Most of us need a little bit more balance in our lives. If you ever feel frazzled and you’re losing control over everything around you, you can probably relate to this need. The lack of control and balance in your life is something that happens gradually, and often you don’t realize how much balance you have lost, until you go to restore that balance. But not only do you need to restore that balance, but you need to redefine what it means to have balance in your life. If you don’t have a clear vision of the balance that your life needs, you will never be able to maintain it.
When most people think about the balance of their life, work is the first thing that comes to mind. Work can look like so many different things, which is often why it is so difficult to balance out in your life. You may have a full time job that takes up most of your waking hours week after week. And many of us have a hard time truly leaving work at work, focusing on work problems and issues once we are home.
In addition to your career, there are household items that demand a lot of time, and this also constitutes work. Childcare is another thing that, while it feels unfair to label it as work, is absolutely work.
This is often just scratching the surface of the things in your life that are work. So, how is it possible to gain any balance when there are so many work related things that are pulling your attention in a hundred different directions at once? There will always be exceptions, but you should strive to have specific hours that you spend on work tasks. If you have a 9-5, leave that work there. Don’t bring projects home with you, and don’t answer emails regarding work issues when you are home. Specify certain hours that you will be doing housework. If you have hours set on a daily basis, it will be easier to keep your home clean and will not take more than your designated daily hours to keep things clean.
Down time sometimes feels like something you’ll never have again. You think back to the simple times when you were in high school, college, pre children, pre career, that you had time to do absolutely nothing. You will probably never have such an abundance of free time ever again, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve to have some free time in your life. In fact, it is necessary in order for you to thrive and have an enjoyable life. Depriving yourself of free time is going to stress you out and make you less productive when you are focusing on other things. Every single day, no matter what deadlines or dishes you have, you need to let yourself take a break. Schedule it in before you start your day, so you don’t have an excuse to skip it when you are feeling overwhelmed.
It’s important to separate downtime from scheduled time to do things that you enjoy. Downtime should be time that you are able to sit and not worry about things. Spend that time catching up on your favorite tv show. But you should also schedule out activities of things you enjoy. Date nights, grabbing drinks with friends, brunch on the weekends, going to the movies. These won’t happen every day, but are important to have on a weekly basis.
Your health is important, and often neglected when you are overwhelmed and busy. It doesn’t take a lot of time to plan out healthy meals for your week, but it’s important to do so, and to stick to it. Finding time to be active and workout, even if it is just going on a walk in the evening with your dog, will improve the quality of your life, and you’ll find that you have more energy for other things during the days.