We are busy people. Regardless of who I speak to, very few people don’t respond to “How are things?” with the some form of the answer “Good but busy”. It almost seems as if there is a competition out there to see who can get the busiest. The winner will win a slew of stress related health problems and regrets of not spending enough time on the important things in life. It’s not a great prize and we don’t really want it, yet we all continue to compete. Regardless of the stress or the amount of time it will take that we don’t have, we keep piling on things until one day, we completely break. Why do we do this? For each person it is a little different but the range of reasons can include the inability to say no, feeling obligated to do more, not feeling as if we are as important as the things we have to do, etc. It is a vicious and dangerous cycle that we thrive on until we are exhausted and burnt out.
The solution is fairly simple but hard to enforce. We need to put ourselves first and demand that we remain balanced in our lives. We need to start running our calendars rather than have them run us. When we are out of balance and spending too much time in areas that don’t serve us, we are not the best us. We cannot give 100% to anything we are doing if 100% of us isn’t available.
Not providing time to relax, center and focus is a common spiral that can be broken if we are aware of it. Once you become aware and implement strategies to keep it under control, the rewards are worth far more than the difficulty it might cause. Living a balanced life we have the energy to spend on our passions, our families, and our purpose. We have a sense of calm and peacefulness. Every moment is enjoyable and effortless instead of stressful and hard.
Here are some steps you can take to integrate more balance in your life:
- Learn to say no – You don’t have to do everything for everyone. It is a hard lesson to learn, but if you aren’t realistic with your time then you are unable to give the proper attention to the things you want to commit to.
- Ask for help – It is a hard thing for many, but asking for help is critical. Your friends and family want to see you happy and helping can also give them a sense of joy.
- Build in relaxation time – You have to have time that is dedicated to you. Something to look forward to and that helps your soul feel nurtured. It isn’t about the amount of time; it is more about the effectiveness of it. List out things that you wish you had time for and would relax you. Pick from them, rotate through them or do all of them. Whatever works, just make sure there is a routine in place to give you frequent YOU time.
- List it out – List out everything that you are spending your time on. Narrow down the list to the things that aren’t critical or making you happy. Of those items, what can you remove? What can you let go of?
- Practice – It is important to build a practice of balancing our minds and energy. It can be a meditation routine, long baths, or simply taking deep breaths with our eyes closed throughout the day. Find what speaks to you and makes you feel calm and relaxed. Make sure to make it something you can integrate easily into your daily life. This will help reinforce the changes you are making and keep you balanced in stressful situations.
These are just a few steps to start with, but critical ones. Start small then build up as you get more comfortable. You and your happiness is worth every bit of effort it takes to achieve balance in your life.