“Most of us have trouble juggling. The woman who says she doesn’t is someone whom I admire, but have never met.” ~Barbara Walters
Seriously, with all of the demands that life throws at us, from work to home, family to friends, and bosses to business partners— Who the hell is able to find balance? When you’re juggling several things at once, you can’t always give them equal attention. It’s damn near impossible.
So how does one find balance when it seems to be a far more mythical concept than the unicorn?
The truth is, I have no idea. I struggle with that every day, but I do know there are some things that keep me from going totally insane. So I’m going to share those with you and if you think of anything to add to the list, by all means, let me know.
I was never super into yoga until I took a class with the sweetest woman ever. Her energy is wonderful, the kind of adorable lady in her 60s you just want to hug all the time. After her classes, I feel calm and relaxed. It definitely breaks up my day/week and restores the sense of peace that eventually evaporates after the previous session.
If you like yoga, I certainly encourage it to add balance into your life. If you’ve never tried it, I suggest you do, but do some research first. Some yoga studios are better than others. You want to find one with actual beginner classes and that doesn’t over pack them. My first experience with yoga felt like a chop shop. We were packed in like sardines and there wasn’t a specified beginner class. I struggled to keep up and had no idea if I was doing it right. It was stressful and I hated it, which is the opposite of what yoga should be. You want to find a place that will help you along the way and ensure proper form.
If you don’t like yoga, try getting a CD with relaxing music. I have a Pachelbel one that plays over the sounds of the ocean. It’s amazing. Take a few minutes when you can to shut out the world, sit still and breathe deep with the music playing in the background. The best part is, you can usually do this at anytime. I keep the CD on my iPhone. All you need is a pair of headphones and you’re on your way to calm.
If the sun is shining, find a reason to go outside even if it’s just to take a walk to your mailbox. If you’re able to do a loop around your neighborhood or sit in the sun for 20 minutes or so, you’ll be surprised at the boost you receive. And it’s free, so who doesn’t love that?
Since we’ve gone to print, there have been tears just about every other day. What am I crying about? The lack of time there is in each day to complete the superhuman to-do list I have. Why am I crying? Because I’m so freaking burnt from attempting to complete the superhuman to-do list every day and barely having time to do the very simple things I need to do for myself, like eating proper meals and washing my hair.
No one reminds me to slow down and take time for myself like my man. Yes, he’s my sig other, my lover and my best friend. He drags me back down to Earth when I need it most and offers simple solutions that really do help. There are times when he forces me to take a break and times when he brings me food while I work. If I didn’t have him in my life, I’d be living on an hour of sleep per night, Redbull, coffee, wine, and Peanut M&Ms would be the only food-like items ingested…and my sweatpants would be metastasized to my body.
You may or may not have a significant other but if you’re a badass chick, chances are you have a pretty solid friend or two. Not the friends that whine that you never come out to the bars anymore—the ones that are busy like you and have lives that they have to juggle as well. Use them for support and actually listen when they make suggestions. It doesn’t mean you always have to take their advice. Just rolling around a suggestion in your head will get you thinking about slowing down and balancing a bit.
I absolutely love to travel. Even though it’s exhausting and I’m ready to come home after three days, it’s great to get away. Rather than calling it a vacation though, I take my work with me. I’m able to take some time and enjoy the atmosphere while still being productive.
I know. We all can’t take trips whenever we feel like it but if you can, you should. Even if it’s just one night at a nearby hotel, resort, cabin, beach house-whatever. And don’t feel guilty for working while you’re there, it’s your trip you can do what you want.
No I’m not telling you to be totally insane like me and go pick up a job you don’t need, but hear me out. I started tending bar once or twice a week because my social interaction has gone way, way down. I don’t like to go out drinking (and let’s be honest that’s what most people want to do) because the next day I’m completely useless. Plus, why go out and spend money to be social when I can make money and be social? Not only do I meet new people all the time, but the networking is incredible.
Something happened though, that I didn’t expect. When I walk behind that bar, I’m physically incapable of attending to all the stuff outside the bar. It’s like stepping into a black hole. No emailing, Facebooking, household responsibilities, writing, obsessing over work—all that goes away. Because I physically can’t do these things, I put them out of my mind. I’m essentially forced to unplug. That makes me present, puts me in the moment, and I genuinely enjoy myself.
So bartending may not do that for you, but maybe volunteering somewhere a couple times a week will, or teaching a class. Basically, something that keeps you focused on what you’re doing in the moment rather than the chaos that is your life.
The balancing act isn’t easy, but it’s necessary to your sanity. When you take time for yourself, it’s easier to balance all of those other demands of life and roles you play. You may think if you take time away from work, you’ll get further and further behind (I know I do) but the reality is that you’ll be more productive when you take the time to balance everything out.
Do you struggle with juggling the demands of life? How do you maintain a balance?
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