The traditional notion of work-life balance suggests we distribute our time and energy evenly between our work and personal life.
Striving for this type of balance sets us up for constant struggle.
The pursuit often leaves us feeling like we’re falling short in one area or another.
That’s why I stopped trying to balance it all and embraced integration instead.
A New Era: Work-Life Integration
Work-Life Integration is about blending the personal and professional into a unified whole.
This approach recognizes that the skills, experiences, and satisfaction from one area can influence and enhance the other.
If your current situation doesn’t allow for this approach, it should be obvious where adjustments need to be made to create alignment.
Examples of adjustments are:
Starting a Business
Starting a New Hobby
Adopting Healthy Habits
Intentionally Having Fun
Initially, my situation didn’t allow for integration.
I was in a low paying customer service job and at that time flexible work arrangements were uncommon.
So, I decided to research to find a solution….
Case Study: How I Harmonized My Life
Approaching my 29th birthday, I realized that I was living a life dictated by someone else’s dreams.
My ex-husband’s vision of a large family overshadowed my dreams of a career as a psychologist, author and speaker who traveled the world.
As the years passed, deep resentment, depression, and hopelessness set in.
I knew for my children’s sakes, I had to do something or else they would have a shell of a mother.
I couldn’t let that happen because they deserved the best version of me.
With careful planning, I ended the marriage.
This move not only marked a change in my relationship status and residence, but a shift away from the shadows of my past into a future of my own making.
There were ups and downs along the way, but I transformed my career from a customer service representative to a well-paid instructional designer which afforded me the flexibility I needed as a single mom.
Fast-forward to 2021, I wasn’t paying attention to the toll that my transition into single parenting plus the pandemic was taking on me.
In my determination to excel, I embraced workaholism.
The endless cycle of striving for perfection and overworking severely affected my health mentally and physically.
I started to notice that I didn’t enjoy things like I used to.
I felt exhausted all the time and had a looming sense of emptiness.
Then all of a sudden I was coming down with colds more frequently, when I don’t usually get sick.
Next thing I know, I was in the hospital for 3 days.
I learned that the accumulated stress, lack of sleep and unresolved trauma caused severe burnout.
Before that incident, I didn’t know much about burnout.
During my recovery, I promised myself and my children that I would do things differently.
I felt ashamed for allowing things to get that bad.
Now I see it as a necessary catalyst for me to slow down to take care of myself.
Taking time to recover allowed me to tune into my body, embrace mindfulness, and break free from the guilt I associated with rest.
I shifted most of my focus away from external achievements to internal peace and well-being.
With a new commitment to self-care and holistic wellbeing, I began sharing what I was learning with friends and family members.
It seemed to resonate.
I decided to channel all my experiences and everything I was learning into Harmonize Your Life, my signature method for living based on work-life integration concepts.
I use this method to guide me in:
How I prioritize tasks,
What type of work I do,
The type of people I allow in my space and
How I allocate time, energy and resources.
As I used it, I started seeing changes in my confidence.
My stress was significantly reduced and I started sleeping better than I had in my entire life!
Things this good are meant to be shared.
I want to empower others to thrive in their personal and professional lives, as I am learning to do.
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