December 1, 2021
We have been hearing about work-life balance for years. The pandemic has forced many of us to take a hard look at how we are doing.
How the pandemic changed our perspective
For me, initially the pandemic had very little impact. I already work from home. My husband is retired. Our daughters have moved out. We were not faced with suddenly everyone being at home, encroaching on one another’s space, and generally getting on each other’s nerves. In reality, home life did not change.
My business queries immediately fell silent for a two-week period following the shut down of our province on March 16, 2020. However, beginning in April, queries ramped up as clients needed assistance in navigating the new virtual reality of conducting their operations. In other words, my business experienced a positive change.
As weeks passed into months, and the uncertainty of when? or worse if? the pandemic would end, I found my perspective changed on what is important to me. Visits with my parents were reduced to shouting across a driveway from the safety of my car with them on their porch. Video chats with our daughters were the only way to see them in person. I began second-guessing my walking route, changing it to side streets to minimize how many people I would pass. If I did see someone else, we both moved as far apart as possible when passing, including actually crossing to the other side of the road.
Work-life balance is a cycle
According to an article in Harvard Business Review (HBR), work-life balance is a cycle that must evolve as our circumstances change. HBR’s research has shown that the work-life balance cycle involves five steps:
- Pay attention to your emotions
- Consider your alternatives
- Implement changes
The past two years have given us constant evolving change. In short, it has been a world-wide case study if there ever was one!
Adjusting to the next normal
Fortunately, this too shall pass, as they say. We are seeing our way out of full lockdowns. I have been able to hug my daughters and my parents again. I am back on the road with clients conducting business in person. The next normal will never go to back to the old normal. As we adjust, many of us are reflecting on what we have experienced. Certainly, most are finding that returning to a jam-packed work and home life is no longer desirable. That is to say, being stressed, worn thin, burning the candle at both ends, is not a normal anyone wants to be our next way of living.
If you are struggling to work your way through the cycle of work-life balance, consider taking one of my workshops for some tips and tricks. Some to look at are Managing Stress: Self-Care Strategies, Building Resilience, or What’s on Your Plate? For a list of all workshops I offer, visit my website and click on Workshops & Events. Unable to find what you are looking for? Contact me to discuss! I just might be able to develop something for you or point you to another provider.
As we approach the holiday season, I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas. May you be healthy, happy and safe! I look forward to connecting with you again in 2022. ~ Carole