 4 tips to help you achieve and maintain harmony between your work life and your home life:

Integrate, don’t try to balance

The term balance suggests an equal, 50/50 split. Substituting the word “integration” for “balance” is likely to be a more realistic goal. When you integrate something, you blend two things to make a new whole with no expectation of complete balance. Some days favour life and other days your work will get the lion’s share of your attention. As long as the ebb and flow is reasonable and acceptable, you can maintain your happiness and health.

It is OK to say 'no'

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the amount you have to do in one or even both areas of your life, think very carefully before saying 'yes' to anything else. If you are someone who agrees to do tasks or take on responsibilities only to regret it later, learning that it is OK to say 'no' (without guilt) sometimes could prove invaluable. Saying no is not a sign of weakness to recognize when you simply can't do something.

Guard your boundaries

Using an integrated calendar to record both work and home activities allows you to prioritize time to exercise, important events to attend with children, hobby time or even that hour on Sunday evening to prepare for the upcoming workweek.

Having this time visible to you (and others) helps makes certain that important time for family, work and community is guarded.

Get off the grid

Try switching off phones and electronic devices during family mealtimes or bedtimes so your loved ones don't feel that your mind is really elsewhere. That way, you won't be tempted to check that email when you hear your phone sound during dinner or homework help time.

Remember: we work to live, not the other way around. So don't forget to eat, sleep and exercise!

If you don't think you are balancing your work and personal lives as well as you could, make a commitment to yourself to start putting number one (yes, you!) first a little more. It may be one of the best decisions you ever make.