Have You Found Your Balance in Life? A Look at Occupational Wellness

As a woman who has her hand in many pots, I often find myself searching for balance in life. I have a 20 plus year career as an Educator along with owning two businesses, being a wife and a mother, and now a writer. I also love to socialize with my friends and explore new experiences. I put my all into everything that I do, being fully committed,  and maintaining the love for my work. The only problem is that I  tend to get mentally overwhelmed with staying vested in my work and engaged in my personal life. So I seek to find a happy balance between the two. 

One way to have balance in your life is to improve your occupational wellness. So what exactly is occupational wellness? Occupational Wellness is one of the 7 areas of wellness that addresses the importance of doing meaningful work that fits your learning style and provides you with personal satisfaction. According to Iowa State University, It is being able to make use of your strengths in a career that will add purpose and enrichment to your life. Along with that, It is also being able to have a balance between work and leisure to promote a healthy personal life. 

There is nothing more satisfying than doing what you love in life and making a career of it. Unfortunately, not everyone has had this luxury. That does not mean that it will never happen. It may require a little soul searching and a few sacrifices along the way, but all things are possible. The goal is to find a sense of purpose and productivity with your chosen occupation. One that works toward your personal goals and compels you to have a positive approach to not only the work but the environment and the people that you work with.  Your attitude toward your work paves the way to your success. 

The one aspect that stands out most for me is attaining that healthy balance between work and leisure. I love the things that I do. I feel a sense of accomplishment within my career as well as with my endeavors. I also feel that I have a healthy social life and understand the importance of maintaining it. However, there are times when the two worlds collide and cause me to stress out. One of the main ways I handle this is by creating boundaries and sticking to them.  

The number one rule for me is when work is over, work is over. Everything has a time and place in my busy schedule. This requires being proactive so that I don’t get behind in my work, leaving me with no choice but to work outside of those boundaries.  Relaxing at home with the family should be just that. Not constantly thinking about the stress of my workload. Inevitably that would cause me to either fall out of love with my work or leave my family and friends feeling neglected. Either option is no good. Being able to manage your time for work, family, social, and yourself is essential for a healthy balance of work and leisure.

According to Washington State University, there are several ways to promote your occupational wellness. They are to stay motivated in working toward what you want by increasing your knowledge and skills to reach your occupational goals. You should also seek the positives in your current work, create connections with your coworkers, and enjoy what you do (and do what you enjoy). Create short and long term attainable goals along with a plan to execute them. Finally, reach out to a career counselor to help you with your plans.

The overall goal is to achieve and maintain wellness. Occupational wellness is just one area but it is intricate in making you a well-rounded individual. As the saying goes balance is making choices and enjoying those choices. This applies to your occupational choices as well. Assuring that you have strived for occupational wellness and being able to create that healthy balance between work and leisure will ultimately help you to achieve and maintain your goal for overall wellness. 

Kortney R. Garwood
Wife, Mother, Educator, Entrepreneur, Writer and EXTRA Phenomenal....Woman I Am!

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