Life in BALANCE
Do you feel pulled in a million different directions? In a culture that celebrates busyness and overachievement, we can find ourselves like a hamster in a treadmill racing from one thing to the next. We pack our day with commitments until we don’t have a second to spare or breathe. We may find that all we have gained from our hectic lifestyle is stress and anxiety. The pressure of keeping such an overloaded schedule impairs our ability to concentrate, make good decisions, and handle problems effectively. Stress can negatively affect our relationships, work, school and contribute to many physical health problems.
There are many things that we have to balance in life. We have priorities, obligations, relationships, interests, spiritual pursuits and leisure activities that all compete for our time. Finding balance is a lifetime project. It is a moment-to-moment decision-making process that requires us to say no to things as we prioritize the various tasks and activities that come at us each day. Sometimes, the things we need to do like, school and work, can feel like they are taking over and leave little time or energy for the things that we love to do. Therefore, we must intentionally add self-care into our daily routine, or it will never happen. Scheduling ourselves into our busy calendar takes practice and discipline. Here are a few ideas to help:
- Start the day off right. Show gratitude for being alive. Prayer and meditation first thing in the morning will allow us to start the day with the right mindset ready to take on the next 12-hours. This can help prioritize our time by identifying the most important goals for the day. Knowing this will help bring an understanding of what we need to say ‘no’ and ‘yes’ to depending on whether it aligns with our goals.
- Make health a priority. Getting enough sleep, eating healthy and fitting in some exercise affects the quality of our lives; improving cognitive function, mood, and energy levels.
- Make time for relationships. Family and friends are the people who help us feel connected and give us a sense of belonging. Cultivate the relationships that add positivity to your life. Stay connected with those you love by scheduling in dates for dinner, walks or coffee.
- Make time for yourself each day to reflect and regain perspective. Taking time to step back from a high-pressured situation can lower stress and provide a new perspective on situations. Reflection allows the brain the opportunity to pause amidst the chaos, untangle and sort through experiences, create new meaning and lead to valuable insights. A few things to try are meditation, journaling, drawing, or mindfulness exercises.
It is normal for life to get in the way; there are times that we are busier than others. But planning and keeping your self-care a priority will help you get through hectic times with much more ease.
Jodi Kunz, MC, is a trained EMDR therapist and is experienced in working with trauma, plus many more. For more information on Jodi and her work, click here to link to her full bio page.