When your work and private life get out of balance, you may feel stressed, depressed, or resentful of those who seem to keep placing demands on you that you cannot satisfy. Often the most pressing demands come from within, as you strive for perfection in your practice, household, and relationships. You have worked too hard to develop a successful practice to let yourself burn out. Is achieving true balance a pipe dream, or can you take action to get closer to the life you’ve always dreamed of? You may be surprised by what a few small changes can accomplish for your sense of well-being.
If you’re not eating right, sleeping, or keeping active, you’re setting limits on your own abilities to live and work well. It may seem counter-intuitive to add an extra hour of sleep or daily walk to an already packed schedule, but when you’re healthy and well rested, you’ll work more efficiently and approach daily responsibilities with a more positive outlook. In turn, you’ll feel your stress start to lessen.
It’s important to define your values and arrange your life around how to best live them, rather than defaulting to habit, guilt, or obligation. If being present at your children’s sports activities is a non-negotiable for you, then negotiate in other areas. That may mean ordering grocery delivery, outsourcing housework, or paying a neighborhood kid to mow your lawn. You may even choose to cut your work hours in order to find time to pursue your hobbies and interests. Remember, you have that option! Time is money, but time is worth it if it helps you live the life you’ve envisioned for you and your family.
Although this tip falls under the umbrella of prioritizing and setting goals, it is crucial enough to deserve its own section. As the owner of a private practice, you are undoubtedly visible in your community and want to serve it accordingly. Connecting and volunteering are important, and those activities can bring much needed satisfaction and joy to your busy life. However, you can’t always be the hero, whether that be attending every Chamber of Commerce event, planning every school party, or coaching the soccer team. When you have to say no, do so respectfully but without guilt or apology. A long, happy, and emotionally sustainable career will serve more people than one that quickly burns out.
If you want to rekindle a love for guitar, spend more time in the garden, or keep up with a favorite author, you don’t have to turn the world upside down to do so. Play your favorite song a couple times a day, plant a colorful container to keep on your patio, or take a fifteen-minute break with your favorite book. When you think about making time for yourself while maintaining a practice, resist the abstraction of either/or thinking, which can become overwhelming. Participating in small daily reminders of who you are will keep you grounded without forcing you to choose.« Back to Blog