I. Loved. This. Book.
“B is for Balance: 12 Steps Toward a More Balanced Life at Home and at Work” by Sharon M. Weinstein, MS, CRNI, RN, FACW, FAAN, is like having your own personal life coach tucked neatly inside a book cover.
Weinstein manages to talk about abstract topics, such as balance and life purpose, without sounding like a fluffy self-help maverick. She blends philosophy, research and personal and professional expertise to give a somewhat intangible journey solid ground.
What is this thing called balance? You hear about it everywhere; you read about it; and you long for it. But what is it? What does it look like? … to find that balance, you must first find your center of knowing. You must know who you really are and what you really like … finding your purpose will give you the center necessary for achieving balance … Erika Carlson (2013), a psychology scientist at Washington University in St. Louis, reports that the components of mindfulness, attention and nonjudgmental observation can overcome the major barriers to knowing ourselves.
The book dives right in, with a thought-provoking chapter that asks some hard-hitting questions about your true-life purpose: What is it that you really want out of life? What does happiness mean? How do you go about setting goals and prioritizing? What does simplifying your life really look like? If you follow the exercises outlined in the book and take some of these questions along with you as you go about your day, you’re bound to find some degree of transformation.
Sharon M. Weinstein, MS, CRNI, RN, FACW, FAAN
Following the initial discovery chapters are practical and informational sections that cover everything from the concrete toll stress takes on our lives, to how to create a balanced work environment. Intermittently placed throughout, the reader will find “Balancing Act” and “Finding Balance” sections, filled with powerful anecdotes, tips, exercises and self-reflection questions to help you apply the philosophies to your unique life.
What were your daydreams as a child?
What are three dreams that you have accomplished in your life? Write them down. What efforts contributed to the accomplishment of those dreams?
What are you dreaming about doing right now that you aren’t accomplishing?
What are the barriers to achieving your current dream? Make a list and then develop a plan for working through each one.
You might feel that you already know what there is to know about certain topics, such as sleep, diet and exercise. But even these sections contain valuable gems, like the quality-of-sleep assessment test.
This book is a must-read for nurses. But the audience need not be limited to healthcare workers. The substance of “B is for Balance” can be applied to anyone looking for a more joyful, fulfilling life under the guidance of a gentle, but firm teacher.
I highly recommend that you read this book.