Our European friends across the pond have gotten something right. Besides incredible architecture, fashion, and food …just to name a few… they’ve managed to create a culture that emulates the true meaning of work-life balance. It all stems from a Mediterranean lifestyle.
Ever heard of the Mediterranean diet? It’s a way of eating based on the traditional cuisine of the Mediterranean region. With meals rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, and olive oil, the Mediterranean diet boasts a well-balanced eating plan. When taking a deeper dive and looking at people in European countries who have adopted the Mediterranean diet, something else emerges. All the perks of eating a well-balanced diet bleed through to other aspects of people’s lives. Not only do they eat mindfully, but they exercise regularly, work hard, find time for fun, family, and friends, and carve out time in their day to relax.
It’s no surprise that Americans lack balance in their lives.
Top-level executives in Fortune 500 companies admit that employees are struggling with burnout, stress, and a lack of purpose at work. So what’s causing the disconnect? Think of some of the most well-known American companies. Many of them have created work facilities that have every bell and whistle you could imagine – onsite workout studios, catered-in lunch, dry cleaners, pet daycare, bowling, ping-pong … the list goes on and on.
As amazing as these facilities may be, they are triggering some negative repercussions for employees. Instead of coming to work, getting your job done and leaving, all-inclusive work environments have been known to make employees feel like they can’t leave or disconnect at a reasonable time. Why leave when your dog is with you all day and any food choice imaginable is available (for free) in the kitchen. Need to work out? Don’t worry, just take a quick break and get a workout in.
But how do you balance time away from the office when almost everything you need is already at work?
Whether we like to admit it or not, we need time away to decompress and relax—it’s imperative to our mental wellbeing. The Mediterranean lifestyle carves out time for work and play while encouraging people to live in the moment. It balances high stressors like work deadlines, meetings, and travel with relaxation, time with family, and fun with friends.
Although it seems easier said than done, we could all work on including more balance into our lives. Just like the Mediterranean diet includes all major food groups in a balanced way, we need to balance all aspects of our lives – work, family, fitness, and friends. So give the Mediterranean lifestyle a try. I think you’ll be surprised at how meaningful balance can be for your overall mental wellbeing.
Derek Rundell, is a successful business leader, operator, and serial entrepreneur. Derek has founded, managed and sold businesses in the technology, media and finance industries. He sits on several boards and serves as an advisor/investor to numerous established businesses and startups. Startups are Derek’s real passion, and in addition to building his own portfolio of technology, media and financial ventures, he invests in and mentors startups and entrepreneurs. He is passionate about sharing his knowledge and helping other businesses succeed.