Maintaining an ideal work/life balance as a healthcare professional can be a challenge. On one hand, your job may require caring for multiple people, documenting for hours on end, work burn out, and dealing with workplace drama. On the other hand, working in healthcare can cause personal stress, too. This might include ethical dilemmas, taking work home, and can be emotionally draining. As difficult as it may seem, it is possible to improve work/life balance. However, this takes time, reflection, and action. Writing a letter to your future self is an insightful activity that allows you to:
- Express what is going well and not going well in your work life
- Identify areas you need to improve on in order for your future self to be in a better place
- Describe what you want your work life to look like
- Include any tips, thoughts, or memories regarding work that you want your future self to remember
This is an easy writing activity, but it should be completed in a quiet space and when you’re able to pour yourself into this task. The more intentional you are with this activity, the more you’ll get out of it in the future. There is no guideline as to how to write a letter to your future self, but if you need a template to get started, you can follow this one:
Dear Future (Insert name),
Today’s date is ________. I am currently working at ______________ as a ___________. If I had to use one word to describe how I feel about my work I would say I feel ______________ because _________________. Work/life balance is important to me, and right now, on a scale from 1-10 (1 being no work/life balance and 10 being a perfect work/life balance), I would describe my work/life balance as ____________________. I chose this number because ___________________________.
An ideal work/life balance looks like _____________________________. In (insert number of months/years) from now, I want to be closer to this kind of work/life balance, but I know it requires action.
There are a few things that I have done to improve my work/life balance on a personal level so far. This includes: __________________________. However, there are a few things I can still do on a personal level such as __________________________.
On a professional level, such as asking for help from team members, advocating for myself, switching settings, etc. I have done the following in order to improve my work/life balance _____________________. However, I can still work on the following: _____________________________.
In (insert number of months/years), when my future self is reading this, I hope these steps have benefited me.
There are a few tips, thoughts, and memories that I want to you to remember. This includes ______________________________________________. I want you to remember these things because ____________________________.
Once you have this letter written you can either save it somewhere and not open it until a specific date or someone who can mail it for you on a specific date. If none of these options seem like they can work, you can also email this letter to yourself using this website.
Do you think you’ll write a letter to your future self? What will you say? Let us know in the comments below!