Work-Life Balance & Self-Care

If there are two things that haunt me all the time, that would be doubt & guilt: Doubt that I’m not doing my best (even if I’ve already exhausted all means to create an output) and guilt that I’m not taking enough time to live a well-balanced life.

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Last week was my birthday week and for the first time in such a long time, I really took a conscious effort to refresh: workout, reconnect with family & friends, refresh creatively by trying out new materials, and consciously ask for help when needed without the guilt! *OMG* When I did, it occurred to me that all those years of not taking a leave from work on my birthday was ridiculous. Haha.

Most of 2016 & early 2017 happened so quickly. There were times when I found myself working during the wee hours of the morning. I wanted to be able to work without the guilt of taking away some time from bonding with my little one but also at the expense of my own health and energy.

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The biggest change in my life latey but also what I’m grateful for the most. He is such a bundle of joy. 🙂 

I got to attend a talk by Michelle Alignay last week for one of Sunlife Financial’s sessions. I swear guys, you need to check their schedules: they tackle different topics each time (handling your finances, finding fulfillment at work, following your dreams & the like).

When the host mentioned that Michelle is a family life specialist, I was so curios as to what wisdom she will be imparting during the talk. Michelle talked about self-care. She said that in order to give back to our family, we should take care of ourselves first.

As a mom, it’s so hard to treat oneself when you’re so consumed with guilt (i.e. Mommy guilt). It’s the kind that creeps up and worries about all potential unsolicited comments from strangers, family and friends alike as to how we are doing as moms and parents.

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During the day of the talk, we were also treated to a massage of our choice—just what I needed for my busy week! My dad also always talks about what they usually mention in airplanes: you have to put your oxygen mask first before helping out someone else. This is apparently true not just for flights or mommyhood but for life in general. ☺

Michelle shares that it’s all about balance. Not the mathematical way of balancing things (e.g. equal time spent on work, sleep, family, relationships) but it’s more about harmony.

It was such an enlightening moment for me when she mentioned the word ‘harmony’. I easily associated it with music. All the songs we love don’t really sound the same (as in 100%). We don’t really calculate how much guitar, voice or piano we hear but we just know it when it sounds right & it works well. ☺

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Speaking of harmony, as much as there is a color wheel, we don’t really get to calculate which colors should go together, we just know when it feels right. ☺

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Speaking of harmony & balance: not in this photo: the people who have helped me have more time with RIley while making it possible to work at the same time: Riley’s grandparents, my relatives and our house help. 🙂 

In Michelle’s favorite author’s words, balancing is about “continually centering energy & the conscious support of other parts”. It’s about having a flexible lifestyle instead of rigid rules & standards. She also said that every family has a different dynamic so some of the rules may not apply to other families.

That was such a relief for me. I only know things about loving oneself and different rules for different people from an individual standpoint. Truly, I am a new mom. Hihi.

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It took me back to my yoga classes. They always mentioned that it’s a good exercise for us to be flexible so that we’re less prone to injuries. I guess it’s true about raising a family too: the more flexible we are with our rules & arrangements, the less stress there is. Also, Michelle says that sometimes, we need to be imbalanced for us to seek balance. Gahhh! I can relate to this on so many levels: from paddle boarding, to yoga, work and relationships. ☺

Before I end this blog post, I would like to share this video. I’m so happy I got to watch this in the dark alone. Get ready with that box of tissue! What is being shared here is true for me as a mom & as a daughter. (Double the feels!) I shared this video with my mom too!

*Okay. Recover & breathe before reading the rest of the post. Hehe.*

Speaking of self-care and balance, they say that we should really do something today that our future selves will be thankful for. Sunlife is offering something that will make moms have one less thing to think about such as the flexibility to prepare for our child/ren’s educational fund.

Mylene Segismundo shares three things that we have on our side:

Time: starting as early.
Money: Savings as much as we can.
Interest: Finding better options that just putting our money in the bank to beat inflation.

Sunlife’s products allows us to enjoy three of them and helps us prepare for that annual tuition fee hike of 10-12% per year / per sem!  *OMG. Imagine how much that would be 20 years from now!*

As much as I’m daunted, I am actually grateful to have been introduced to how much I really have to prepare for Riley’s future!

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I am now focused on saving up as much as I can by decluttering and streamlining our lifestyle. (Oh. Do check out The Minimalists by the way), starting as early as I can with the littlest things and investing in anti-inflationary financial instruments: there are just so many opportunities out there waiting so that your money can work for you while you work for your money. 😉  All of these give me a peace of mind and sense of fulfillment 🙂

Get to know more about these by talking to a Sunlife Financial Advisor:

Twitter: @sunlifeph
Instagram: @sunlifeph
Facebook: @sunlifeph

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7 years ago

Riley is growing up so quickly! He’s cute!

Btw good blog post. I’m not a mom but I can relate to the need to take care of myself without feeling guilty about it. Thanks.

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