Work Life Balance Myths Busted
Work life balance...a mythical concept talked about by all, dreamed about by some, and achieved only by few?!?! Stick around for the debunking.
The first of three myths to de-myth-ify is that work life balance doesn’t exist. But it totally does. I subscribe to the notion that work life balance is an active lifestyle choice requiring proper maintenance. Meaning, it’s not a destination at which you would arrive. Neither is it a one-size-fits all mentality.
What works for you, may not work for me. But, sis, we can both have great results. Brought to us by a healthy mix of support systems, routines, priorities, and boundaries. Looking back to the times where I had more stress and strain in my life, at least one of the above elements were either missing or out of sync.
Number 2 is that only one type of schedule allows for work life balance. But the truth is that in my nearly 15 years of nursing, I’ve seen nurses and NPs on dayshift, nightshift, inpatient, outpatient, from the OR to the cath lab and the step-down unit and outpatient cardiac rehab optimize their schedules to fit their lives. And that’s what it’s all about...having a job that fits your life, not the other way around.
It’s tempting as a new grad NP to apply for every job under the sun, accept the first thing that’s offered to you under the guise that the market is oversaturated and you have to take whatever you can get. Sound familiar?
But wait, there’s more! You accept the offer knowing you’re going to be seeing more patients than what’s reasonable for any human provider, with minimal support, virtually no resources, for a meager salary and wonder why burnout creeps up within three months of your start date.
I get it, there’s a learning curve and an adjustment period, I’ve lived it. But why not set yourself up for success from the start? Pursue partnerships that align with your goals.
And last but not least is the idea that work life balance is an endpoint or destination. Let’s revisit the statement made earlier. The one that says work life balance is a choice, an action, and a lifestyle. Landing that job that you love doesn’t guarantee a well-balanced life. You still have to manage routines, schedules, relationships, and everything else that happens in a 24-hr period. Like anything worth having, there’s continuous work involved. The youthful glowing skin, mental health and clarity, financial security, that herb garden in full bloom I’m envious of (just me?!--ok) all have noticeable decline without intentional maintenance. So...choose, do, and live balance.
What are other myths about work life balance?