This weeks #Otalk is on the topic of “occupational balance” and will be hosted byAmie Mowlam-Tett (@Amie_OT).
Here is what Amy had to say…
Personally, this topic is one close to my heart; during the second year of my MSc I experienced a number of personal setbacks, including the death of a close relative. At one time I couldn’t imagine myself qualifying, it took peer support and time to balance my occupations, remembering time for myself and I did it. I qualified. More importantly, I learnt a lot about balance and need for ‘me’ time. I want to share my experiences and get talking about the importance of our own health and wellbeing when so much of our times is focused on the health and wellbeing of others.
Wilson & Wilcock (2005) addressed the topic of occupational balance in student populations, finding time, money and stress to occupational imbalance and negatively affect wellbeing. Similarly, Clouston (2014) found Occupational Therapists often prioritised their workload and studying over leisure occupations negatively impacting on occupational balance and overall wellbeing.
With months to go before the end of the course for students, it’s easy to become focused on work and neglect time for yourself. I am asking you to take a break, breathe and think about your own wellbeing. Let’s talk about balance, what it means to us and come up with strategies to help keep that work-life balance healthy. This isn’t just for students, for clinicians, it’s a perfect opportunity to share your experiences, hints or advice and maybe pick up a few tips too.
Some questions to consider:
- What does occupational balance mean to you?
- How important is occupational balance in your daily life?
- How well balanced do you feel your occupations are? (eg work/studying and home-life)
- What most affect your occupational balance?
- How do you create occupational balance, what strategies do you use?
- What tips do you have for students about to qualify?
- If you could change one thing about your occupational balance what would it be?
Clouston TJ (2014) Whose occupational balance is it anyway? The challenge of neoliberal capitalism and work–life imbalance. British Journal of Occupational Therapy. 77 (10) 507–515.
Wilson L & Wilcock A (2005) Occupational Balance: What Tips the Scales for New Students? British Journal of Occupational Therapy. 68 (7) 319–323.
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