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How do you maintain a good work/study/social balance?

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Old 12th February 2019, 1:54 PM   #1
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How do you maintain a good work/study/social balance?

Hi there,

If you have read my recent post, you will know I have recently been off work with vertigo- brought on by a variety of home and work stresses. And I am trying to come up with a few good balance strategies to get back in to the swing of things.

As an FYI- I'm returning to work tomorrow (pharmacist in a hospital working on busy wards) and I have spoken with my GP about it all and various stresses etc. I've been referred to a wellbeing program but they are busy and I have to wait 3 weeks for my initial assessment to see what services they think I need. I am feeling positive about it- my BF used the same service a few years ago and was referred to CBT which has really helped him.

So things I need to balance include working stress, ensuring I take my full lunch breaks and not staying over time at work too much. I'm starting a new job in the same place in a few weeks which I think I will find more rewarding. 4 days a week on wards and 1 day desk based working on creating an education and training program.

I need to also restart a clinical diploma which will take up likely 3 evenings a week or a full day of my weekend. I put it on hold during family sickness and bereavement- but with my new job- work are pressuring me to get it done.

I also want to balance the time I spend with my BF- we see each other probably 4-5 times a week and will move in together in the summer. He also has a lot of work to do in his evenings (he's a teacher so marking and lesson planning). Currently we are both pretty comfortable with just cooking dinner at home together, each doing some work for a few hours at different tables and then tv or boardgames before bed.

I'm a bit limited for friends in the area- a lot of my friends moved away over the last 2 years. I have one friend I see for a catch up every 6 weeks or so? She's doing an intense work/training program so is really busy. I do something with my work colleagues probably monthly.

I'd like to fit in more exercise too- especially as the weather gets warmer. Maybe running along the beach.

So questions are:-

1. How do you plan your time to maintain a good balance?
2. Any key strategies you can recommend?
3. Having read my list of things to balance- do you have any suggestions?

Thanks for your time
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Old 12th February 2019, 5:00 PM   #2
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Try to take breaks during the day, at least once in the morning & once in the afternoon for 10-15 minutes.

Eat lunch slowly & not at your desk / work station.


Get some sunshine on your face every day that it's available.

Get plenty of sleep

Eat well.

Spend time with friends

Do silly stuff like watch videos of puppies or kittens or read jokes on line to brighten your mood even if you only have 5 minutes to spare for this.

Learn to say no.
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Old 12th February 2019, 6:19 PM   #3
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How do you maintain a good work/study/social balance?

By being pro active and scheduling regular time off. You don't need to be a martyr. Enjoy your life more and set aside time for more fun and me-time.
This above all: To thine own self be true
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Old 13th February 2019, 3:17 PM   #4
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Keep some awareness on your inner body. During your day, notice the energy field. Then notice your breath.

Have a beautiful day my friend.
Our purpose in life is to help others; if we canít help them at least donít hurt them.
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Old 14th February 2019, 5:34 PM   #5
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I just read an article about how multitasking actually slows us down. When you are at work (if possible), carve out designated time for responding to emails, texts, and phone calls (rather than allowing them to continually interrupt your flow at work.) Try to work on one project/task at a time to completion rather than stopping and restarting many tasks at the same time. (I can only imagine as a pharmacist, you already have to practice some of these to stay focused when dealing with something as important as dispensing medications!)

Try some form of meditation - even in the form of sitting at your desk - or in a quiet place away from the fray, closing your eyes, and clearing all thoughts for 5 minutes. There are plenty of website with 3-5 minute desk meditations. They really do work for me when I am starting to feel overwhelmed at work.
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Old 16th February 2019, 11:50 AM   #6
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Thanks for your responses- I actually have a purely clinical role- so I don't dispense medications. There are technicians that deal with the practical things!

My day is full of interruptions, I have to go and speak with all the new patients on my ward to find out their drug history, clinically review every drug chart, checking doses, blood results to ensure doses are appropriate, interactions of medications, reviewing medicines for discharge- advising drs of discrepancies. All while being constantly bleeped with queries, nurses interrupting me asking to order meds or asking what they can crush or an appropriate diluent for IV meds. Drs asking for prescribing help or dose calculations or appropriate choices of next therapy.
Plus keeping an ear open at all times to stop stupid things from happening- like the palliative care team started a patient on a medication that is unavailable in community and were planning on discharging this patient to a care home immediately- I had to step in on that yesterday. Etc etc. And you always want to do the best for your patients- all while under the time pressure of patients being discharged and checking things are ready and just managing work load.

This week- I took a few 5 min breaks by walking to the pharmacy to take down order requests rather than the pneumatic tube and refilling my water bottle etc.

I was kind of dumped in at the deep end when I got back though and told I start my new job on Monday-with staffing levels at 50%...

I plan to speak with my new manager about maintaining my well being when I start.

Plus my new job has 1 day a week of desk work now which I think will help!

I'm oncall now for the next week- so I can't really relax when I finish work incase I get bleeped with queries to go back in. So I'm trying to make the most of the day time of the weekend!
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Old 16th February 2019, 1:04 PM   #7
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If you figure it out, please let me know.

Like you, I have a very busy job, and Iím trying to find time to spend with my boyfriend, my family, my friends... if my house gets cleaned, or I have an hour to exercise, or I have some time to myself... it is a bonus.

I find there are times when I have to just pull back and say no. Iíd like to see you tonight, but I need a night at home. Itís not easy though.
If they love you, you will know. If they don't, you will wonder all the time if they do...
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