Achieving a workable life balance
Do you ever feel as though you’re stuck in a revolving door of expectations that you just can’t escape?
You want to work out, you want to eat well, you want to spend time with your loved ones, advance your career and so on and so on. All the while, experts are telling you how to make home-cooked nutritious meals while taking on a new job and hitting the gym for an hour a day, five days a week. You can balance your life – or can you?
Michelle Cederberg says the ideal of life balance is a fallacy and she’ll be at the University of Lethbridge, Apr. 27, to present a pair of sessions to kick off Wellness Week. “Exposing the Myth of Life Balance” is the title of Cederberg’s presentation and it promises to present a realistic and humorous approach to getting more time, energy and enjoyment out of life.
“I want people to know they can come to my talk, have fun and walk away with renewed hope that even if life balance is not entirely possible, you can at least move in the right direction toward a better life,” Cederberg says.
Based out of Calgary, Cederberg is a recognized life balance strategist and fitness motivation expert. With a Masters in Kinesiology, a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a specialization in health and exercise psychology, Cederberg focuses on practicality when trying to achieve life balance.
“People are really struggling with finding time to do the things that are important to them,” she says.
Throw in the added pressure of a world preaching life balance and it makes our lives even more stressful.
“When the going gets tough, whether it’s in our personal lives or professional lives, the three things we tend to drop off our schedule are exercise, eating right and getting enough rest.”
She recognizes now, more than ever, the going is tough in a number of organizations. Stress levels are at an all-time high.
“Given the economic times, many corporations have been faced with layoffs, so they’re working with fewer employees and those who are left are either given more work to do or they’re living with the stress of, “Am I next”, or both,” she says.
“If employers aren’t prioritizing the health and wellness of their existing employees then they are probably going to see an even greater drop in productivity.”
Her approach features a start-small philosophy.
“The start-small approach means setting your self-care goals and getting to them no matter what.” she says. “The clincher is, when low energy or low motivation have you talking yourself out of it, you still go, you simply give yourself permission to do less so you can achieve the bigger goal of getting to it.”
It means tweaking your thinking about life balance and putting personal growth items as a priority. It may also mean dropping the guilt about not being able to work out for an hour and instead devoting just 10 minutes to fitness.
“No matter what you’re trying to fit in, 10 minutes of doing is better than the hour you were thinking about doing,” she says.
“I really want my audiences to go away with hope and the belief that they can make positive changes in their lifestyle. There’s also the idea that if change is going to happen, something has got to change, and I’ll help them with that.”
GET THE FACTS
• Cederberg has just authored her “Got To It” journal that helps people who are stuck in the “I’ll get to it when . . .” mode
• Her 45-minute sessions are Apr. 27, 10:45 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. in PE 264, and are open to all staff and faculty
• Cederberg often cites a survey stating 75 per cent of Canadians do not believe a work-life balance is possible
• Wellness Week at the U of L runs Apr. 27 through May 1