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Balancing Work with a Personal Life

            Adults tend to struggle to balance all the aspects of their lives in a healthy way. Over the past several decades, American culture has evolved so that work has taken on a more dominant role. Many workers spend more time in their work life--instead of more enjoyable recreational activities--becoming "workaholics" or someone "who is always working, [or] thinking about work" ("Workaholic"). Often, workaholics have high levels of anxiety. Anxiety is "an abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marked by physiological signs ([such] as sweating, tension, and increased pulse), by doubt concerning with reality and nature of the threat, and by self-doubt about one's capacity to cope with it" ("Anxiety"). They also have higher levels of stress, a "state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances" ("Stress"). .
             This struggle to maintain equilibrium highlights employees' difficulties in balancing the different parts of their lives. When confronted with an overwhelming amount of work, many workers choose to sacrifice their health--and so sacrifice the other roles they play in life--in favor of completing projects on time. In American workplaces, "men today report working 100 more hours a year than in 1976, and for women it's 200-plus more hours" ("Quality vs. quantity in work, life" 1).
             Further, workaholism has increased over the past four decades, leading to health consequences. Workaholics are estimated to leave "439 million vacation days every year (an aggregate total of 1.2 million years), [while] more than a third of American workers take [less] than seven vacation days a year. ("Quality vs. quantity in work, life" 1). "Longer working hours are.known to be negatively related to employees' mental health" (Ryu, 1).

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