As a healthcare professional, I’ve never been a fan of the idea of work-life balance. For me, it calls to mind images of wildly swinging scales as we attempt to weight each side perfectly. The implication being that if we don’t magically split our lives into two equal halves, we’re shortchanging others and failing ourselves. This causes unnecessary stress and guilt and affects our mental and physical health.
Work-life balance is an unachievable notion, and it’s time to kick it to the curb.
Bye-Bye Balance, Hello Harmony
What do you think of when you hear the word “harmony”? Does it make you think of an orchestra and how individual notes combine and overlap to create something beautiful? That’s the idea behind work-life harmony – realizing that your work and personal life shouldn’t compete; they should coexist.
One of the things I really love about the concept of work-life harmony is that it is not one size fits all. We all have our own roles, responsibilities, and goals – and these change over time. What a single nurse just starting their career prioritizes might vary from a more seasoned pro with a family. There’s freedom in flexibility.
When you let go of the expectation of “balance”, it’s easier to feel satisfied, present, and optimistic in all areas of your life. Here’s an action plan to help you change your mindset and start moving towards work-life harmony on your own terms.
We’ve been conditioned to think that true happiness lies in achieving a balance between our work and our personal lives – and I know it’s not the easiest notion to step away from. I’m still working on this myself. But work-life harmony allows us to think about our lives differently. We should all strive for thinking less about balancing an imaginary scale and more about creating our own orchestra that is perfectly in tune.