So, what’s work life balance all about, anyway?
What’s work life balance?
Work-life balance is the idea that healthy individuals should set boundaries on work so they can live a full life. It’s about making time for activities outside of work, like families, hobbies, and other pursuits. It’s about managing stress and feeling renewed. Supposedly, employers who help their employees balance activities in and out of work have happier, healthier, more productive workers and even save money.
Without balance, we might feel stressed, like we can never catch up, or get burned out.
So, is it achievable?
Sometimes I feel like balance has a bad reputation.
I’ve heard so many people say they don’t believe in balance. And in many ways, I understand how they feel!
But I see balance differently. What’s work life balance to me? As a former gymnast, balance is a verb that I associated with motion, movement, and fluidity. It meant constantly returning to center. Constantly finding my balance. Constantly improvising and adjusting to stay centered and grounded.
That is what balance is to me.
It’s not a perfect, still, 100% forever position or a 50/50 split of time. It’s knowing that some seasons require different skills and parts of you and time allocations.
Knowing that you can keep things fluid and moving and constantly finding what feels most balanced to me IS balance. At least I think so!
What’s work life balance look like to speech therapists?
How can we, as busy SLPs, stay centered and grounded?
First of all, you need to know what your center is.
What are the things in your life that are most important? Seriously, write them down or say them out loud.
Don’t write down the things that you think should be most important. Don’t worry about what other people might think about your priorities. This is a personal question that should be answered individually.
Think about all areas of your life, including physical, social, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and occupational. Think about the people you want to surround yourself with.
Now that you have a list of the most important things to you, evaluate your list. Is there anything on that list that is just not realistic at this season of your life? Like international travel during travel restrictions, living in an airstream just after you bought a new house. That sort of thing. It’s ok to table things that are important to you when it’s just not the right time.
Once you have a list of things you can and want to focus on right now, review them often. Are you feeling out of balance? What can you do to readjust? Is there a small habit you can incorporate into your life that might grow and lead into better balance?
If you need to return to your center, make sure you know what your center is!
I hope that you’re able to continually recenter and find your version of balance throughout your school year!