Radiating Sunshine: Work Life Balance

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Work Life Balance

Lately, I have been on the struggle bus with work-life balance. This is the first time in my entire life that I feel completely burnt out. I thought college was hard... well folks being an RD, going to graduate school, and having a personal life is probably the hardest thing I have ever done. My only true hours of free time are usually from 10:00PM-6:00AM during the week, which leaves 16 hours to squeeze in work, RA's, DA's, residents, conduct issues, budgeting, campus programming, fellow RDs, eating food, going to the gym, trying to maintain communication with loved ones, and so on.

At the start of every week, I write a big to do list of everything I want to accomplish this week. Usually the to do list gets added to every day and even sometimes things get pushed over to the next week (which, is surprisingly okay with me). I enjoy knowing that although my days are long, I feel very accomplished. But, with that sense of accomplishment also comes exhaustion and overwhelmed feelings. 
My fellow RDs have been great when it comes to helping my work-life balance! I feel like I really connect with them and often times when we are all together I find myself smiling the whole time. I have amazing buddies-- Aaron and Alex who have been huge role models for me. Chris and Anette, two first years like me have helped me feel validated on where I'm at. MaryEllen, my walking buddy gives me great advice and serves as a great role model. We took up walking to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but it has slowly become more than that. We both go through withdrawals on the mornings we decide to "sleep in" and miss our 6:00AM walk time. Lindsey, Keeyana, and Emily also serve as role models and idea boards. They make me feel so incredibly creative and help me bounce ideas off of them, which I really appreciate. 

I love my fellow RDs. I know that I am never struggling alone and when I have an overwhelming work week, they are right there with me. It makes me feel like this experience is somewhat normal and that everything I am learning will serve me in a thousand and one ways. More importantly, they give me wonderful tips on ways I can improve. 

But, sometimes I like to step away and remove myself from work. It is in those moments that I find myself in my apartment snuggled un on the couch or in my recliner. However, when you constantly come home to an empty apartment it is easy to feel lonely. So, I have once again found companionship in my favorite lady, Elin. I have purchased two Elin Hilderbrand books and I recently started reading The Beach Club. I love her stories and I love knowing I am knocking off an item on my 101 in 1001 list, which is due in May!!
I have a lot of self-care tips that I am doing my best to practice. The first is calling my significant other, Josh. Hearing his voice brightens my day. I have also started reading for fun, hence Elin Hildebrand. I have a new goal to take at least one bubble bath per week, which is probably my favorite goal out of them all. I also strive to go to the gym at least twice a week... partly to get my money's worth and partly to get my bikini body ready for Fall. Since August, I have struggled with work-life balance, but I am working hard on making more time for myself.

Josh always reminds me that these are the days I want to remember most, so I want to remember happy and not-stressed out Alex over the workaholic I was slowly becoming. And with this change, I have a hunch that I will be a lot happier and will be a lot better of an RD too.


  1. Loved this post. It reminded me we are all human. Don't be hard on yourself, you are doing great with everything on your plate! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Jordan! Love your blog too!

  2. You will get there. It is REALLY hard to have balance as an RD because work and life mix so frequently that there isn't much of a line. When I was an RD, I found that putting boundaries for myself as well as for my staff really helped. I also would schedule that time into my schedule and to-do list. It is so important in housing to be able to step away from it for even an hour to just be yourself. It is also important to know when you need to say no or hand something off. Just know you are not alone! All new housing professionals (and even some more seasoned ones) struggle with figuring out the balance!


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