Can we really have it all and still keep our sanity?
Many people feel like they bought into the “you can have it all” mentality only to find themselves divorced, disenchanted, and burnt out.
They had high paying, high pressure jobs that cost many of them their health and their families.
They didn't have as much time as they wanted to invest in their kids, were too tired to invest in themselves, and felt like no one really knew them apart from their performance.
Let’s face it, it’s hard to be all things to all people.
And there’s only so much time available to each of us in a day; we can only spread ourselves so thin.
Something somewhere has to give if we want to follow the “we can have it all mentality.”
If you've ever struggled with how you can have it all and still keep the balance in your life, you’re not alone, so here are a few suggestions that may help:
1. Don't Compromise
First of all, you need to look at the big picture. What are the most important things/people in your life?
Once you have that down, narrow down how you want to order your daily activities to reflect your goals and values.
Lists are great if you’ll use them, but set your priorities in stone and don’t let the world crowd you out. There are lots of distractions waiting to sabotage your plan--don’t let it happen.
Set specific time limits for each activity and don’t bend unless it’s an emergency.
2. Find Structure
Setting small goals for your day requires structure.
First prioritize. Next, be specific and realistic. Know your time and limitations.
3. Be Flexible
Nothing cramps your life up like rigidity. Be willing to be flexible if something comes up. If you have to go to work and your child is sick, you evaluate your priorities and make the call; then relax.
People are more important than deadlines. Your work will still be there--your child’s beliefs about your availability are more important than your job.
4. Notice Your Heart
Take a look at the stress level in your life. Most of us are stressed and don’t even realize it. We don’t stop to notice how all this mess called life is affecting us physically. Noticing is a huge part of taking care of yourself. Start by doing a quick body scan every day. Sit quietly for several minutes several times a day.
Start with your head and work down to your feet. Pay attention to any muscle tension, aches and pains, or stress you notice. Focus on each body part.
Learn to do progressive muscle relaxation or deep breathing to calm you. Then make sure your day includes something that will help you decompress. Be willing to try something new and mix it up.
5. Find Inner Peace and Rest
We’re taught to take care of our hearts through exercise and eating right, but does anyone ever tell us to consider checking our emotional pulse?
Noticing what’s going on in your soul is just as important as your physical well-being because all your stress spills over to your physical body. Balance includes inner peace too. Try meditation, prayer, or silence and solitude.
If something is bothering you, talk to someone.
6. Learn to say NO
If you’re a perfectionist, workaholic or someone who can’t say no, you need to take a look at the beliefs that are driving your behavior.
Could it be that you are afraid others will reject you, not like you, or get mad at you? If so, remember that the people who are really important in your life won’t judge you on your performance; they love you for who you are.
Delegating responsibility when necessary is a great way to get things done and have a more balanced lifestyle. Saying no can make us feel guilty, but keeping your balance requires sticking to your priorities and taking care of YOU!
7. Make a Healthy Balance Worksheet
Write down all the areas in your life (financial, recreational, social, physical, spiritual, family etc.) that take up your time. Next, list what you’re currently doing in each area, and what you need to do to find more balance.
Then set your goals and construct your plan, breaking things down to daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals. Statistics say that people who write down their goals are more likely to achieve them.
Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can decide about today. Balance won’t just magically appear in your life, you have to devise a plan of action and be intentional about making it happen.
Then go get em!
Back at You ...
If you’ve struggled with balancing way too much in your life, what solutions did you come up with? What first steps did you take, and how did it work for you?
|Written on 11/14/2012 by Rita A. Schulte. Rita is a licensed professional counselor in the Northern Virginia/DC area. She is the host of Heartline Podcast and Consider. Her book on moving through the losses of life will be released in the Fall 2013 by Leafwood Publishers. Follow her at www.ritaschulte.com, on FB http://www.facebook.com/RitaASchulte and twitter @heartlinepod. Her blog, Life Talk Today is www.ritaschulte.com/blog.|