Today, the idea of work-life balance appears more nuanced, mainly because finding this balance can sometimes create the very stress it’s meant to alleviate. A recent survey conducted by Harris Poll reports that 67 percent of U.S. millennials, who now represent America’s largest workforce, find “managing personal and professional life” their most prevalent challenge.
As you begin your long career in massage therapy, here are three great ways to achieve this sometimes complicated goal:
1. Ditch the idea of balancing work against life. Wendy Perrotti, president of Live Big, a professional training and coaching firm, finds the mobile a “beautiful” image. “The work-life balance scale visually implies that when you’re working, you’re not living, and when you’re living, it can’t be part of work,” she says. “That’s a potentially stressful contradiction. Someone who loves their job may feel most alive at work. For this person, a happy, meaningful life doesn’t compete with work—it’s part of life. So like a mobile, each part complements the other parts and only together can they create equilibrium.”
2. Set boundaries. “You can’t have every burner on high all the time. It creates absolute chaos!” Perrotti stresses. “If you’re like most people, chaos pushes your focus over to what you forgot to do yesterday or what has to happen tomorrow, and you miss out on everything happening in the present moment.”
3. Be flexible. One of the keys to setting boundaries in life is knowing when to let go. “I don’t care how carefully you package your life. Things happen and priorities shift,” says Susan Fignar, president of Pur*sue, Inc., a Chicago-based relationship management consulting firm. For instance, if you’re not feeling well, then your physical health has to have top priority. If you’re in a continuing education course and your classmates want to continue a great debate after class over coffee, it’s OK to skip the gym and focus on your intellectual health. “Taking care of yourself means respecting priority shifts. You have to go with the flow,” Fignar adds.
Read the full article and learn more work/life balance tips in the Fall issue of Massage Therapy Journal.