One piece of advice that is often included in VT wisdom is: learn how to leave your work at work, don’t bring your work home.

Cell phone2Modern Life

However, this does not reflect the reality of anyone these days. Especially not anyone in a managerial position. Now our work and personal lives intertwine. We may be on call or provide back up in emergencies. We often work on projects at home. We can access our files and information from any where. We can always be reached. And our work interests us. Our minds are often engaged in solving a work problem, creating a new service, figuring out how to help a certain client more effectively.

How Can We Care for Ourselves and Each Other within this Reality?

It is important that we acknowledge and grapple with this current reality, rather than pretend that there could or even should be a clear and simple dividing line between work and life. Let’s try to figure out this more complex question: how do we honor and protect all parts of our selves within this system?

Staying Energized within our Current Realities

1. The first step is to acknowledge the reality. Leaving work at work is not the goal for many of us.

2. Consider your own unique self. What is energizing for you? How would you like this balance to be in your life? For some, it might be carving out certain time periods to step away from work. For others, it might be a mindfulness practice that increases one’s skills at staying in the moment.

3. Identify activities and connections that are essential to your own happiness and be watchful that these are not neglected. Maybe it includes thinking about what kind of work you do best at home, and scheduling time for that.

It is also important to look at the at-work part of the equation.

1. Are there projects (such as concentrated writing) that are best done at home, and can you stay home during the work day?

2. Can you adopt a Seize-the-Moment philosophy and actually leave when there is nothing urgent pressing?

3. Can you incorporate flexibility during work hours to accomplish home chores?

4. Develop an awareness of what is creative thinking and what is obsessing. What are your techniques for ending obsessing, whether it be about work or home problems?

5. Can agencies support and endorse this kind of flexibility in return for the heroic efforts they expect from their workers?

And cultivate the opportunities for weaving the best of yourself and your greatest joy into both work and home.

Woodland-path1. Do you love nature? Can you figure out a perplexing work problem while walking in the woods? Or can you decide to put work aside and closely observe the woods as you walk?

2. Do you create music? How can you bring that into your work place?

3. Did you learn a new skill at work? Would it help with your own kids?

4. Does seeing the kids you treat heal inspire you? How can you utilize that inspiration in your own struggles?

Let’s continue this conversation about how we can stay sane, hopeful and energetic within our real work- life intertwining. Please share your thoughts by clicking “comment” below.

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