Wellness Wednesday: Work/Life Balance?

There is much written about “work/life balance” (https://www.coursera.org/articles/work-life-balance) which has morphed into “work/life integration,” also known as “work, life, school, family, social life, self-care” — stuff that’s not really balanced at all. Here’s the thing — there’s more to do, be, or think about than is likely to occur in the 168 hours we have per week.  

Do the chart, plan the patooties of how you’ll spend your time. And then laugh at the ludicrousness of having any plan at all. Especially if your life is linked to any other creature — human, canine, feline or reptile. It just doesn’t go according to plan. Period. But, before you throw up your hands (and count that as two exercise minutes), consider that if you do not plan, none of it will fit.

Build a daily schedule of what is critical for your daily wellness balance. What makes you your best you? I did say “critical.” The difference between “nice” and “necessary.”  For me, if I don’t get outside or get some exercise, I am unpleasant to be around (same is true for my dogs), and my productivity has nary a creative nanosecond.  

Here are a few simple ways to integrate a focus on wellness, balance/integration and happiness:

A.  Use this calendar for some ideas https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/images/uploads/GGSC_Happiness_Calendar_January_2023.pdf

Look at January 25th – Connect with your surroundings with your five senses.  This can take 5 minutes.  Easy.  Centering.  Useful.

  1. Sound: For a few breaths, pay attention to the sounds around you. Notice where they are in space.
  2. Touch: Put one hand on top of the other. Notice the sensations you feel in your hand as your fingers’ knuckles touch the other, like temperature and texture.. Shift your attention to your cheeks, noticing temperature and the feel of the air.
  3. Taste: Now, pay attention to the taste you are experiencing on your tongue. There may be no taste or the taste of saliva.
  4. Smell: Move your focus to the smell around you as you take a breath. See how many odors you can identify.
  5. Sight: Finally, focus your gaze on a point eight inches in front of you for a few seconds and see what colors, forms, light, and shadow you notice there.   (Source: Greater Good Science Center; https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/podcasts/item/happiness_break_finding_presence_five_senses_meditation)

B.   Talk about the idea of work/life etc. with a friend, partner or colleague. How do they manage their time and priorities? What tricks work for them to stay balanced?

C.   Think of your ideal day. What is included? Why? What would/could you give up? What is essential? How can you take the “fun” stuff and get a little bit of that every single day? Every other day?    

Have an idea for some wellness topic to include in the Commuter?  Write me; hoogesl@linnbenton.edu

Image by storyset on Freepik

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