Been pondering a lot this week about work / life balance…is there really a balance? Personally I think aiming for balance is a challenge, particularly when you are juggling children / family demands, so the “balance” can get tipped at any point. So personally I think creating harmony is what I try to aim for…I think that’s more achievable, what do you think?
At the festival of female entrepreneurs’ conference last month, I heard one of the wellbeing speakers discuss finding a work / life blend rather than balance…I like this…nowadays “normal working hours” are not really the norm, flexible working hours, working from home, working around school hours is much more common. I personally have always run my business around family life, one of my priorities has always been to drop off and pick up from school, so I choose to do some catching up in the evening, quite often emails and writing my blog.
So how do we create this harmony? And what is does harmony really mean? For me, harmony is about being at one with your circumstances, as well as a feeling a sense of fulfilment and happiness. But what does it mean for you?
My week has been completely turned upside down this week, as my daughter has been ill, poor thing, she really hasn’t been well at all…to the point where she could early speak and move, and had 4 days off school. (FYI she’s better now :)). What was really interesting to was the impact on my own emotions, thoughts and energy. First of all I felt enormously grateful to be able to drop everything and be able to be here to care for her. My daily journal is literally for of grateful thoughts for having the choice to be at home, I do feel really lucky that I have a business with so much flexibility. Not sure if a corporate role would allow me that much flexibility without feeling really pressured to return. So hugely grateful for that.
But I also learnt that not getting out of the house for 3 whole days…my daughter needed me right there all the time….so I didn’t get to go to all of my crazy fitness classes, run, walk the dog, or get much fresh air. The impact on my energy levels was really apparent, I felt really sluggish and even more exhausted because I was doing so much less, just confirms what I share with my clients all the time about how important exercise is for so many reasons but to increase energy and enable you to achieve more. On top of that, I noticed my mindset started to be affected too. Because I was so focused on my daughters’ needs I had totally put my own needs aside, rightly so, her needs were a priority over mine. But what it showed me that fulfilling my needs is so important for my mindset, energy and general wellbeing. And I share this because that is exactly the work I do with Mums, helping them think about themselves so that they are fulfilled and are able to care for the family. So I know that going through this week was a lesson for me, and a way to really help me develop my teaching to help others. What is essential is making sure our own cup is filled for our vitality, we need to nourish and nurture ourselves, and I just want to point out here this is not selfish. Society makes us think it is, and as women there is this pressure to be the caregivers and do it all, but if we don’t keep our cup full we cannot truly care for others. If our cup is empty then this is when we could potentially reach burnout, I am hearing this a lot from people right now, where the “blend” is all wrong. In my next workshop on the 29th November I will be discussing tips to avoid overwhelm, burnout and how to take care of you, there are a few spaces left so hop on over if you want to book.
So carrying on with week, by Wednesday I was so tired, I got really teary, and felt really flat, at this point I really just wanted to see my daughter feeling well, she was totally out of sorts still. I really feel for parents who have children with long term illnesses, cannot imagine how they must feel, that’s one of the reasons I chose Children with Cancer UK as my Marathon charity, love the support they give to families with very sick children. Anyway, my fabulous husband could see I needed a break so on Thursday I got to fill my cup, woohoo! I’d won a place on the Easy
Peasy sales course, run by Alison Edgar, The Entrepreneur’s godmother, so I was so thrilled to go still! I cannot tell you how much that lifted my energy, and helped fill my cup. It was so fantastic to learn so many incredible sales tips to help me in my business, as well as truly understand people’s behaviours and how to communicate to them, it was also great to spend the day in Bristol (I really love it there) and met some fabulous business owners too. I secretly think my favourite “me time” days are learning and growing with positive people. Oh and if you’re in business yourself, I highly recommend the course.
So my cup is filling back up and it brings me back to beginning about getting the right blend in our lives…just make sure you make time for you to do what you need to maintain a healthy state of mind and body. Need help with that? Join me on the 29th, we have a lovely group of Mums coming, more details here.
Thanks as always for reading, it means so much to me.
The only thing that is missing on this page is your voice, so do share you thoughts and experiences. And if you think someone could benefit from this blog too, please do share with them. 🙂
What is Claire up to for the next couple of weeks?
23rd November 2016 – 10am-12pm – Ladies who Latte Marlborough – St Peter’s cafe, Marlborough, I’m speaking about my work, so do pop along if you are free!
29th November 2016 – 9.30am-2.30pm – There are still a few spaces available for my one day workshop for Mums ‘Saying Yes to you’. So excited about this workshop, it’s going to be such a great day. And Woodspeen Manor (inbetween Hungerford and Newbury) is gorgeous, great place to relax and learn, and not forgetting my guest speaker, top coach, Chris Kenney. There’ll be a healthy lunch too. Register for an early bird ticket now!
30th November – 9am-5pm – Maximise women’s business conference in Cheltenham, want to come too? I can introduce you, reply to me here.
I have a place in the London Marathon 2017 to help raise money for a fantastic charity, Children with Cancer UK – the work they do is truly inspirational and so valuable in helping children with cancer. You can take a look at the work they do here. And if you’d like to sponsor me, I would be so grateful, here’s the link. I start training next week (6 months before the race) so any donations will definitely keep me motivated through the winter months. xx