Take time for YOU this holiday season

You work long hours; perhaps you work multiple jobs. Perhaps you do it because you need the money to survive, to thrive, and to create happy holiday celebrations and memories for your family.

But, think about it!  You are only as good as you are to yourself. Take time this holiday season, and if possible, throughout the year, to be good to yourself. Sleep a little longer, hydrate (with water) a little more, play with your kids (outdoors instead of connected to WiFi), make healthier food choices, go to the gym.

Whatever you do, make it about you, and the quality time you will spend, the benefits that you will reap, and how this holiday season will outshine others. How will that make you feel?


Is a respite center needed in the work environment?

The author has consulted with global organizations to create respite centers within healthcare settings. Today’s work environment mandates providing respite centers in all industries.

A Hospital-Based Respite Center

Stress is overwhelming, and workplace stress has become a ‘given.’  We can overcome that stress by creating an internal respite center whose goal is to provide a safe, calm place in which nurses can regain momentum, renew spirit, and refresh themselves.  I’ve had the privilege of creating such centers in global locations; these are possible amenities:

  1. Comfort
  • Light
  • Air
  • Eye masks for dimming light
  • Healthy snacks
  • Healthy choices
  • Workout area including adjacent paths and exercise room on-site
  • Adjustable heating and ventilation
  • Noise levels controlled
  • Ergometrics
  • Room size approximately 30 x 30
  • 4 comfortable chairs with ottomans or recliners
  1. Amenities
  • Massage tables
  • Filtered water system
  • Control of lighting
  • Dark room as needed
  • Safe setting
  • Lockers
  • Showers nearby
  1. Consistent recognition and rewards for success
  • Attention, praise, and rewards are given for wellness achievements
  • Values placed on wellness
  • Values on lifestyle improvements/enhancements
  • PTO for achieving success
  • Wellness mentors/mentees
  • Peer modeling
  1.  Managers model healthy behaviors
  • Walk the walk and talk the talk
  • Weight management
  • Weight watchers on-site
  • Solidarity
  • Flexibility
  1. Ongoing health promotion
  • Consistency
  • Orientation for new students/staff
  • Participation 100%
  • Health calendar emphasis (national health holidays, i.e., diabetes, vision, heart, cancer)
  • Benefits of good health
  • Ease of access
  • Lifestyle changes

For additional information, contact info@smwgroupllc.com

Life Balance…it is what we do and who we are!


The 26 Principles of Life…a tool for balance

Expect it, listen, and allow the universe to bring it in..from B is for Balance

“There is more to life than increasing its speed.”  –   Mahatma Gandhi

We should expect balance, and allow the universe to bring it into our lives…into our being.

My dog, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, had an air of entitlement.  Yes, he did have royal bloodlines and a rich heritage.  And, yes, he was born in Dublin, Ireland and came to the US at age 6 weeks.  And yes, he had been to obedience school and graduated with honors.  But, he expected recognition, he listened, and he allowed the universe, and his masters, to bring it in!

We deserve balance in our lives, and we should expect it…from the universe…into our being.  Some say that there are twenty-six principles of life and that these principles affect our overall being.

26 Principles of Life (http://eidsbox.multiply.com/journal/item/116/26_Principles_of_Life)

  1. All Are Related
  2. The Energy Flow
  3. We Are Beings of Both Spirit and Flesh
  4. No One Entity is Superior to Another
  5. Belief Creates
  6. Intuition
  7. The Higher Purpose
  8. There are No Ordinary Moments
  9. There are No Limits
  10. Action, not Reaction
  11. Positivity Rules
  12. Posture, Pose, and Breathing
  13. Everything in Balance
  14. Intent is Action
  15. Freedom of Choice 
  16. Change Happens 
  17. Taking Responsibility 
  18. One Step at a Time 
  19. Judgment 
  20. Integrity 
  21. Air your Doubts 
  22. Failure 
  23. The Ongoing Journey 
  24. Don’t Mind 
  25. Emotions 
  26. Play 

(Adapted, with permission, from material by Jason Johns http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Jason_Johns for use in B is for Balance)

How will you apply the “Principles” to achieve balance in your own life? Will you expect, and allow, balance? 

