As professional women, we often find ourselves on the seesaw of life. We balance work, children, our personal life, care for an elderly parent, and in some cases pursue our own educational or entrepreneurial goals.
We all share the same story in that from sunrise to sunset, there is not enough time to accomplish everything on our to-do list. We wear many hats and often have no time for ourselves. And when a hat no longer fits? Why, we will just try harder to make it fit.
However, what happens when we become overwhelmed? Well, the answer is stress. Stress becomes a serious factor. According to the American Heart Association, one in three female adults have some form of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) and research shows that stress can lead to an enormous amount of health issues such as CVD, Hypertension and many other severe illnesses.
Balancing on the seesaw can become extremely taxing. As professional women, it is essential to maintain work-life balance in order to manage it all.
As a professional women myself, I had to "lean back" and assess my own work-life balance. I realized commitments to work, family, and pursuing a doctorate were starting to get a bit overwhelming. I personally needed to reevaluate everything I was doing, everything I was trying to do, and everything that just wasn't getting done. I realized I needed balance.
So, I came across Kathleen Barton's book Passport to Priorities: Your Road Map to Balanced Living. Her book was a much-needed wake-up call. I realized that the key to equilibrium relies on ensuring that my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs are met. Ultimately, I grasped that finding a balance starts within.
As a result, I adopted strategies that work best for me in order to find a balance.
• In order to minimize physical stress, I exercise at least three to four times a week and maintain a healthy diet. After an exercise routine, I feel rejuvenated and composed. Remember, this could be jogging, swimming, gardening or even yoga. Also, food is fuel. It is important to get from sunrise to sunset on a healthy diet filled with fruits, vegetables, grains and protein.
• Since the brain controls the body, it is imperative we always remain sharp. I realized there was nothing wrong with taking time to complete a cross word puzzle or read up on a new study.
• Emotional balance is gained when we do things that are joyous. I personally enjoy spending time with family and friends, as well as crocheting.
• And, lastly a spiritual balance is gained when there is a connection to something meaningful and purposeful.
For all of us professional women who are on the seesaw of life, trying to balance it all, I know the first question that resonates is... where do I find the time to do that?
Well, in order to live a meaningful, sustaining life, the answer is simple... take time. =There is nothing wrong with taking time to focus on you. If work-life balance is not achieved, we as professional women will eventually burn-out.
So, I say all this to say, just like we schedule time to drop off the children, run from meeting to meeting, stay up late to meet project deadlines, and complete weekend errand... .pencil in time for yourself. The key to work-life balance is to focus on you. It can truly be a life-saver.