“How do you find a work/life balance?” an energetic 20-something student asked. I was giving a short talk to a colleague’s Intro to Kinesiology class at CSUN on career pathways in the fitness industry and higher education. Nearby, my 2-year-old daughter was keeping busy on the classroom floor, emptying my purse and handing out my credit cards and lip balm. A few years ago I would have had some smart quip about mindful awareness or learning how to say no to superfluous activities, but now all I could do was laugh and shake my head and quickly grab the keys out of her hands before she put them in the electrical outlet.
What I think I’m learning is that balance is not an achievable point like getting a degree or crossing a finish line. In Kinesiology we often talk about dynamic balance in movement. The muscles, tendons, and joints have proprioceptors – sensory nerves that tell you where your body is in space. Set these little guys off by leaning a bit too far and your body has a quick reflex to bring you back to your center of gravity. Simple test: stand with your eyes closed and you’ll find yourself start to lean, but your lower leg muscles quickly activate to bring you back. I can stand on one foot for a while, but you better believe my ankle is constantly making small corrections and my core and hips are on fire. This is more what my life is turning out to be: dynamically balancing – working on stability, assessing where I might be starting to lose it, and making small movements back to center.
I am excited to be trying a new “centering” activity with you in the “Finding Balance” campaign this year. Each week we can take a moment to self-assess and learn new strategies and opportunities to find this dynamic balance. If you still want to join, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
All of our other programs – both upcoming and ongoing – can be found here on our calendar: www.glendale.edu/wellness. After spring break we will be starting a new Activity Challenge – where you can earn prizes and have fun with your colleagues getting active. As for me, I know activity is also a great way to find balance.
If you’re not convinced about joining the Activity Challenge – let us help! From last year’s survey, our staff and faculty reported that the challenge helped them:
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