Work life balance? What about just (physical) balance?

I’m struggling to figure out how to keep myself sufficiently active these days. I have a new, intellectually stimulating job that I’m generally really happy with. But it’s working from home, and although you just can’t beat the commute, I find myself far less active than I was in my previous university administration job.

I can’t say I actually miss the 5 flights of stairs I walked up each morning going into work, but I kind of do miss the energy of rushing myself out the door and up to my office for the start of the day.

I get that I have the power within me to go for a start-of-day walk to get me going, but oh my gosh, when I’m learning a WHOLE bunch of stuff for an intense job, I really have been wanting to take advantage of that extra time in my day for sleep or just getting to my desk early.


Last month I wrote asking for suggestions for how to keep active while working from home and I got some great advice – thanks! It boiled down to self-discipline though in some ways.

That is an ongoing challenge for me, in terms of exercise (see: Wait, I Like Exercising?)  However, I also am thinking I need to give myself a little space here. I have been at my new job 6 weeks now, and although it’s awesome it’s A LOT. I am back in a career (claims adjusting) I haven’t done in almost 20 years, and I am handling complex commercial losses that are far outside of the kind of work I did previously. Honestly, it’s cool. But it’s also intellectually demanding.

A woman wearing shorts and a tank top resting her head on a pillow on a couch, while laying with a dog
How I feel after a long day reading policies and claims

Maybe I just need to let my brain be my exercise for a month or so? I don’t think that I want a sedentary lifestyle long term, but perhaps it’s ok for a short term? I have been taking time in the day to meditate pretty often. I need it.

I will say, I also have continued to go to weekly yoga at my former workplace. I even got my own yoga mat (thanks colleagues who loaned me theirs!). Even though it’s only once a week, it’s made a HUGE difference to my comfort in my hips. Ideally I would like to be doing that twice a week, but the course teacher only teaches once a week.

At least, though, the yoga helps with my hips and my physical balance. I just walk so few steps in a day…

Of course the other thing that is stealing all the free time I might have had for aquafit and dog walking is my KIDS. It is the end of the year music season for them, and as high school kids they have had SO MANY activities to be driven to and from, and also witnessed. My husband and I share that work, but ultimately it’s really interrupted any sense of rhythm I can develop in my new life.

So that’s me this month: not super active and feeling concerned about needing more balance. Your advice last month was great! How have you worked through crunch times in your life?

One thought on “Work life balance? What about just (physical) balance?

  1. So I have thoughts but they might not work for you. YMMV as they say. For me, it helps me to know that I have more energy for mental work when I’m physically active. Without movement in my day, I’m more tired, not less. Learning that about myself was a big change. So even in my busiest work times I make room for physical activity. It doesn’t need to be a lot. An evening walk after it’s all done. Or set out on a walk to think about a specific thing you’re working on. Sometimes when I was working from home I set a timer and did mini bursts of activity throughout the day. But what’s key is that activity gave me energy. It is a different way to think about balancing. Movement puts gas in the tank. It’s not a net loss of time and energy.

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