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How to balance career, family and self

Marcia Reynolds is a coach who teaches classes worldwide on emotional intelligence and leadership. Read more about her and her book, Wander Woman: How High-Achieving Women Find Contentment and Direction at WanderWomanBook.com.

Can career moms really do it all?

Many women enter the corporate world excited about the possibilities. They were told as girls they could accomplish anything. No one told them it would be hard to accomplish “everything.” However, career women can strike a balance between their career and their family and even self-care. Here’s how.

How to balance career, family and self

1Maintain social bonds

Putting friendships on the back burner is one of the greatest mistakes of busy, working women. Not only will your friends help you maintain focus when customers whine, kids scream, health issues nag, and projects overwhelm, they will keep you from feeling isolated when you work for yourself. Find at least three other women who are consciously trying to create more satisfying, purposeful lives like you are. Meet regularly. Eat meals together. Take walks. Your "community of support" keeps you sane as well as productive.

2Keep your body healthy

English discovered that she quickly lost track of her schedule when working for herself. To keep her body in good working order to get everything done, she found she had to start the day with exercise before even reading read her email. Also, she makes sure she eats healthy meals instead of what she can gobble down in quick breaks. She schedules her lunch hour and sticks to it.

Regularly notice the world around you

I get acupuncture once a month to reset my overtaxed body. It was my acupuncturist who first told me that I was disconnected. He then prescribed a daily dose of going outside, smelling the air, appreciating the trees and feeling the ground beneath my feet. When I reconnect with nature, I reconnect with my soul.

Recreate

Mitsch says she still needs to recreate herself every few years, answering the question, "What's next?" She has to give herself private reflection time to find an answer which always includes work that is meaningful for her and contributes to the world she brought her precious children into. She says she will always be learning, playing and growing to feed her wandering soul.

With a refocus on self, career women can strike a balance between their career dreams and family needs.

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