“Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress: Working hard for something we love is called passion.”
― Simon Sinek
As educators, we are always looking for ways to create balance in our lives with the amount of work we put into our positions and the amount of ‘living’ we do outside of school. I wish I could say I have a magic formula and solution to this quandary, but I amel human, and honestly, there is no perfect formula for work/life balance. I have two children, a partner, and I work full time. I have my days and weeks (and months) where I barely know what is up and what is down. But, as I get older and wiser, I am realizing that the daily grind and sacrifices that I have allowed work to take over in my life is a problem. And I have begun to re-invent the way I look at my career, happiness, and health.
Simon Sinek eloquently speaks about stress versus passion, I have decided that I am passionate about my own health. When I am healthy, everything around me seems to flow with more clarity and I tend to make fewer mistakes. Even on days where there are crises, I am able to clearly look at the problems and come up with quick and effective solutions. When I do not take care of myself, my job starts to feel more difficult and grueling and I am not the best mother and partner that I can be.
Forbes shared an article about top tips in work-balance, many of which I grasped when seeing that my happiness level in my job was decreasing and my effectiveness and positivity at home was plummeting (https://www.forbes.com/sites/deborahlee/2014/10/20/6-tips-for-better-work-life-balance/#7f35c11729ff). I decided that no one else was going to change something in my life to make it better. My school was not going to give up many of the initiatives or expectations that they have. My family was not going to start doing everything for me to make me feel better. I had to be the one to change, and the first thing I did was make me and my health a priority.
I used to exercise when I could fit into my schedule or at times that I preferred, such as mornings. When I had a friend continuously ask me to take a walk with her or take laps in the pool together after school, I often said “No, that is not a good time for me to workout, I like to workout before school.” Many mornings, I did not want to get up to workout and I was missing the opportunity to have someone to workout with. So, instead, I started to say “Yes.” She began asking me to join her for hikes and I said “Yes.” When we begin to say yes to healthy things that help us connect, good things start to happen.
Seeing the positive results from prioritizing health, I began to set new goals for myself. I put mindfulness and yoga into my weekly schedule. I picked up a few new hobbies or activities such as pottery and glass cutting. These activities are a positive outlet for my stress and keep me grounded to always remember the things that are important to me.
I must say, I am more positive, feel healthier, and I enjoy my job more because of these changes. I still work some long hours and have some stressful periods of time, but I more clear-headed and have more to look forward to when I am not at work.
Check out the following articles to help you on your journey to finding more health and happiness in life:
8 Ways to Improve Your Work-Life Balance Today:
6 Tips For Better Work-Life Balance:
Grappling with Work-Life Balance: