Dr. Andrea Bastiani Archibald manages family, a busy career working with technology start-up companies and a vibrant social network. How does she balance it all and what does she do to take care of herself? A warning sign popped up a few years ago when Andrea found herself on-time for work, family, and professional commitments but always five minutes late for self-care activities like a yoga class, walk with a friend, etc. Reflection helped Dr. Archibald realize that she was prioritizing efficiency and obligations to others versus commitments to her own needs. Sound familiar to anyone? Andrea knew that each time she pushed into her personal time by borrowing minutes to complete (sometimes needed, sometimes self-assigned) tasks for others she was undermining her own rejuvenation and capacity. A PhD in Developmental and Child Psychology, Dr. Archibald also wanted to model a commitment to taking time for oneself for her sons as well as articulate why it was important to do so. “I used to feel guilty about prioritizing myself, but I realized that without self-care I was more tired, less enjoyable to be around, and probably less productive.” While she also enjoys reading, whenever Venus or Serena Williams are playing a tournament, Andrea’s sons know it’s ‘Mom’s time in front of the TV!’
“Find a balance that works for you… but understand that that what that looks like will vary from week to week. Some weeks work priorities just take over. Other weeks, family and friends can be more of a focus” Andrea shared with us. If time is tight, she suggests you “take five-minute moments to step away from the computer, grab a cup of tea or get outside– no guilt!” She laughed about missing her daily commute into New York City, which she had often used for decompressing between work and home life. An art lover, Andrea also suggests checking out galleries to challenge your perspective, surround yourself with beauty and deliver a dose of relaxation that is shorter than a full museum excursion. Meeting a friend for coffee or a gallery visit are now equal priorities to work and family – whether for five minutes or longer.
Dr. Andrea Bastiani Archibald is a Psychologist, Strategic Advisor, Board Member and Speaker in the New York City Metropolitan Area.