It is a common problem these days…even amongst those that should know better…work life balance!! Although my work is incredibly meaningful and personally fulfilling it is also demanding of me in terms of time, travel, study, research and emotional energy. Many people in the caring professions…from doctors to teachers….can suffer professional burnout. This is a syndrome that may be characterized by emotional exhaustion (loss of enthusiasm for work) which is something I never want to experience as I love what I do. I am also aware that those that work long hours have a 20% higher mortality rate and women especially who do not make enough time for themselves are more likely to suffer with depression. Obviously I do not want to work so hard that I risk my emotional or physical well being but I can see that it would be an easy path to find myself on if I made certain choices.
Now this has been an educational year in many ways for me. I have faced physical vulnerability after my spinal operation. I have also lost a few friends this year and this has helped me to face the fact that I have often prioritized my work and my yoga over the important people in my life. I have made the common assumption that I am young and healthy with loads of time to do more fun stuff at a later date or when I have completed my latest challenge. However I have a tendency to then create a new challenge which then gets priority over my me time. Events in recent months have reminded me that we never know how long we have our health for and that we should enjoy today, not wait for tomorrow.
So to that extent I am proud to say that I have made some important decisions to make more time for me. I have re evaluated my life and my priorities and remembered that there is more to life than yoga!!
In recent months I have been looking at property to rent as a yoga studio. After realizing that all the available spaces have potential issues such as parking problems or cold floors I have decided not to move in that direction yet. I also had to admit to myself that opening a yoga studio would not be good for my work life balance and that it would involve doing exactly what I had promised myself I would not do this year…focusing more on work than on me!
So instead I am choosing to stay hiring halls and even teaching one less evening (admittedly more due to big rental increases more than choice but it is still a move in the right direction). I have chosen to see this as a positive move towards more me time rather than a decision that was forced upon me by circumstance!
So I am sorry if I am not offering as many classes over the next few months, but please know the classes I am teaching will be more balanced, happier and more fun as I focus on quality rather than quantity!!