If anyone should have a handle on and be a model of healthy work-life balance, it’s health professionals.
We all know the reality often doesn’t meet this expectation. But the pressure is there to practice what we preach. And this past year has put us all to the test, healthcare pros and entrepreneurs alike.
Between the uncertainty of an evolving pandemic, from shutdown scarcity to crushing workloads, it’s been a grueling year that has undoubtedly taken a toll on everyone.
As a professional caregiver, I need to take care of my own well-being so that I can continue to help my patients while being present and engaged with my family. Maybe some of my personal go-to’s for work-life balance can be of help to you, regardless of your profession.
If you’re a young entrepreneur and you’re reading this, I suspect that you’re just as goal-oriented as I am. But I find that professional goals and aspirations can easily become all-consuming for so many people.
Finding the Balance
So, how do I balance a successful practice, the joys and demands of a young family, and even find time for myself? Read on for some tips below:
Embrace connectivity—everything is connected.
The personal activities that energize you help energize your business growth. Time spent exercising, having fun with your family, enjoying a movie, or simply relaxing is always time well-spent. I set aside two days a week for family time. Maybe you can only set aside one day, or certain blocks of time. That’s okay.
Dismiss the nagging inner voice that tries to guilt-trip you about taking time away from your business. The experiences you have while away from work all serve to energize and inform your approach to your business.
Embrace reflection—whatever form that takes.
It doesn’t have to be daily meditation, though that’s great if that’s what works for you. For me, it’s one day a week that I set aside for a solo excursion, which could be a trip to the beach or to the ski slopes or really anything at all. But it’s time I spend on my own, away from the demands of business and family, which allows me to get grounded and settle back into my own skin, as it were.
Embrace learning—a lifelong pursuit.
You may currently be an expert in your field, know your business and market inside and out, and have a great handle on all the technology that goes into supporting a successful business. But you can’t store all that in cling wrap and expect it to stay fresh.
So, for your own mental and physical health, embrace change and embrace the need for never-ending education. If the past couple years have taught us anything, it’s that our lives, our business, our world can be quickly up-ended in unexpected ways. If you embrace challenges as a problem-solving opportunity, an exciting puzzle, even, brokering those challenges is less likely to break you.
Embrace the aspirational—it’s also connected.
I believe that it’s important for people of all careers to find a way to give back. Though the operative word here is “give,” the paradoxical effect of giving to or being of service to others is that it somehow refuels your own spirit. It’s also a great family ethos and activity to share.
I know all of this is “easier said than done.” But you have the drive to strike out on your own; work/life balance is simply a matter of applying that same drive to make an investment in yourself. Fuel your quest for business growth with the creativity and inspiration that can only come when you’re personally fulfilled.
Dr. Charles Sutera, DMD, FAGD, is a doctor of dental medicine, TMJ specialist, board-certified in moderate dental anesthesiology, and renowned for high profile cosmetic dental reconstructions. He is a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry and is the founder of his dental practice, Aesthetic Smile Reconstruction.
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