I am a Reader in Occupational Therapy, Life Balance & Wellbeing in the School of Health Care Sciences at Cardiff University in Wales in the UK. Over the last 10 years my research interests have become focused on the meaning and experience of lifestyle balance and my PhD specifically studied the influences of paid work on finding balance in everyday life. It is perhaps unsurprising to most of us that the notion of a sense of balance in either time or energy use is out of sync in our everyday lives but the question as to why is something that is rather more complex and sadly is a question that is rarely asked, let alone answered.
It is these very interesting and complex issues that I continue to explore in terms of life balance and I have shared my findings in several papers presented at conferences around the world. Topics have included the social influences of the value of paid work and the notion of ‘busyness’ in everyday life to a broader sense of balance beyond just social structures to connect with the natural world on which we all rely for survival; an ecological balance if you like. Abstracts for these and other papers can be found at the Cardiff University repository here. A list of publications and abstract can also be found on the page here.
My book on life balance is called ‘Challenging Stress, Burnout and Rust-out: Finding Balance in Busy Lives’. The text is easy reading and summarises both the essence of my research and offers some practical skills and solutions for living a little more in harmony with yourself, others and, I hope, the planet in everyday life.For a quick overview of some of the tips in the book take a look here.
Endorsements of the ‘Challenging Stress, Burnout and Rust-out” Book
In this brilliantly written book, Dr Clouston presents a thought-provoking reconceptualization of the notion of occupational balance. She argues that living a balanced life means resisting the neoliberal capitalistic pressure to value “doing” over other aspects of life, and instead pursuing personally meaningful occupations that enable “doing, being, becoming, and belonging”. This is a “must-read” textbook for anyone who is interested in ideas about meaningful living through focused engagement in valued occupations.
Moses N. Ikiugu, PhD, OTR/L, Professor and Director of Research, Occupational Therapy Department, University of South Dakota
Occupational Scientist Teena Clouston offers tools for healthcare professionals and service providers, teachers and homemakers, workers and job seekers, and caregivers and retirees, to build better lives by balancing what matters most. Clouston pits current research on improving quality of life against the wider forces driving stressful lifestyles worldwide. No one-size-fits-all remedy exists for the debilitating effects of stress. Yet each of us can find the just-right balance of doing, being, becoming and belonging.
Gelya Frank, PhD, Professor, Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy and Anthropology, University of Southern California, USA
As an occupational therapist Dr Teena Clouston is an expert in doing. In this very useful book Teena uses her occupational science expertise to explore lifestyle balance and how doing too much can be addressed by applying concepts of being, becoming and belonging. The accessible writing style of this excellent book allows readers to explore and understand neo-liberalism and its role in creating our Western ‘busyness’. I recommend it to all those who work with and/or experience lifestyle imbalance.
Annie Turner, Emeritus Professor of Occupational Therapy, University of Northampton, and Chair, The Elizabeth Casson Trust
You can listen to this youtube video made for the publishers Jessica Kingsley about the book. It gives a good insight into my research and ideas behind it:
If you would like to contact me about my work me please do so. Details can be found on the contact page or you can find more details if you follow the links below.
You can also find me on LinkedIn here and follow me on Twitter @Drteenaclouston