Today, a bit of reflection about life. It turns out that motherhood and self – employment both comes with seemingly endless demands, it feels impossible to keep up, there never seems to be enough time or money and expectation always high. A feeling of failure and guilt is not unfamiliar to me. Work, family, friends, play, leisure, relaxation, caring for others and ourselves, social and political consciousness, environmental awareness, physical needs … there is just so many things we are having to juggle in life. Is it possible to find a balance and if so, how to do it? Balance surely means something different to each of us.
Albert Einstein said, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
I love this quote, its so true! Life is definitely variable, unpredictable and challenging and the earlier we accept this and adapt to be flexible and allow new situations to become our development opportunities the easier it will be to move towards balance. Life balance is not a destination but a constant journey, it requires reviewing, forgiveness and flexibility.
There are few other elements that are in our power to control and that will make our ride a bit easier.
Your body and mind
Taking care of your mind and body is essential and single most important thing you need to tackle. No matter who you are and how busy you are there is no excuse for abuse. You must always put yourself first and take care of your mental, emotional and physical health.
You might struggle to find mental balance if your body is out of balance so go back to the basics. Make your healthy diet and physical activity your priority, because you deserve the best. You do not have to spend hours in the gym each day but take time away from your daily activities, “change the view”, give your head some rest, take a walk or a long bath with your favourite book. What you eat is another huge contributor of where you body and mind are at. Ditch the junk food and treat your body with respect, provide it with the right food to give you the clarity and energy to make the right decisions. Hydrate and don’t underestimate the importance of sleep.
Here and now
Multitasking is a great skill but also a curse. As our lives become busier it can feel like a never-ending river of tasks to accomplish, meetings to go to, jobs to complete with 24h never being enough. Being a working parent often means you take multitasking to the expert level! That’s all fine, but there is also time we should learn just to let go. Surly, easier said than done. Do you sometimes find yourself taking a break, long weekend away or holidays and still thinking about what’s going on at work or worrying about what you need to finish on your return? Playing with your kids or having romantic dinner with your partner but keep checking your phone and worrying about a million of other things you need to deal with? It’s a problem lots of people struggle with.
Make an agreement with yourself that your mind must be where your body is. To find your balance embrace the special moments, enjoy what you are doing right here, right now and stop blaming yourself or others for what you are NOT doing.
Try to retrain yourself to enjoy those simple life pleasures. Watch the sun rise and find gratefulness, walk barefoot on the grass and find connection with nature, be thankful for delicious food you are enjoying with your loved once and take time to appreciate what you achieved.
Know your priorities
When you name what’s actually important to you, it becomes easier to filter through the rest and re-focus on what matters most. While we often waste time on tasks that are not necessarily productive, it’s useful to take a step back and prioritize while accepting that not all tasks can be done. It really is not about how much you do but about how you are feeling about what you are doing. Make peace with the fact that we have time, money and energy limits. Take some time to learn how to prioritize. Being organized in that way and understanding that we all need to manage our tasks not time can be very helpful in moving closer to the balanced and less stressful life.
Look at the bigger picture
To fairly judge and evaluate your level of life stability you must look beyond your 24h achievements. While details are important, they can make you feel lost in mass of action and leave you feeling bogged down. Step back and looking at a bigger picture.
Reminding yourself and/or defining your goals small or large and takings small steps towards achieving them can be a good start. Where are you now and where are you heading? What is the purpose of your actions? Make you plans ahead to give you clarity of the road you need to take. Decisions made with your heart and with integrity will leave no room for feelings of blame or guilt! Most importantly stop comparing yourself to others and remove the pressure of proving something to someone. Just follow your heart. Commit to what you are comfortable with, not what would be perceived as correct or expected of you and make a peace with your inner instinct.
How to find your life balance?
Balance is a state of mind rather than way of finding how to do everything more efficiently. No amount of hacks and tips will help you achieve it, it’s a personal journey inside your heart and you need to find your own ways. Start with making a conscious decision to become balanced and stay focused. Realize where the issues and imbalances are and make a plan to fix those. Challenge yourself to do what you fear. It can be facing the smallest things, but the reward is worth taking the risk! Review your goals and ambitions as life is keep changing and stop blaming yourself for not being able to achieve all you planed. Set realistic goals and allow yourself to make imperfect decisions. Be flexible and don’t expect changes overnight. Accept that life will verify some of your plans. Be patient and give yourself a credit even if not everything goes as planned Lastly, remember that it’s about a progress, not perfection!