The age old dilemma of how, in a fast-paced world, when all of us are wearing so many hats and have an endless list of titles, does one balance it all? Well, before you read any further you need to know that, spoiler alert, there’s no such thing as balancing IT ALL or at least no way anyone can truly juggle everything all at once without letting something fall. So let's first start by taking a deep breath and rest in the fact that, my friend, you are not alone. You don’t have to have it all together AND you don’t have to always look like you have it all together either. Pressure is off! I like to replace the word “balance” with rhythm. Rhythm is by definition a measured flow of words and phrases in verse or prose as determined by the relation of long and short or stressed and unstressed syllables. Did you catch that, it’s a flow. It’s about interchanging some stresses for others and creating a beautiful piece of music when everything flows together. So how do we create this flow/rhythm/balance in our everyday and, sometimes unpredictable, life?
Here are a few ways that I like to try…
01. CREATE HEALTHY HABITS
Be it exercise, hydrating, eating healthy. Do the things that you know you need to do even in the chaos. Your health affects every other aspect of your life. If you’re running on empty, with no sleep and feeding your body junk, then you’re likely not going to be the best version of you for those that need you. This is also something that you can feel IN control of when everything else feels OUT OF control. When my kids got sent home with chickenpox and I continued to drink my water and squeeze in some time to move my body, it helped me to better function, but it also helped me feel like I was still making some little ‘wins’.
02. BE GRATEFUL WHERE YOU ARE
Your kids will suddenly come down with a sickness or your dog will swallow something that it shouldn’t, the tires, or microwave or whatever might give out, life happens. Embrace what matters and let go of what doesn’t. Not every day is going to go exactly to plan, so when it doesn’t train yourself to still seek the good things within that day. Maybe you were able to enjoy that cup of coffee while the kids watched a little TV? Maybe dinner was a family hit? Maybe that tummy bug caused you to get in some extra cuddles with your kids? There’s always, always something to be grateful for, we just have to remember to look for it. I promise when you do this it will help to shift your perspective and cause you to be more aware of the things that are going well when it seems like other things are falling apart. This day, week, season won’t last forever and YOU WILL come out the otherside, pinky promise.
03. CREATE BOUNDARIES AND PRIORITIZE WHAT MATTERS
This is a biggie and also serves fairly tough for a lot of people, hand raised over here. Having boundaries helps tremendously when trying to balance various priorities. Whether it’s work time or family time, having some non-negotiables can help when trying to balance different plates. Maybe it’s that you decide you are going to eat dinner as a family three times a week. When you set this as a non-negotiable then it will help to say no to the other distractions that will come, and THEY WILL! Learning to say that simple, yet so tough, two letter word ‘no’ is a kicker, and I’m preaching to myself here. Your ‘no’s play a vital role to living a life of more balance. Reevaluate your list and set some boundaries and goals of when/where/how you want to show up for work/family/friends. Set aside time and then learn to start exercising that ‘no’ muscle.
Balance is a lot like ice skating, it's constantly shifting your weight from side to side in effort to keep yourself from falling over. It’s prioritizing the things that matter, when they matter. It’s letting go of guilt and replacing it with grace. It’s being more in the moment of wherever you find yourself. It’s ultimately remembering that you are enough and you’re doing a pretty dang good job!