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Workshop: Life balance strategies for busy women

Posted By Anna Curtis, Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Balancing Acts: Strategies for Busy Women

Moderator: Dr. Barbara McFarland, Psychologist  and Life Balance Expert

Kristen Wood, Senior Consultant, Kalypso
Christy Consler, Vice President, Sustainability, Safeway, Inc.

"You need to value YOU," Barbara McFarland says.

She doesn’t mean in it a selfish way, but points out that you need life balance in order to be effective in other areas of your life.

After Kristen Conslor finished school and hit the workforce, she felt like she could take on the whole world--and probably was expected to, as a single woman with no kids, which some people may think means more work time availability. That was, of course, until she had a breakdown in the airport out of the blue.

"I have three tips from my experience: Don’t fear taking time for yourself. Second, take care of yourself. Go to the spa, read your favorite magazines,” Conslor says. "My third tip is integrating work into your life--when you’re watching a movie with a friend, stay in that moment rather than being on your phone. Focus on your work when it’s work time, and on your personal life when it’s personal time.”

Kristen Wood shares the sentiment, though she’s a married mom. "There are times I have it totally together,” she says. "And then there are times like last night, when my child is on Skype with me, not very happy, asking me where I’m at. Those are the harder times.”

What she does is makes the choice of what is meaningful to her. "My car? Forget it. It’s a disaster,” she laughs. "And I don’t care.”  She also sets a timer and asks herself three times a day--Is this important? It’s this type of tradeoff that keeps her perspectives in alignment.

Below are some keen notes from these women leaders who have been there and back, and have the clarity to share with us all…

* The Four Quadrants of Life Balance

1.) Work resources: Educational opportunities, travel that’s manageable given personal/family life, health benefits, career advancement and challenge, supportive team players, mentorship and regular work hours.

2.) Family resources: Healthy family members, a positive and supportive partner, satisfying social life, financial security.

3.) Personal resources: Have a sense of humor, a spiritual side, optimism, make time for yourself, be physically and nutritionally fit, have space for reflection, know when you’re out of balance, set boundaries and effectively managing emotional health.

4.) Support resources: Have a network of supportive and available friends, good and sufficient child care, adequate financial resources, the ability to ask for support, good household help and a confidante or two.

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