Avoid Burnout and Find Joy as a Public Health Professional

career development mental health public health jobs work from home working mom Feb 06, 2023
Zoila Reyna, MPH with her son.

Being the founder of a career coaching agency in public health and working full time as a working mom - I'm often asked, "How do you do it all and stay sane?"

The truth: It isn't easy but it's totally worth it! Your life is a culmination of choices and I have made a VERY intentional choice to live a life as a public health professional and to become a mother, which wasn't really possible for me until I started making over $100,000 annual salary and felt financially secure. As I recently welcomed my second child with my partner, I'm still pinching myself that I get to live this wholesome, yet complex life. This is what working from home and being a working mom in public health looks like:

Say NO to: I don't wash my dishes daily. I don't put on make up daily. I don't argue with my child if he doesn't want to clean his room. I don't make my bed every single day. I don't change into "regular clothes" every day but prefer my pajamas often. I don't make breakfast or dinner from scratch every day. I don't punish myself if I didn't exercise that day or go for a walk because I hate feeling like I was "supposed to."

Say YES to: I invite my son to cook with me when I do. I read every night to my son and he now looks forward to it. I play legos with my son. I prioritize and re-prioritize house tasks with my partner constantly (aka I pick my battles). I enjoy my coffee daily. I listen to youtube on my headset religiously. I walk the dog on occasion - when it suits me. I use my phone more than my computer for work meetings and responding to emails. I turn on the TV in the background while I work. When I stretch at night, I invite my son to do "animal stretches" with me. 

So as you can see, my work-life balance is more like a mish-mash of bad habits and good habits. I juggle constantly but also check in with my intuition about what is important to me and what makes me happy or would make my life a little less stressful. 

If you'd like to learn more about how I "do it all", check out this podcast episode with Marissa McKool MPH on the Redefining Rest for Public Health Professionals podcast where we talk all things rest, social connection inside and outside of work, finding the little joys and getting laughter in your life, and figuring out what unique rest is to you wherever you are in your life. We discuss why it often takes us so long to realize we don’t get enough rest, and how to start putting yourself and your needs first. Check out the full episode with Marissa McKool here: https://www.mckoolcoaching.com/podcast/how-we-rest-zoila-reyna . 

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