Balancing Work and Well-being: A Guide for Men

Men should work, or at least that’s what society has been pushing since the male species first went out hunting. People often expect men to be strong, provide for their families, and work hard. Unfortunately, what people expect of men can lead to stress, which is bad for their overall well-being.

Think about Vincent van Gogh, a guy who spent his whole life making beautiful art. He made lots of unique paintings, but at what cost? His commitment to work, no matter how inspiring and passionate, affected his mental health. Why? Well, because he could not master work-life balance.

And many modern men are like Van Gogh, focusing so profoundly on earning without seeing what it does to their well-being.

Changing people’s thinking takes time and resilience. But changing your perspective is much easier, which is why more men are recognizing the importance of work-life balance.

They are making time for their hobbies, wives, families, exercise, and mental health. It makes all the difference in living a happier and healthier life.

So where do these men start? Does it mean you have to quit your job and travel the world?

Don’t turn in the resignation yet. Instead, explore the following guide. It provides strategies for balancing work and well-being as a man looking to be healthier and happier in 2024.

The Consequences of No Balance

The story of Van Gogh is tragic, but it could be nothing compared to what men may go through when they do not find time for their well-being.

Possible outcomes vary from having a bad sleeping schedule to your wife leaving with the kids on a random Tuesday.

It is concerning to think that this could happen to you. But to understand the importance of giving attention to your mental health and social life, explore the consequences of imbalance.


There is this myth that an employee who remains productive and never cracks under pressure is the best kind of employee. Employers love to pass this as ‘being the perfect employee.’ This pressure tends to fall on men, too, as ripples of societal expectations. But it is just a myth!

Being overburdened does not make you a stronger employee for the company’s reputation. It makes you burnt out. Burnout is being physically and mentally exhausted. You will notice that you feel tired all the time. And the job you once enjoyed now feels like a trap.

Your frequent headaches are not because you don’t drink coffee. And the stomach upsets are not because you consume too much coffee. You are just tired, and that makes processes such as eating and sleeping less enjoyable.

Physical Illnesses

Consider the standard work day. You wake up, have breakfast, go to work, spend hours there, return home, have dinner, and are back in bed. It sounds simple, but it hides many aspects contributing to sicknesses.

Science proves that working long hours without breaks harms your heart health. You know the heart, that thing that keeps you moving– yeah, you are doing a lot of damage to it with a daily schedule that gives no room for real rest.

The poor work-life balance often means you will not sleep enough. It’s so bad that the modern man’s sleeping schedule is about 7 hours when in 1910 it was a good 9 hours per night.

So what happens when you dont get enough sleep long-term? It starts with a constant feeling of tiredness and low energy levels. Lack of sleep weakens your immune system, so you take longer to recover from illnesses.

Long-term lack of sleep eventually starts to show in your work. You have trouble concentrating, learning, and making decisions. Your boss will seem more annoying, too. The lack of sleep also affects the hormones, so you will start craving sugary and deep-fried food. This eventually contributes to unhealthy weight gain.

Eventually, they contribute to chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Without proper action, you could be looking at a heart attack or stroke. And these conditions do not always end well.

And finally, sleep deprivation makes the aging process faster, so don’t be surprised if you come across wrinkles and fine lines.

Mental and Emotional Stress

The thing about mental and emotional stress is that it does not give you physical pain. So, it will be harder to notice, which is why most people do not realize they have depression or anxiety until someone else points it out. Mental and emotional stress is almost a given if you fail to balance your work and well-being.

Having no time for fun activities such as hobbies and socializing starts to drain you. You become less happy and less active. You will slowly spend days off at home in bed, doing nothing. There will be a wave of overwhelming sadness that feels like it will never end.

With time, you will notice that tasks you once found effortless are now difficult to achieve. You feel anxious about leaving the house if it’s not for work. Some people even feel anxious about their work, struggling to rest even when out of the office.

When this happens, it is easy to fall into substance abuse to cope with the turmoil. Men are, unfortunately, more likely to have a co-occurring substance abuse disorder. With addiction issues come conflict with family members, which can eventually lead to falling out and divorce. The lack of a support system during these trying times puts men in a vulnerable position where anything can happen.

