The idea women can achieve a work-life balance is nothing new, even before Covid-19 turned our world upside down. Can we really do it all? Be a strong, successful career woman, a supportive partner, have 2.5 kids, and a house with a white picket fence?
Is the idea of a work-life balance even attainable? So often, we find ourselves stuck in a tug-o-war between our professional obligations and family obligations.
In honor of International Women's Day, we sat down with Amy Michaels Koberling, PA-C, to get her input on how she stays healthy and productive while balancing a successful medical career and a happy home.
What does work life-balance mean to you?
To me, work-life balance is the feeling of alignment. You know the feeling you have when you wake up each morning and are just as happy to head to work as your are to head home at the end of your day? This feeling is definitely a luxury. I’m lucky to do what I love every single day.
I go to work and treat my patients while counseling them on skin care, then I come home and educate about skin care on social media before winding down with my husband. I can truly say this is my passion and I never feel like I’m truly “working”, but this can lend itself to overdoing it sometimes.
Because I love what I do, I never want to “shut it off”. So, I’ve had to set real boundaries both for my sake and for my family. I think taking time to disconnect and focus solely on time together is key. When I make it a point to do this, I give my friends and family the attention they deserve and come out of it refreshed and ready to get back work.
What tips for women to balance their personal life and professional life?
1. Take time for yourself. As women we are always bending over backwards for everyone else but not prioritizing ourselves. For me this means taking time to exercise and prioritize my health.
My mental wellbeing is directly correlated to my physical wellness. When I don’t prioritize movement and a healthful diet, my emotions suffer the consequences.
2.Know your priorities both personally and professionally. We simply can’t do it all. For any high-achieving individual, I believe there must be a priority list. Do your priorities lie in making it to every soccer game?
Are they starting your own business so your children have a nest egg to rely on when they’re older? Are you okay with moving date night with your boyfriend to put in work at the office? I ask these things because I truly believe there is no wrong answer.
As long as you are content and happy with your priorities, I believe we can find the most balanced life. Remember that a happy and fulfilled wife/ friend/ sister/ mom is the best one. Prioritize what makes you feel like your best self so you can show up for your loved ones when it matters.
3. Don’t be so hard on yourself. We are not our achievements. Some seasons of life we will excel in our productivity and career, others will be more about family life, and others will simply be to relax and recharge.
However your days, weeks, months look, remember that it’s what you need at that time. Leave the stress and guilt at the door. You’re doing your best!