Posted by: BeneFIT Corporate Wellness
Date: August 7, 2019
Sixty-six percent of full-time employees say they don’t strongly believe they have a work-life balance. The result? In the workplace, 60 percent experienced poor morale, 36 reported poor productivity, and 41 percent said there was high turnover and burnout/fatigue.*
How do American workers begin to address these concerning statistics? How do people succeed in making more time for themselves for the sake of their health? Kristin Behler, MPH, MCHES®, Director of Health and Wellness at BeneFIT Corporate Wellness, offers her own story on prioritizing “you” amid life’s many challenges.
“I am a working mom with two small boys ages 1 and 4. When I returned to work from my second maternity leave I was worried. Worried about whether I could do it all. I have an older child that started having seizures 2.5 months earlier, an ill father who has since passed away, a career that deserves my full attention, a home that needs maintaining, a husband that works well into the night, and the list goes on and on. While these were my challenges, everyone has them and may find them overwhelming at some point, as I did. Thankfully, time management is a skill that I have worked hard at sharpening since my freshman year in college. I knew I needed to prioritize my to-do-list in order to keep all the areas of my life under control.
I am lucky to have a wonderful work team. They made my transition back to my job much easier and while I was doing well at work, I was barely keeping my head above water. I would show up in the morning focused and ready to tackle the day, but would run out of steam by 2 p.m. I was tired. Yes, from lack of sleep, but mostly because I was losing myself. Every day was about doing for others. I was taking care of my family, my work, my clients, and my home, and it was overwhelming. So, I decided to reach out to my health coach. I told my coach I wanted more energy so that I could get all the things done on my priority list. Time for myself was not anywhere on the list.
As a self-proclaimed time-management guru, I had time-managed myself right off of the page. I worked with my health coach to set goals to include time for me. “Me time” now consists of at least 150 minutes a week going for a walk, a run, or to the gym. I also took a closer look at my priority list, with emphasis on the items that brought me joy. I circled those items. I had circled laundry, which technically should only be a half circle. I find joy in having all of the laundry clean, folded, and put away, but the task of doing all the said laundry does not bring me joy. I began to take a closer look at my priority list and worked over time to add in additional items that I find joyful.
I’m sharing my story because I often read about “balancing one’s life” and “putting yourself first.” These are important concepts, but it can be difficult to achieve if not impossible. I see life less of a balancing act and more as an ever-changing, growing and shrinking pie chart: the section devoted to you may sometimes be smaller, but it always has to be in the picture.
Today, nearly one year later, I still talk with my health coach monthly. I continue to set goals around me time and now focus on other areas of my wellness. I am finding time to obtain a new certification, eating more whole food, plant based dishes and creating fun family experiences that bring us all together. I am not perfect and I do not have it all figured out, but having a coach to work with on this journey called life is an absolute benefit. If you have access to coaching, use it! It is an invaluable resource.”
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