Finding Life’s Balance

Posting Blogs Bi-Monthly

While I previously had been posting blogs monthly on this site, I have come to the humble conclusion that I simply cannot set aside the time to write a monthly blog. This is actually a relief to me as I had been trying (mostly successfully, I think) to provide a monthly article that would be of some interest and value to most people. So again, for the second time, I offer up my apologies to those of you who have become regular readers (and thank you for that) that I have not published a blog since January. From here forward, my goal will be to publish a new blog post every two months. I believe this to be an attainable goal for me at this time; therefore, my next blog will be in May of this year.

Accepting Insurance or Not

This coming October I will have had my private practice for 10 years. This was never something that was a professional goal for me, as I was more than content to work in a group practice owned by another therapist or psychologist. The actual work of running a business was more work than I had ever imagined. But I have grown to enjoy it immensely. The issue I find to be most challenging is managing cases outside the office-returning phone calls, emails, correspondence or other paperwork requests from clients, and managing a certain portion of billing I would simply define as “paper billing” or filing/managing claims that are not submitted on-line. Given that I have tried to be an in-network provider with most major insurance companies, I have found myself completely overwhelmed by the paperwork aspect of billing. While this is definitely an asset for the client, it has created significant difficulties for my business as I have found that I sometimes do not get paid for the work I do. This is very disheartening as I want to believe that I can be fairly reimbursed for the work I do, but this is often not the case.

Finding the right balance of private pay clients and those who want to use certain healthcare benefits is still an area of exploration and discovery for me. It is my belief that the proper balance will come when the time is right, but for now, certain changes have been made within my practice regarding clients who want to utilize insurance benefits.

Managing Stress-vs-Suffering the Consequences

I recently found myself having fallen so far behind on paper billing from 2015 that I decided to take a week out of the office to try and get caught up. This seemed like a good plan until the time came and I ended up getting sick. I rarely cancel client appointments due to my being ill, but I found myself cancelling 7 appointments I made during the only day I was to work in that week out of the office. I guess it was a case of too little, too late and my body simply broke down with laryngitis, a terrible sore throat, and incessant cough.

While I thought I was doing well to manage my stress by exercising, eating healthy and spending time with family, I now realize my coping skills were insufficient to adequately manage the stress I was actually feeling. I was still volunteering in two separate areas, had started to eat some of the foods I had previously given up, and was not taking the time to send some of this paperwork to a billing professional who could help me manage the mountain of paperwork that had evolved. Getting sick was simply the consequence of my own ill-managed stress. Since that time, I have refocused my priorities and recognize changes I need to make to help me achieve a more balanced work life minus the stress that contributed to my getting sick.

Where is the Balance?

Some thoughts to consider for yourself to help you find your own life balance:

  • Am I eating healthy every day and indulging in special treats only occasionally?
  • Am I exercising at least a little (or stretching) every day or several times a week?
  • Do I have a close friend or confidant with whom I can share my work stress, love life stress, or general life stress?
  • Am I still having fun doing what I love? (i.e.- adult coloring books, lunch/coffee with a friend, playing with my dog?)
  • Am I getting adequate sleep and/or naps?
  • Am I practicing meditation, yoga, or some form of spiritual practice (prayer) that provides a connection to my Higher Power?
  • Have I eliminated caffeine, alcohol, tobacco or other recreational drugs from my life (if they have been problematic for me in the past)?
  • Am I working to become a more positive, encouraging, caring individual in the world?
  • Am I taking care of my physical/medical needs or check-ups on a timely basis?
  • Have I recently told my loved ones I appreciate and care about them?

Some inspirational quotes on balance:

“Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life- learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some”. -Robert Fulgham

“Balance, peace and joy are the fruit of a successful life. It starts with recognizing your talents and finding ways to serve others by using them”. – Thomas Kinkade

“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony”.- Thomas Merton

“The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man”.- Euripides

“A well-developed sense of humor is the pole that adds balance to your steps as you walk the tightrope of life”.- William Arthur Ward

“Work, love and play are the great balance wheels of man’s being.”- Orison Swett Marden

“Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity”.- Albert Einstein

Here’s hoping you find and rejoice in your own life balance…

Linda Cook