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Monday, August 22, 2011

Work/Life Balance? What the heck does that mean?

I just returned from an awesome 4 day seminar at The Kripalu Yoga Resort that I decided to go to in the middle of a two week "stay-cation."

You see, my trip to Italy to rejuvenate my soul was superseded by the need to replace all the windows in my condo before winter comes again and I was BURNT OUT! Being a burnt out HR person is not a good thing.  It means that you are trying so hard to keep yourself together on a day-to-day basis that you don't take the time to look around you, appreciate the wonderful people that you work with, and live your life in service the way that HR people are inclined to do.  I hope that we all got into this field because we love people and we want the best for them.  But, for me, life had become a very crabby place and I just knew that I had to take some time off to recharge.  So, not able to afford a luxurious vacation in Italy (or any vacation in Italy), I decided to take two weeks off and stay at home.  I have a wonderful pool at my condo complex, I own a blender and a membership with Massage Envy, so I figured that I could re-create a luxurious vacation right here!

With this planned, one of the Senior Executives at work told me about Kripalu.  I checked out the website and found a program that sounded like just the ticket for me - and just like that - I jumped in the car and headed to Massachusetts!

It was wonderful!  And, I realized something.  Work/Life balance doesn't simply mean being able to balance your job, workouts, childcare and relationships.  It also means that you need to take the time to take care of your mind and soul in a non-work-related way ; to get your head in the right place so you can start caring for other people again.

After 3 hours of yoga a day, morning meditation, good food in my body, talking to all sorts of people who had different perspectives on life, and a new book called "Exquisite Love" by William Mahony who led the discussions at my program at Kripalu.  As long as you are comfortable with exploring lessons from other religions that may be different from your own, I highly recommend delving into it.  His lessons were fabulous. I came back feeling full of love and gratitude for everything I have - my home, my pets, my friends, my family and job!  I was reminded of why I love HR as a profession in the first place.

I have another week of stay-cation to go and am going to enjoy that pool and blender, but I have reminded myself that I need to take care of the "soul" side of me in order to be truly great at what I do.  How do you take care of you?


Documama (Kelly Bowers) said...

How do I take care of myself? I'm not an HR professional but, like you, I work in a field that's all about helping people find their balance.

I walk, alot.

I spend time with people who fill me up.

I put a *lot* of importance on a full-nights sleep. In fact, a few years ago I decided I would re-structure my life to make sure I got 8 hours of sleep a night. I also nap whenever possible.

I read and listen to views on reality and religion and faith and Spirit from lots of different perspectives. It has strengthened my own faith life enormously.

I actually engage in and enjoy Facebook to keep me connected to people.

I accept my professional limits and always look for new ways to work.

I disappear with a good book sometimes.

I get massages regularly. :)

I should probably find a pool and blender too now that I think about it!

BigCat said...

I am curious that now, 2 years later, how is your state of mind? For me it seems, once burnout in a career it is difficult for the spark to come back. I would be curious to hear yoru thoughts on this. Glad I came across this post.