Capacity for the Balancing Act of Self-care and Unplugged Time

Whether you are an employee or a consultant, you likely feel like you are balancing your personal and professional commitments on a daily basis. Then summer rolls around, and the balancing act for your capacity professionally and the desire for some sun-filled self-care and unplugged time often comes to a head.

How many of you have scheduled your vacation around a large grant maker’s deadline that was announced with a summer deadline? I’ve mentioned before that in New York State, the Consolidated Funding Application process that is how funding is decided through the Regional Economic Development Councils has been early/mid summer *every* year since it was released. You could hear the mixed sigh of relief/groans as the 2017 deadline was announced for late July. I can guarantee that grant professionals throughout New York State planned the majority of their vacation time for August!

What is the answer to the balancing act for our capacity to write competitive proposals with our need to focus on self-care, relaxing with family and friends, and potentially even unplugging?

I don’t claim to have *the* answer to balancing self-care with professional demands. My own two children and spouse will tell you that. It’s definitely a work in progress, but I’m getting better at it each year.

For me, the answer to balancing self-care with professional demands revolves around water. Being near it, on it, running alongside it, visiting with friends along its edge.  That is no surprise to those of you that follow me on Instagram – water is a central theme to the pictures I take! It can be the mighty St. Lawrence River or the ocean coast in Maine (where the amazing rainbow picture was taken recently). If I can arrange a true respite and vacation near the water, that is for some deep battery recharging. If I only have an hour in the morning? A bike ride along the St. Lawrence River to and from the 1000 Islands Bridge will do the trick!

As we started the capacity series a few weeks ago starting with Julie Johnson’s post about consultancy capacity and then with my post last week about how a grant professional’s capacity for how many applications we can write in one year, the next natural conversation after a US holiday like Independence Day seems to be to talk about the capacity act of balancing self-care, unplugging, and vacations. Without a concerted effort, our long-term capacity will be burned out due to a lack of self-care, whatever that looks like for each person.

Check out these 5 Tips for Balancing Grant Deadlines and Summer Vacations I shared last year.

And if your summer time off is already a distant memory, or you have to make it through a few more weeks of grant deadlines before you get to take a breather, you may want to check out Julie Johnson’s tips from Wish You Were at the Beach?


What strategies do you use personally to balance your self-care and your professional demands? Maybe the balance for you in the summer is in the struggle. Maybe it is in the winter months. Whatever it is, we’d love to hear your thoughts and tips! Share in the comments section below or with us via social media.

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