Healthy “Balance”: It’s Not Such a Scary Word


Elizabeth Scala, also known as “Coach Scala”, will be our guest on RN.FM Radio on Monday, January 7th, 2013–our first guest for the New Year. The following is a blog post submitted by Coach Scala, and we’re thrilled to have her contribution to the RN.FM Radio community. Please pay a visit to Elizabeth’s website, Living Sublime Wellness, and tune in to RN.FM Radio on January 7th for an inspirational conversation with this talented, skilled and compassionate nurse coach.

And now for Coach Scala:

As I sit down to write my blog post for the RN.FM Radio blog, I feel a flashing sense of overwhelm. “What do I write about?” This is my one shining moment to present my best to the RN.FM Radio community. And knowing that it is a strong, robust community filled with many, many highly respected and professionally known nurses, I want to share useful information. But there are just so many topics to cover…so many aspects of health and wellness that I could write about. “How do I choose just one?”

Well then I think to myself, “I don’t.” I don’t have to pick just ONE topic. It isn’t necessary for me to write to one aspect of our well-being. I can be creative, have some fun with it, and do what I love to do best… balance it all! This brings me to the title of this post- on how healthy balance doesn’t have to be such a scary phrase.

Many times, when I start speaking or writing about “balance” I receive push back. “There is no such thing as perfect balance.” OR “Balance freaks me out… it makes me stressed to even hear the word.” OR “Nurses will run from you when you try to teach them about balance; it is an unrealistic concept in our busy, busy lives.” You know what… I get it. This past week I have had a LOT going on in my own little life here in Maryland… a LOT.

And even though I have been somewhat stressed, maybe a little worried, and even a bit tense, I am brought back to my own teachings, lessons, and trainings that I now share with nurses from around the globe. The one thing about balance, at least to me, is–it does NOT have to be perfect. And yes, maybe there is no such thing as totally balancing it all.

But the following is what I think and what I believe which is how I maintain my own health and wellness along the way. Balance is recognizing, being aware, and making healthy choices. Balance is about doing a little bit of most things. Balance means living life in moderation. Let me share some more specific examples here so that you get more of an idea of what I am talking about.

• At various points of our nursing careers (various points of our lives, really) different things will be more important to us at different times. Maybe we are going back to school for our PhD so right now we cannot work as much overtime. Or maybe we are taking on more responsibility at our job so we cannot make dinner every single night for our families. In this case, as we shift, evolve, and grow through life we are living in a constant state of balance. At one time or another one thing may take precedence while at other times that very same thing receives less attention.

• Health is a constant state of balance. Our bodies strive for equilibrium in their various biological tasks. So too does our well-being. We may focus more on nutrition one year while another year we get heavy into learning about meditation. We may be training for a marathon one season, but decide to take up Yoga during another as we give our bodies a break from the physical pounding of tracking our miles. We don’t need to do it all at once all of the time. Sometimes rest is more important. Sometimes mental health. Sometimes physical fitness. We balance our well-being as we cycle through the various stages of our lives.

• Our work must be in balance. Rather than always taking more on and trying to do it all ourselves, we can place the giving-receiving relationships into balance. Sometimes we may say “yes” and help a co-worker in need, but at other times we must be comfortable accepting the assistance that is offered to us. To decrease our own chances of stress and overwhelm we must see that it is ok, even necessary, to ask for and receive help from time-to-time. We can help other people but we must also allow ourselves to receive help for our own needs.

I believe that this “balance” is possible for every single nurse. All it takes is some time, practice, and dedication. Listening to ourselves, being aware of our needs, and having the desire to rejuvenate our lives…we can do anything we put our minds to!

–By Elizabeth Scala, aka “Coach Scala”

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