Life’s Juggling Act-Finding Balance

Checks & Balances

As the academic year is coming to a close for some faculty and staff, it is important to take time to reflect on your personal occupational wellness. I found two definitions of occupational wellness that I believe encompass the idea of fulfilling a healthy work life.

UNC Charlotte describes occupational wellness as, “The ability to achieve a balance between work and leisure time, addressing workplace stress and building relationships with co-workers. It focuses on our search for a calling and involves exploring various career options and finding where you fit.”

The University of New Hampshire describes it in a slight variation stating, “Occupational wellness is seeking for and having a career that is interesting, enjoyable, meaningful and contributes to the larger society.”

From these various descriptions, we see that occupational wellness can be viewed in a number of ways. Some call for a job that promotes the well being of others while achieving personal success for someone. It is a motivating, meaningful position that makes one feel happy, interested, and focused. The ability to attain a stability of wellness in the work place and at home is about taking the time to form checks and balances.

Finding a happy medium can be challenging, so it is essential to take time to meditate on what makes you truly happy. This time of year can be taken for an introspective look at your relationships at work, contentment in life, and emotional control of your spiritual, intellectual, and social wellness.

If you are not feeling a balance or are at a loss with what exactly to reflect on, here are some helpful tips or topics to think about. First, as uncomfortable as some of us are with it, communication is the start of every great problem resolution. You must start inwardly and be honest with yourself. Whether you feel unhappy, unloved, or unworthy, being true to you is a main pathway that will lead to telling others. Once you have a handle on the truth, you must confide in someone. A partner, spouse, coworker, boss, close friend, or even a priest is always at your disposal, and they may not realize your trepidations until you voice them.

Other helpful tips include what you can do at home when the workday is over. Do not forget your hobbies amid all the chaos. Read a book, go to a yoga class, and watch that episode of House Hunters. Remembering that there is life outside of work should be a priority. Have a glass of wine with dinner and give yourself a break.

Your occupation is a main part of your life, but it is not the only part. If you are feeling lost or unhappy in it, that is completely normal and something that should and could be worked out. We work our whole lives, but if you do not feel you are fulfilling something for yourself in the process, then now is time to find out how to better your occupational wellness.

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