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Balancing Work and Play

Balancing Work and Play
Your career and home life can make for quite the juggling act, but don't worry — you can compete. Learn how one working mother constructed an inspiring career while having it all.

090610CAREER.jpgIf there's one word that accurately describes the lives of working women in today's society, it's busy. Your career responsibilities can be very demanding, and that alone makes finding a happy medium between work and home life difficult. Throw in the duties of motherhood, and most women are left with no plan except to do their best impersonation of superwoman.

 

If there's any woman who actually comes close to that title, it's Dr. Barbara McFarland, an educational psychologist . She's made an appearance on Oprah, authored several books and evolved her career as a psychologist into one that also includes motivational speaking and life change facilitating.

 

Ironically enough, however, McFarland has gained much of her success through ensuring time for herself to lay back and have a little fun

 

McFarland began her climb to the top with a career as a teacher. She loved her position and was content with it until a colleauge encouraged her to pursue a master's degree. Not long after that, another woman mentor suggested that McFarland chase her dream of a career in psychology and earn her doctorate.

 

McFarland credits the healthy advice and support of her mentors with giving her the extra push to believe in herself and her career. "It was because of [my mentor] that I launched into post-graduate school," she says. "It was then that I really took off and became very, very interested in women's issues."

 

Her desire to coach women in every matter — from alcohol to eating disorders and relationships to life balance — led McFarland to become a highly respected and sought-after figure in her field. Today, she continues her consulting work with the addition of a private practice in Kenwood and has written five books, her most recent titled The Balanced Life. She also has cofounded the balance strategy program FlexLife.

 

SassyMoma-In-Story-GIF.GIF While these innovations and accomplishments are impressive on their own, McFarland did it all while holding one even more important title: mother. It wasn't always easy for McFarland to keep her morale up while juggling a career and time with loved ones, but she found a way to be happy and make time for herself through two important steps she still advocates today.

 

1. Finding a little me-time

 

"In order to meet the demands of all our roles and responsibilities as women, the very first and most important thing to do is to absolutely make sure that we take care of ourselves," McFarland says. Women with active roles at home and in the work place often think the idea of taking some downtime to read a book or go for a walk is a selfish one. McFarland, however, views these kinds of activities as a necessity.

 

The first step is to find a reenergizing activity for yourself. Whether it's a daily meditation or weekly massage, the benefits will then fall into place. "By slowing down and taking a break, I will be more productive," McFarland says.

 

In order to collect all the advantages that come with reenergizing, McFarland highlights the importance of really being present when you are engaging in that activity. "If it's on a to-do list, all it does is become another task," she says. "You're not becoming absorbed in the experience."

 

2. Maintaining self-health

 

Just as life balance requires a commitment to yourself and your values, it is difficult to achieve without a healthy lifestyle. "In order to have healthy, quality relationships, we have to be healthy ourselves," McFarland says.

 

In order to ensure she's taking care of herself, McFarland simply tunes into her body. "Whenever I got wound up in working, family or parenting, I really worked hard at paying attention to my body," she says. When the headaches and fatigue started to set in, McFarland would evaluate the symptoms, do some inventory, and make a commitment to take steps toward better health.

 

Combining healthy practices like eating right and having consistent mammograms with keeping mental wellbeing can make the difference between enjoyable activities and stressful duties.



PHOTO CREDITS
Photo courtesy of Dr. Barbara McFarland

Brenna Sullivan -

Brenna Sullivan is Cincy Chic's multi media intern. Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .Read More >>


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