Strategies for Men to Balance Work and Well-Being


Learn To Value Your Time, Not Just Your Skills

One of the most common mistakes men make is not valuing their time as much as they value their skills. It is a common mistake a lot of office workers make.

Your time is valuable and limited. Therefore, going beyond your usual office hours is taking away the time you have for yourself.

When most of your hours are spent at work, you have less time to rest, socialize, and achieve goals beyond your career. Start to value your time by noting how much you contribute to work and how much goes to other stuff.

Examine what your schedule looks like and work to adjust it. If most of your hours are spent at work, it is time to consider a lifestyle change.

Set Boundaries Between Work And Personal Life

Most people see boundaries as a bad thing. But when it comes to preservice your mental and social life, they are a great thing! Many men take their work home with them– not always a bad thing because it’s good to go the extra mile for your career. However, that mile needs to have an ending.

By separating your work life and social time, you can achieve a better work-life balance. Of course, it’s going to be tough, but you can start with something as simple as sticking to designated work hours.

This means avoiding work calls, emails, and communication outside of work hours.

So what if your boss calls? Communicate these boundaries with your employer and colleagues so you can keep calls to a minimum for emergencies only.

Push For Flexibility At Work

Your mission is to improve work-life balance. And when you work long hours away from your home, it’s time to think of a different approach. If there is anything we learned from the COVID-19 pandemic is that a lot of jobs can be done from home.

Post-COVID showed that employees benefit from balancing, thus the hybrid work setup. It could be a good way to be more flexible and improve your mental health. Being at home more, even when working, can be comforting.

You can work more comfortably if the watchful eye of the boss makes you feel stressed in the office. So, if there is a possibility of getting a remote setup or hybrid working, push for it.


Create a social/hobby schedule and stick to it.

As a man focused on building a good life and career, you probably have a schedule. It may change every other week, but it primarily focuses on things you need to get done.

So, chances are, there is nothing on your schedule to feed alone time or social life.

Without a schedule, it is easy to make your free time work time. But when you have something scheduled, you will be inclined to follow it.

So, take the time to fill your free time with hobbies, personal projects, or social events. Develop the discipline to follow that schedule.

As an added measure, you can set reminders to keep you motivated and prepared.

Feed your mental health with meditation or therapy

For a lot of men, seeking help can be challenging because it goes against everything they have been taught or conditioned to believe. It is why many men avoid therapy or have negative feelings about it.

So, it will take a lot of courage to schedule that trip to the therapist. But it will be worth it!

You could learn more about yourself, understand why you react to things the way you do, and discover ways to deal with mental stress. Therapy is also good if you are showing signs of anxiety or depression.

But of course, you must take that step yourself. Worried? Then, consider feeding your mental health with meditation.

Some men find meditation relaxing, stress relieving, and empowering when done correctly. So, if you are not ready to share with a therapist, consider going at it alone.

Try things outside your comfort zone

Whether you are at work or enjoying personal time, try new things outside of your comfort zone.

Stepping out of your comfort zone means taking on challenges and learning new skills. Continuous learning leads to personal growth, which is always something to aim for.

Facing and fixing challenges also exposes you to different situations and environments, forcing you to adapt to change. This adaptability can be beneficial in reducing stress and learning to deal with anxiety.

Now and Later: A Holistic Approach

Incorporating these strategies into your life can lead to a transformative journey toward achieving work-life harmony.

By valuing your time, setting boundaries, advocating for flexibility, scheduling personal activities, prioritizing mental health, and embracing new challenges, you can build a future that harmonizes professional success with personal well-being. So, make better choices to improve your well-being.

About Author

Waithira Njagi is a seasoned wellness and relationship content writer with nearly a decade of experience. Her passion for helping others navigate the complexities of personal growth and connection shines through in her engaging and insightful writing.
With a knack for distilling complex topics into easily digestible pieces, Waithira's work is geared toward readers seeking guidance and inspiration on their journey to holistic well-being.
When she's not crafting engaging articles, you can find Waithira curled up with a stack of romance novels– always rooting for love to win– or enjoying quality time with her beloved family. Her dedication to spreading love and positivity is evident in everything she creates.

Waithira is here to remind you that life, much like their stories, is a tapestry of connections - to loved ones, and the endless adventures found in books.

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