German philosopher Herbart (1806) believed that the mind was the sum of all ideas which entered one’s conscious life. He emphasized the importance of both the physical and the human environment in the development of the mind. To Herbart, ideas were central to the process.
To this point, what really matters in planning for a healthy work/life balance?
While the idea of self-care is not new and strategies to develop healthy self-care practices are easy to read about, the motivation to engage in healthy self-care behaviours is unique to the individual.
Life experience tells us that motivation is unique to the individual yet is binary in defining an intrinsic v extrinsic paradigm. The adage of leading a horse to water, but the horse choosing to drink, or not drink the water identifies the intrinsic motivation of the horse’s choice.
Life is not that simple. Deci and Ryan’s self- determination theory (2000) associates concepts of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and suggests that the concept of autonomy is developed thru the interaction of internally and externally regulated motivation.
Parents and caregivers know that children learn to regulate their behaviour through the process of trial and error (both adult and child). Reward for positive behaviour can elicit further learning and motivation for growth and autonomy. Effective teachers quickly learn the art of behaviour management and use a range of strategies to motivate student engagement and learning.
The health benefits of regular exercise are driven by intrinsic motivators i.e., I want to unwind from a school day I will exercise regularly. Switching the laptop off, not taking schoolwork home and spending time on self are behaviours of your choice as you seek (understand) the mental health and physical rewards.
Motivation is the key that unlocks experiences that create a healthy work/life balance. The interaction of both the physical and human environment is responsive to individual motivation.