This month, we’re focusing on balance and how we’ve all had to redefine what that means and looks like in our lives. To kick off the discussion, 4word’s own Diane Paddison discusses why she thinks women struggle with balance more than men do, plus she shares three simple things you can do to find healthy balance.
Don’t have time to read this blog? Listen to it below!
What are your personal warning signs that you are overwhelmed or unbalanced, at work and in your personal life?
In order to answer this question, I asked those in my life who know me best and would be honest about my warning signs of being overwhelmed. Here’s what they said:
One of the toughest periods of my life was 2014 to 2018, when my daughter, Annie, started a battle with pelvic nerve pain that is still ongoing. She needed me 24/7. I had some help here and there from some of Annie’s friends, but it wasn’t until her now-fiancé, Adam, appeared on the scene full-time in August of 2016 that I had solid help.
At the same time as Annie’s health battle was starting, 4word was exploding. However, at the time, I did not have the depth in my staff or in my Chair of our Board to take some of the increased workload on for me. Things have definitely improved since then!
During this time of increased stress, I got physically sick and emotionally stressed much more often than I do today. I remember being in bed on one of my birthdays, not even able to wake up. I felt that same type of stress return at the beginning of the pandemic lockdown and during the heightened racial injustice. This past year, I have only gotten physically sick once from March 2020 to March 2021, and since April of 2020, I have not had any emotional stress. What a testament to the fact that life is much more in balance!
How do you “escape the noise” and find a way back to healthy balance in your life?
I escape the noise in three wonderful ways:
- Being in God’s Word – Each morning I read my YouVersion Bible study and summarize it for my family. I have gotten closer in my relationship with God through Jesus Christ over the past seven years than ever before.
- Being in God’s Beauty – A blessing of the pandemic is that my husband, Chris, and I have only been apart three nights since March 11, 2020. Before the pandemic, we had never been together for more than two weeks in twenty straight years. We both love to hike and snow ski and now try to exercise in God’s beauty every two weeks.
- Being with my granddaughter – God has blessed me with a smart, sweet, and tough granddaughter, Opal. Chris and I try to be with her every two weeks. What a blessing!
Do you think women struggle with finding and keeping balance more than men do?
Women definitely struggle with finding and keeping balance more than men do. The pandemic is proof. More than 400,000 more women have left the workforce than men in 2020 during the pandemic, due to the pressures of caring for and home-schooling children and caring for elderly parents while attempting to keep their career going.
“Recent projections based on economic scenarios modeled by McKinsey and Oxford Economics estimate that employment for women may not recover to pre-pandemic levels until 2024—two full years after a recovery for men.” (source)
What are three simple things a woman in the workforce can do to keep her life in healthy balance?
- Most importantly, stay in God’s Word, whether you do a thirty minute YouVersion Bible study or read a five-minute devotional in Be Refreshed . . . a devotional for women in the workplace by 4word.
- Commit to a healthy physical and emotional routine, like I do by going on my elliptical and going hiking with Chris.
- The word “no” should be one of your favorite words. As my friend Molly Fletcher says, ”When we say no to requests that don’t fit with our highest priorities, we are saying ‘yes’ to what is important to us.”
Diane Paddison, 4word Founder and Executive Director, is a Harvard MBA, former global executive of two Fortune 500 companies, CBRE and ProLogis, and one Fortune 1000 company, Trammell Crow Company, and serves as an independent director for two corporate and four not-for-profit boards.
Diane is a leading advocate for Christian women in the workplace. Diane published Work, Love, Pray in 2011, and Be Refreshed . . . a year of devotions for women in the workplace in 2017, laying the foundation for 4word. She is a featured columnist for The Washington Times and the 4word Mentor Program has been highlighted in The Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch.
Diane and her husband, Chris, have four children and one grandchild and live in Dallas, Texas.