Stress Management…what does it look like?

From an unrealistic workload due to inadequate staffing and excessive paperwork; fluctuating schedules associated with changing shifts; mandatory overtime; floating without appropriate orientation; and moral and ethical dilemmas, nurses, first responders, police officers, and pilots see and feel it all.  Who is the picture of stress management? The answer is Sharon Weinstein, author of B is for Balance, 2nd edition…12 steps to creating balance at home and at work.

Additionally, being single, rearing young families, and/or caring for aging parents are common life circumstances with unique psychosocial and logistical challenges. Many professionals have sought flexible, virtual arrangements in pursuit of balanced personal lives. We all have personal and career goals. By visualizing those goals, we empower ourselves to achieve them. Taking small action steps toward our goals puts them within our reach.  How do you manage your stress? What small action steps have you taken?

Why is Sharon the ‘look’ of stress management? It’s simple – she put the B into Balance, and she works at it every single day!  Do you?


Yes or No…setting boundaries!

Women are Earth personalities.  What does that mean?  According to Ancient Chinese Medicine and the Theory of the Five Elements, women do for others before they do for themselves.  The lunches are made, the laundry is done, the lawn is mowed, the homework is checked, the refrigerator is stocked, the trash is emptied, and the dog’s walked.  A simple checklist of everything for everybody, except oneself…and that is why a woman is ‘earthy.’  In nursing, it is clear. The nurse cares for others before caring for him/herself.  The nurse always says, ‘Yes’ to the extra shift, overtime, assisting peers.  The nurse probably also says, ‘Yes’ to the relative in need of a place to stay, some money to tide him over, a friend in need of a ride, or a child in need of a hug.

Everybody knows someone who has asked, and to whom we just cannot say, ‘No.’  In B is for Balance, I address why it is okay to say, ‘No’ and the fact that ‘No is a complete sentence.’  It does not require justification, excuses, reasons, or supporting documentation.  It is simply a ‘No.’

It is essential to set boundaries in your personal and professional life.  imagesHow does one begin?

  • Identify your limits (know what makes you stressed and uncomfortable
  • Pay attention to your feelings
  • Give yourself permission
  • Consider your environment

Like you, I probably said, ‘Yes’ much too often.  I was the one I just described.  I worked the extra hours.  I took home the assignment that was due the next day.  I stayed late to help my peers.  I went out at 11pm to Walmart in search of a lunchbox for a visiting grandchild.  I returned the books to the library, completed the website revisions, led the project team, and…I was known as the ‘finisher.’  My former boss often referred to me in that way to describe the fact that I left nothing undone, and I could be counted on to get the job done…no matter what it might take in terms of time, money, energy, spirit.

And what did I get in return?  I had great satisfaction in the fact that my work was complete, required little change, was timely, and that I could be counted on.  I loved that feeling, and I loved helping others.  But, one day I realized that I could no longer work 100-hour weeks and that I could no longer be the only one on a project team completing the project.  I realized that I had no time for myself, for my family, and for the life that I wanted to live. I needed to set boundaries!donotcross

Now, I regret the times when I failed to say no just because of peer pressure. Let’s learn to face the music here: saying yes to everyone is stressful. It’s selfish. And it’s definitely not good for your mental, physical and spiritual health!

My friend, it’s time you start saying no. No to people you don’t like, no to parties you don’t even fancy and certainly no to activities that don’t make you a better person.

How does one escape a trap that one has built?  How does one shift the mindset to learn to say, ‘No.’   Go ahead and say no, because:

You don’t owe anybody anything.

  1. You can never control everybody’s opinion of you.
  2. You’re the only one who can really identify your priorities in life.
  3. You’re your number one citizen.
  4. Life moves on.

