This magic pill called work life balance
It is no secret that the life of a practice owner or that of a therapist can be at times a roller coaster ride. Pressured to learn at lightning speed, make decisions on a daily basis, often regarding the health and goal attainment of others as well as our own. Working hours can be long and sometimes we just yearn for a more rounded work-life balance.
But what is it? What is the magic work-life balance? What is the magic pill for burnout?
There is no one definition of what work-life balance is, however, experts equate it to happiness or satisfaction with oneself, work, and personal life. The term itself falsely implies a 50-50 balance between two parts of life disregarding personal preferences of various individuals and discounting other elements. Work-life balance is not a set-in-stone division of work and personal life, but rather each individuals’ formula for happiness.
Searching for the right formula is a challenging goal that with some help and thought, is attainable. It all starts with defining who you are, what you love and what adjustments you need to make you feel more accomplished, and …..less guilty.
Balance is not better time management, but better boundary management. Balance means making choices and enjoying those choices - Betsy Jacobson
Choices are reflections of who we are and what we stand for. The decision to become a healthcare professional is worth praise by itself. It is characteristic of people who are compassionate, intelligent, and patient.
Self-Awareness is key:
It is important to realise that every therapist is different. As is every administration support worker in the healthcare system. A married therapist with two kids who looks forward to going home after work is no less driven or responsible, he or she just needs some family time to feel complete. So, to begin changing your lifestyle for the better, start with defining yourself and what truly matters to you.
What you can do: Practice Self-Awareness
Try to assess honestly what you need and what you want out of life in general, not just career and relationships. Do you need time to exercise? Do you want time to be involved in projects outside of work? Do you plan a family day every week? Or is it a promotion at work that you are working hard to achieve? Remember: everyone is different. Your goals are unique and do not have to align with your colleagues.
“If there’s a physician who feels completely happy working 12 hours and is communicating with his family, and the family is fine with him staying at work for 12 hours, that might be a work-life balance definition that works for him,” says Iris Grimm, an Atlanta-based life coach for doctors. We can take this and apply it to our own allied health therapy-based work situation. We need to find the definition that works for us and our loved ones.