Creating Work-Life Balance During the Holidays

Creating Work-Life Balance During the Holidays Irene S. Roth

Many of us go through an extended period of time without paying much attention to our work-life balance. We are over-worked and undernourished. And that is how we remain without thinking much about it. This is especially the case during the holiday season. There is so much to do. There is no time for anything that may be significant to our health and well-being and to our mental and physical nourishment. Stephen R. Covey spoken about this through an analogy called Sharpening the Saw. For Stephen Covey, sharpening the saw is one of the most important principles of highly successful people. Without sharpening our saw, we cannot be successful, fulfilled, and healthy. The analogy goes as follows: Imagine a woodcutter who has been sawing wood for several days. Over time, the saw he was using dulled because of overuse. Gradually, the saw cutter became less and less efficient and productive. So, the only solution was to stop and sharpen the saw. However, from the woodcutter’s perspective, there was no time to stop and sharpen his saw. He wanted to keep going because he was already behind. Stopping to the woodcutter seemed self-defeating. But was it really? This captures how we feel about self-care during this time of year. How can we carve out time for rest and meditation when there is so much to do? We want everything to be perfect in our lives and for the holidays. We want to make sure that we don’t upset anyone or hurt people’s feelings by not buying that perfect gift or simply taking some time to rest. How can we carve out time for rest and rejuvenation? So, we keep going. And for most of us, by the time Christmas day arrives, we are sick, overwhelmed and some of us are in bed with a bad cold or flu. The moral of this story is that we MUST take time to sharpen our saws. Otherwise, we will not only risk being unproductive but we may even risk our own well-being and health. And we certainly won’t be replenishing our mind and body so that we can be the most productive and self-confident writer. Therefore, sharpening the saw means preserving the greatest asset we have: OURSELVES. It means rejuvenating ourselves physically, emotionally and mentally. So, today, contemplate areas of your life where you could use a recharge and think of ways to sharpen your saw during this holiday season. It may mean taking more time to rest, exercise or meditate. It may mean nourishing your mind through intellectual stimulation with others or enjoying in creative play. Therefore, we must decide what is really important to us during this holiday season. Take the time to replenish and nourish yourself during this holiday. This is because when all is said and done, you are the most important part of your life, and without you, you won’t have life. That is how important you are!