Are you running on fumes and waiting for someone, something or the perfect time to change? The truth is nothing and no one in the whole world can give you work-life balance except yourself, it is your personal responsibility to identify your motivation and create the daily fuel to start making changes.
Balance = Two Forces
The most elusive state for today’s high performing professional is one of balance. Everybody wants it, but very few actually have it. This is partially because experts make work-life balance too complicated and idealistic for chronically stressed, sleep-deprived, sugared, and seated professionals when it can be simply assessed, coached, and managed using an ancient Chinese philosophy.
Yin (Energy-In) and yang (Energy-Out) describes how opposite or contrary forces are actually complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the personal/professional world and how they give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another.
Balance Begins with Yin
Take a moment to think about which characteristics on the Yin and Yang lists are most representative of your current work-life. 9 out of 10 of my executive wellness clients are yang dominant. Now that you know the yang characteristics of dry, warming, faster, day and fire; do you really think it’s just a coincidence that the most common term for imbalanced work-life is ‘burnout’?
Since the vast majority of today’s workforce is yang dominated, my saying is ‘balance begins with-yin.' Balance is assessed, motivated and managed internally as mentioned above by bringing more yin (Energy-In) elements into one’s personal and professional life.
Cooling– Most professionals are overly dry in their brain and body from being chronically dehydrated and eating processed foods. Add wet to create balance through:
• Consuming fresh fruits, vegetables & quality-sourced meats with high water concentrations
• Taking 3 to 6 minute cold showers
• Drinking least 2 liters of filtered water per day
Slower – Our minds and bodies have the pedal to the metal all day and night to accomplish everything on our to-do lists and schedules. This creates faster rhythms like heart beat and breathing rate, slow down throughout the day with:
• Controlled breathing, 5 second inhalations and exhalations
• Eating mindfully
• Take 5 to 10 minute workday pit stops
Night – With the invention of the light bulb we have light (day) 24/7, which we fill with work reducing our rest, relaxation and sleep. Here are steps to increase the night in your life:
• Dim your lights down starting at 9pm
• Minimize screen time one hour before bed
• Inch your bedtime closer to 10:30 at 15-minute increments.
Nature – The human being is intimately connected to nature (sun, moon, seasons, food, animals, and plants), but now we live in boxes, eat from boxes, commute in boxes and work in boxes. Bust out of the box and back into nature while lowering stress hormones with:
• Get at least 10 minutes of direct sunshine
• Walk, bike, and hike out in the forest
• Add plants to your home and workplace
Silence – We are slammed with audio stimulus from our phones, computers, iPods, cars, neighbors, children, televisions, and even our own mind’s chatter! These noises have to be processed by the brain which prevents calmness, focus and being with oneself. Here are some ways of silencing the noise:
• Eliminate background music and television
• Turn your phone and computer notification off or on vibrate
• Workout without music
Put Into Practice: Listen & Act
By using the yin-yang model, you have a work-life self-assessment, daily management tool, and specific actions that can bring you into more balance.
When listened to, respected and acted upon we can most easily achieve a state of homeostasis. When we are centered in a place of homeostasis we are much more resilient to the unpredictable stresses and events of our work-life.
Be sure to stop by any of my Wellness Zone sessions at AFP 2018 for some simple techniques to improve your work-life balance. See you in Chicago!
Infinity Wellness Partners