Sally Arnold's spectacular balancing act

Psychotherapist, performance coach and author of women's career and leadership publication, Creating Encores, Sally Arnold knows just how challenging it is to find the perfect work-life balance.

“Executive working life is about being able to balance stress and feel fulfilled in all areas. However, as we know, striking this balance is notoriously hard to do.”


Psychotherapist and performance coach Sally Arnold says it's important for small business owners to strive for work-life balance.


Officeworks' Small Business Wellbeing index1, found 22 per cent of small business owners deal with stress themselves, with sole business owners more likely to deal with it on their own.

Sally says the difficulties at work can take over the ability to achieve a balance between your work and personal lives.

“Experiencing work stress is like getting caught in the rat wheel; you go round and round knowing that you need to stop, but don't know how to change or seek advice for help.”

As a qualified psychotherapist, Sally draws on her own personal experiences to help CEOs, executives and entrepreneurs take control of their struggles.

By doing this, they can strive to achieve more in their personal and professional lives.

Sally is no stranger to dealing with career setbacks, personal loss, or financial issues.

So she understands how easy it is for business owners' stress to negatively affect the business' staff and operations.

“People will pick up on stress and it will be an energy thing… So it's important to keep your mind in check and maintain a positive mindset.

“You've got to find help when you're stressed. You can't do it on your own.”

Sally advises business owners who feel anxious about work to share problems with friends, family and professionals.

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“Your most important support are your friends; you've got to seek out friends who understand and can help.
“You can't challenge stress and manage work-life balance on your own.”

During busy periods, she finds it can be quite challenging to maintain her own work-life balance. “I've got articles to write, speeches to put together, lots to do – thankfully I have such a supportive team!”

Despite her hectic work life, Sally sets aside time to do things she enjoys. “I have a really full schedule so I have to balance it with fun activities.”

Sally makes sure she spends time going to the gym, walking her dog, listening to music and going to the theatre.

“I generally avoid doing too much on the weekend, I like to have time to rest and recuperate.”
Sally suggests it's good to take a break whenever you're stressed. 

“Go have a massage, go for a run, immerse yourself in something that's easy and makes you laugh – do something fun!”

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Taking yourself out of confronting situations – even if it's just for 10-15 minutes – can also help re-energise you and help you feel like a different person, she says.

“If I was at a function and needed alone time, I would go to the bathroom or sit in my car for a while to meditate.”

Sally's biggest advice for people who feel strained at work is to pay attention to how you're feeling and factor in activities outside of work.

“When your work-life balance gets out of whack it can really affect your mindset.”

1Fieldwork conducted by Symphony Analytics & Research on behalf of Officeworks in June 2015.