Living Well and Working Well! Yeah right I hear you say… with my job and all the pressure and expectations, not enough time and resources and as for management and Government don’t get me started!

OK now Pause, no I mean it just pause for a moment, take a deep breath in and exhale.

I am not talking about a perfect balance, let me start by saying I don’t even think that can exist. Yes we can do almost anything we put our mind to, but you know you don’t have to do everything right?

Let me take you on a little journey and you might start to understand where I am coming from a bit better. I’m one of those people who is a doer, an action person, quick thinking, multi-tasking, determined and resourceful. Yes I wore those ‘qualities’ as a badge of honor. I was a Social Worker, a trained professional, a manager, a mother and wife, a woman of the new era. I had it all sorted and running like clockwork. Or so I thought or should I say fooled myself into believing.

Fast forward to two years ago and my professional world came tumbling down around my ears. I was done, burnt-out, so totally saturated that I had no capacity to take in anything else, I had nothing left to give. So much for having it all together hey.

Three plus months into my enforced rest and recover and I started to think about my work future again and I came to a very clear realization that what I wanted was to be Living Well and Working Well. To me that meant putting my own self-care and wellbeing front and center in my daily life and ensuring that translated into my work as well.

Now I would love to give the short fairy tale ending of how I returned to work with a clearer focus and was able to time manage and prioritise and get that perfect ‘balance’ we are all striving for, but that’s not how it worked out.

I did return to work gradually and fell in love with my job and profession again, but the wounds I had allowed to form were not healed and being in the profession I love, being the person I was, meant they reopened and I had to make a choice once and for all. Put myself, my health and wellness and my family first or make myself sick. I chose wellness and despite all I have given up I have not regretted that decision for a single moment.

Living Well and Working Well may not be easy but it should be possible. We are of no service to anyone if we deplete ourselves to the point of no longer being able to care. I learnt a valuable lesson from my experience. I loved being a Social Worker, it was my identity for almost 20 years but I have left my profession for my own good.

Living Well, Working Well is my vehicle to serve now. It is amazing what you see with hindsight and first-hand experience. I have done a lot of work, learning and growing but I do not have all the answers, far from it. I am still very much on a journey of self-exploration and compassion for myself. However I believe I have some valuable insight to share and my passion for the social sector and those who work day in, day out to support and care for others remains strong.

I hope as Living Well, Working Well evolves that you join me on the journey, you engage when you connect with something, you participate and grow through the information and programs that resonate with you and you begin to truly believe that self-care and self-compassion are critical in order for us all to Live and Work well.

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