The Disease to Please

Millions of people suffer from what author/psychologist Harriet Braiker describes in her book of the same name.  These ‘people-pleasers’ think that they are making others happy, when they are actually making themselves miserable.  Saying ‘No’ is a generous thing to do…it frees us from making a shallow commitment and ensures that when we do say ‘Yes’ – our heart is in it!

So where do we begin?  I suggest the following:

– Declare a “no phone zone.” Whether it’s your bedroom or the dinner table, just say no.  That goes for your kids as well; let them keep their technology away from the dinner table and enjoy family time.

– Carve out four hours for a time-out each weekend!  Enjoy family, friends, the news, or a show  – and be truly offline.

–  Schedule time with friends – just to catch up or just to chat!   Yes, pick up that phone, and not to text or email, but simply to place a call.  Schedule a coffee meeting, or lunch out.  Revisit the schedule and get to know one another again.

Now that you know how – will you implement these simple steps?  Will you treasure that Earth Personality that allows you to do all for others – but take it a step beyond and do something for yourself.

About Sharon…

Sharon M. Weinstein, MS, RN, CRNI, FACW, FAAN, CSP 

Sharon is an energetic, motivating and highly skilled professional speaker and author specializing in work/life balance.  After all, she wrote the book.   She is the founder of SharonMWeinstein, an LLC and two not-for-profits. 

She holds the coveted Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation, the highest earned international recognition for professional speakers. This makes her one of only 12% of all speakers to hold this designation and one of only 21 nurses in the world with this credential.

She uses her nursing platform to educate others about the need for work/life balance, fatigue and stress management, and gratitude.  A past president of the Infusion Nurses Society and past chair of the Infusion Nurses Certification Corporation, she is best known as the author of Plumer’s Principles and Practice of Infusion Therapy and B is for Balance.  She is Vice President of NSA-DC and Dean of the Speaker’s Academy.

She rode a camel in Cairo, was a delegate to the Women’s Conference in Beijing, designed the foreign patient department at the Kremlin Hospital in Moscow, and played with the penguins at Phillip Island Nature Park, Australia.



Entrepreneur or Employee…how many hours can you work?

Prior to her commitment to work/life balance, this registered nurse by education and passion, worked 100 hours per week, 3 countries per week until she missed a family event because of a flight delay in Eastern Europe. The plane had contraband on board, and the delay extended for 4 days.  She realized that she needed to shift her paradigm and ‘get a life.’  And that’s exactly what she did!

It is one thing for entrepreneurs to worlots-of-clocks-1725x810_28340_32673k excessive hours to ‘start-up’ and ‘succeed.’ It is another thing when your job involves working that many hours.

No one became an entrepreneur because of wanting to work less. In reality, entrepreneurs work an incredible number of hours—in excess of 60 a week. Even when entrepreneurs aren’t physically working, they are still thinking about their businesses.

The four-day workweek is nearly standard in the Netherlands, especially among working moms.

About 86% of employed mothers worked 34 hours or less each week last year, according to Dutch government statistics. Among fathers, about 12% also worked a shortened workweek.

Local laws promote a work-life balance and protect part-time workers. What a novel approach, and one that would work for all of us! A consistency when I worked in Eastern Europe was the maternity leave with your job held for you for over a year, including your title and salary.

Don’t do what I did…do what I say, and now do regularly. Create a schedule for yourself that includes downtime – time to be good to YOU!  Avoid being a workaholic, whether you are an entrepreneur or an employee.  Keep the balance…

Sharon Weinstein is the author of B is for Balance, 2nd edition, winner of 1st place in Consumer Health (2015).

What’s your balancing act?

Surely, America’s Got Talent; so too does Britain!  From the Fifth Generation Hand Balancer on One Finger, to the Balancing Daredevil, to my own National Speakers Association colleagues known as The Passing Zone…we have seen it all, haven’t we? imagesu62xnhj2

Life is a balancing act…the ability to juggle responsibilities, money, time and perhaps time for ourselves.

Think about your own life, and your balancing act! What must you juggle each and every day to reach your goals, realize your dreams, and live your life?