It is Spring Equinox - How Balanced Are You?
by Rachel Dungan
Equinox is a time of balance between day and night, light and dark, hibernation and growth. It is a time of transition. Is this summer your time to stop hibernating in your old patterns of behaviour that keep you stuck and choose to grow into the life you want? For healthcare professionals, when faced with work-life balance challenges, we can be powerful role models within our communities. There is no more compelling healthcare message than a HEALTH care professional, walking the talk.
Each day we make choices that influence the pace and quality of life, and many of these are unconscious. While it’s a good thing we don’t have to think about every little choice we make, when it comes to creating a balance between our work-related activities and the rest-of-our-life activities, we do need to make more conscious choices. Otherwise, we can find ourselves living with the unpleasant effect of our choices that can leave us feeling overwhelmed, out of control, or unhealthy.
Better work-life balance, is high on the priority list for many healthcare professionals. It comes down to the choices we make. Every hour of every day. To slow down … or to speed up. To take time to smell the flowers … or not. It’s about making conscious choices with an awareness of what’s needed or wanted at the time.
If finding balance is a priority for your right now, how about taking some time over the Easter Break to reflect on the following questions and write down the answers. Your answers will help you to identify what moves you towards and away from your work-life balance and help you decide what you can do differently in Q2 to achieve your goal.
1. What does work-life balance mean TO YOU?
2. How do you rate your satisfaction with each area of your life? Notice the areas that you rate highly and those that you do not, right now.
3. What are the consequences of work-life imbalance for you?
4. What are the consequences of improving your work-life balance for you?
5. What does the research say about the consequences of work-life balance/imbalance?
6. What positively influences your ability to find work-life balance?
7. What are the factors that distract you from maintaining your work-life balance?
8. What can you do right now to minimise the negative influences on your work-life balance and maximise the positive influences?
What is within your control to do right now may be a radical overhaul, a small tweak or it may simply be choosing to take three slow, deep conscious breaths and smiling before walking in your front door and greeting your family.
For you, achieving work-life balance may be simplifying your life and deciding what to stop doing. It may be deciding to switch off your phone from 6-7pm each evening. Exploring job share options? Choosing to say "NO" to some things that are less important so you can say "YES" to something more important to you?
For some of you, achieving work-life balance may involve adding some spice to your life. Perhaps learning a new skill or reviving an old one? Travelling somewhere new? Making new friends? Joining a new club? Signing up for a night class?
For still others of you, it may involve amending the way you engage with your current routine. It may include modifying what and when you eat, creating a structured framework for staying in contact with friends and family, planning your holiday breaks and travel in your diary as a FIRST priority. You may choose to work with a Coach as your personal growth ally ... the choices are endless.
The important thing is that you reflect on the status quo, you consciously choose what you are willing and able to do to change right now, you decide to change it, you commit to your plan and you consistently do an action towards achieving your goal of work-life balance.
As you persist (adhere to your plan of action), you will find yourself overcoming your initial resistance to change, and living with the increasingly pleasant effect of your choices which result in more conscious control, improved health, less overwhelm and more work-life balance. You may even find yourself coming to a new appreciation of some of the factors that influence your patients' adherence to their treatment plan, as you adhere to your work-life balance plan!
Is this summer your time to stop hibernating in your old patterns of behaviour that keep you stuck and choose to grow into the life you want? If so, welcome Summer Time 2016 with renewed vigour, purpose and balance!
To find out more about how 'The Coach Approach' could support you to achieve more balance contact Rachel at Rachel@racheldungan.com