Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien, WA 98166

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Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien, WA 98166


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Rethinking Work-Life Balance

By Sophie De Haan, Behavioral Health Systems Navigator

This week we continue exploring the concept of wellness as it relates to work/life balance. We have shared definitions, a continuum and other overarching ideas. Now, let’s dive a little deeper into how the concept of wellness impacts us on a daily basis. 

As we become more responsible for wellness, it can be difficult to identify what is important, what is the right thing to do, what we need to do and what we have control over.

In this Edutopia article, educator and school leader Joe Mullikin describes how he practices wellness in work-life balance, acknowledging that it is different for every person. 

Mulliken describes the glass cups, plastic balls and ghosts of managing work-life balance. 

GLASS CUPS: Glass breaks. I know that shouldn’t sound like a profound statement, but if we’re going to come to terms with the fact that there are things in life that are more important than others, we must identify them. 

PLASTIC BALLS: Plastic balls bounce, and, more important, they make a noise when they’re dropped. Sometimes the only way we can prove to ourselves that something is a plastic ball—that it is real but unbreakable—is to let it drop and see what happens. 

GHOSTS: Then there are the ghosts, which typically feel like they’re the most important of all but exist based on the stories I’ve told myself—that I’m only as good as the last project I completed, or I’m not the principal or educator that I see among peers on social media, and I only provide value by doing and not by being.

Taking a moment to re-prioritize and identify what is important to who you are--not only what you do--can feel freeing.

Can you give yourself (and your staff) permission to identify what is important and let go of what’s not? Can you have that conversation in your next staff meeting?

More Info

This is an evolving situation. Stay up to date by consulting the following webpages:

Good Hygiene

Please remind your student of the importance of following good hygiene practices that prevent the spread of communicable diseases:

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a sleeve or a tissue.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, or use alcohol hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick. See our guidelines for when to stay home.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.