Work Life Integration – Not Balance: Anesthesia Burnout – Part 4 of 4

Stop driving yourself crazy trying to attain the illusive notion of life balance. Like perfection, it simply doesn’t exist.
Anesthesia Physician Burnout

Who wants to go through life feeling like a balancing act – someone on a tightrope trying to navigate between two endpoints? It feels scary, unpredictable.

What’s the challenge?

It’s common to worry about home things at work and work things at home. Or, we feel guilty if we’re not worrying about work things at home and home things at work. It’s a no-win situation we build for ourselves. We feel torn. This leaves us unable to be fully present impacting our performance, our relationships, and our wellbeing. The idea of work-life balance perpetuates the notion that we can somehow split our time in equal measures between the two.

Stop driving yourself crazy trying to attain the illusive notion of life balance. Like perfection, it simply doesn’t exist.

Can you be at peace at certain moments and for periods of time in your life? Certainly. But, be honest, in each day, how often are you feeling like you have it all in balance – relationships, finances, career, friends, family, fun, healthy eating, being physically active?

Most of the clients I work with – surgeons, nurses, social workers, healthcare executives – juggle so much. It’s often hard to take a full day, never mind a complete weekend, off. I’ve noticed recently that on days I have scheduled off to recover and re-energize, when work things have come up, I felt I was compromising my value of self-care. I realize when I take that kind of perspective, I create conflict for myself.

What’s my solution?

I focus on integration. If coaching calls or business tasks need to be handled ‘after hours’, I now see them as something I choose to integrate into my down time. Instead of a weekend day being a whole day off doing personal things, I allow slices of it here and there for completing what needs to be done to keep programs going, clients supported, and business growing. After all, my chosen profession is a part of me, who I am, and what I love to do.

According to Dr. Dan Siegel, clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, “…dysfunction is connected with impaired integration, wellbeing is associated with integration.”

So, don’t balance…integrate…and see what changes for you when you take away the stress of trying to achieve the unattainable.

Author: Tambre Leighn MA, PCC, CWDS
Tambre is a behavior change expert, certified professional coach, and healthcare disruptor specializing in patient adherence and healthcare provider wellbeing. With nearly a decade of experience coaching, training, and speaking about wellbeing and the integration of coaching and behavior change into the healthcare system, she understands the critical role stress plays in performance, engagement, adherence, and wellbeing. You can read more about her at Ready for change at your organization? Email to learn more about her programs, fees and availability.

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