In today's fast-paced lifestyle - with many juggling careers, family and busy social life -it can be difficult to strike a balance between work and play.
In today's fast-paced lifestyle - with many juggling careers, family and busy social life - it can be difficult to strike a balance between work and play.

Trying to keep up with deadlines, bumper-to-bumper meetings and schedules, is not only demanding, but will no doubt have have an impact on the body and mind.

And mental health experts warn that a failure to balance have a healthy balance between work and personal live is not only stressful, but it can lead to mental health disorders such as depression and even suicide.  

Research by the World Health Organisation (WHO) shows that close to 800 000 people commit suicide due to depression every year. Statistics show that suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people between the ages of 15 - 29.

Tyrone Edgar, a Joburg-based clinical psychologist says the more balance there is in ones life the better are the health outcomes.

He said South Africa had been ranked as the world’s second most stressed country - with family, work, and finances generally regarded as top stress triggers.

Edgar said most burnouts were as a result of accumulated stress that has not been attended to.

“While most people can handle stress, and can manage it well if they deal with it once in a while, but once it's continuous they can easily burnout," he said.

He recommends that people who are prone to stress, particularly the at work, to adopt a good SEED - which is an acronym for socialising, exercise, education, and diet. 

Work-related stress is the response people may have when presented with work demands and pressures that don't match their knowledge and ability to cope.

“Stress occurs in a wide range of work circumstances, but often it worsens when employees feel they have little support from their managers and colleagues, and less control over work processes.”

“Pressure is perceived as acceptable many, and may even keep workers alert, and motivated, but when that pressure becomes excessive or unmanageable it leads to stress. Stress can damage an employees' health and the business performance.”

Tony de Gouveia, a clinical psychologist at Akeso Clinic Alberton said with the rise of social media, celebrity culture, family expectations, and the drive to always win - many ran the risk of suffering from depression and anxiety due to continued pressure to succeed. 

“When we fail in a particular project or event, this invariably affects our sense of self-esteem. As a result, we tend to perceive ourselves as failures, rather than limiting the feeling of failure to a specific disappointment in our lives. Over time this can develop into depression and anxiety."

De Gouveia said 'perfectionists' and people with high expectations of themselves were more likely to be stressed.

"The main issue in experiencing feelings of failure is the sense that we have not met or lived up to expectations –  which then bothers us to the point of disturbing our mental state and our sense of balance," he said.

South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) says when stress does occur, it is important to recognise and deal with it. The group suggests sharing your stress with others.

"It helps to talk to someone about your concerns or worries. Perhaps a friend, family member, or counsellor can help you see your problem in a different light. 

"If you feel your problem is serious, you might seek help from a professional psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker, or other mental health professional," said Sadag.

Other ways to manage stress is to learn to accept life situations instead of fighting them off, and self-care such as resting and eating well.