The Importance of Work-Life Balance

Whenever I sit down to write a blog post, I always struggle with the endless pelvic health topics I want educate my readers about. If you’ve read any of my latest blog posts, you may find it difficult to find one that discusses something other than the pelvic floor. But this week was different. This week, pelvic-floor-health wasn’t the first thing on my mind. Instead, it was work-life-balance.

 

Why? As you may already know, there has been some changes happening in our space in the past few weeks. Some highs, some lows and some things still undetermined. And through it all, whatever is thrown our way, I look at Melanie and always think “I am so lucky to work for her.” Scratch that. “I am so lucky to work with her”. When Melanie is not putting out fires (which I’m realizing is a big part of her role as an entrepreneur), she is finding time to exercise, meditate, spend time at her cottage, be a present mom to two little rascals, check-in with her employees AND see a full caseload of patients. Superwoman, am I right?

 

But seriously, what a great example she sets for her employees. Now, I don’t feel bad to take some time off for self-care and in the year and a half I’ve been at Body Co., I’ve never felt an ounce of job burn-out.


Unfortunately, many millennials don’t have that same experience in their workplace. With the harsh student loan debts and the steep real estate costs, workers today are finding themselves working long hours, resulting in less down-time, sleep, healthy eating habits and exercise.

 

If you know me, you know I love talking about the effects of stress. And if you know me, you also know that I am not always the coolest, calmest and most composed. Stress affects everyone daily, but knowing the effects of chronic stress can help people understand the importance of self-care. Long-term stress leads to physical consequences, including digestive issues, chronic pain, mental health issues, pelvic floor troubles (I couldn’t resist) and burnout.

 

Workers today are looking less at the free coffee and bean bag chairs offered at their workplace and more about working for a company that supports their “lifestyle”. Work-life balance means something different for everyone, but if an employee feels like their personal life is not compromised by their work hours, duties and deadlines, their performance will be exponentially boosted. 

 

For me, Body Co. feels like my second home instead of my workplace. This is why I can provide the utmost care for my patients without feeling like I’m there for a paycheque.

 

Since September means back to work (and back to school) for many people it might be time to assess what balance looks like for you. Whether you’re an employer, employee, entrepreneur or stay-at-home-mom, I hope you can remember to prioritize your self-care as much as you do your career. 

 

Below are six ways you can start to achieve a healthy work-life balance:

 

  1. Determine your set work hours: use your work hours efficiently and be ready to clock-out at the end of your day. If you work for yourself, try to allocate a certain number of work hours/day, in which you do work and nothing else, even if it’s in your home office. That way, you may not feel like you’re always “bringing your work home with you”.
  2. Make your workspace work for you: Whether it’s decorating it with pictures of your loved ones or trying out new coffee spots to work from, try to make your space personalized and comfortable. This simple change will give you more excitement to head into work.
  3. Make time for daily exercise: Motion is lotion. Make time to get your body moving, especially if you sit for majority of your day. A simple lunchtime walk can help clear your mind and prepare you for your afternoon tasks. If you can, try to get outdoors for your exercise; our stress levels are at our lowest when we reunite with nature.
  4. Unplug when you’re not at work: That e-mail that comes in at 9pm can wait until the next day. Be present in what you’re doing at the moment. Submersing yourself in your leisure activities outside of work will make you more prepared to head into the office the next day.
  5. Schedule social, family and “me” time: Just like you schedule meetings, clients and deadlines, make it a priority to schedule time with yourself and your loved ones. Whether this means a date night with your partner once/week, attending your child’s soccer practice or vegging out in front of Netflix with a glass of wine and a face mask on, schedule it INTO your calendar and don’t allow yourself to postpone it.
  6. End every night with self-reflection: Five-minutes of deep breathing, a quick journal entry or re-visiting your To-Do list for the next day can help us wrap-up our day and prepare us for the next day. Reflect on what went well in your day and your goals for the next day. Checking items off your to-do list can give you that feeling of accomplishment you’ve been searching for all week.

SANDRA GHALY

Pelvic Floor & Paediatric Physiotherapist

Sandra graduated from Dalhousie University with a Masters degree in Physiotherapy after completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology degree with honours from McMaster University. She has worked with a variety of clientele but has developed a true passion in working with both the paediatric and women’s health populations. Sandra has extensive experience assessing and treating a variety of paediatric conditions and most recently has become certified as a pelvic health physiotherapist. She also has additional training in acupuncture and kinesiotaping. Sandra finds great value in guiding each individual through a tailored rehabilitation program to optimize their function and quality of life. In her free time, Sandra enjoys yoga, pilates, traveling and spending time with family and friends.

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