Here’s the million-dollar question. How are you supposed to find balance when you’re juggling a demanding career, bustling household, and a to-do list that never seems to end? How are you supposed to achieve that proverbial zen when your cell phone keeps ringing, the dog keeps barking, the child keeps crying, and the laundry keeps piling?
Is such a balance even possible? Or is it just a quest that self-help books love discussing? Is balance a realistic goal, or is it just a trending term for people who only pretend to be busy?
Define Your Balance Goals
Forget what balance means to someone else. What does balance mean to you? Is it finding time to spend with your children every night? Is it being able to work hard during the week and unwind on the weekends?
What are you trying to achieve? The more you can identify your actual goal, the easier it will be to create a reasonable path towards achieving it.
Spend some time reflecting on why you feel imbalanced. Are you feeling fatigued by the end of the day? Do you feel heightened levels of anxiety because you aren’t getting everything accomplished? Does something in your life need to give?
Not sure what kind of balance you need? Consider making an old-fashioned vision board. Using old magazines, cut out the images and text that appeal and inspire you. What does your ideal life look like? How does your constructed image compare to your current reality?
Identify What You Truly Need To Do
If you’re like most people, there are a million things to do every single day. We all get caught up in the tyranny of busy. If you’re focused on fitting everything in, you’ll never experience balance (or anything remotely close to balance).
Want to know the biggest enemy for balance? It’s perfectionism, and many of us are so focused on overachieving and “doing it all” that we end up feeling exhausted, overworked, and emotionally burnt.
Perfectionism can be a tricky beast. You may not even know you struggle with this issue until you try seeking more balance in your life. That’s because letting go of perfectionism inherently requires letting go of some preconceived control. It means surrendering the unhealthy idea that you need to do everything in order to feel happy and fulfilled.
Instead, try focusing on what you truly need to do today. What’s completely non-negotiable? If everything seems non-negotiable, grab a pen and paper. Create three categories for red, yellow, and green. The red is the “must do” category, yellow is “want to do” and green is “will need to do at some point.” Writing down your tasks in this way can help you prioritize your responsibilities.
Identify The Roadblocks
We all have obstacles preventing us from maximizing our time. By acknowledging these roadblocks, you can create a reasonable plan of action for tackling these barriers.
Roadblocks may include:
Feelings of guilt and shame (believing you don’t deserve balance)
Catastrophic worries (anxiety about what will happen if you leave tasks for another day)
Depression (feeling a lack of motivation or apathy about change)
Excess stress in multiple life dimensions
Compulsive behavior that consumes the majority of your free time
Any of these roadblocks can prevent you from prioritizing or implementing balance in your life. The first step is identifying which ones may be affecting you.
Stop Sacrificing Your Well-Being
Life isn’t just a sum of what you do. It’s about who you are. And if you aren’t feeling happy, rested, and motivated throughout your day, you won’t be living an optimal life.
Your achievements won’t matter if you aren’t taking care of your emotional and physical health. If you don’t like yourself (or your life), more fame, success and money simply won’t fix those plaguing problems.
Self-care needs to be an integral part of your life routine. Self-care means listening to your body and honoring your intuition. It means prioritizing your well-being, even if that sometimes means doing nothing at all.
To make self-care more of a habit, practice setting realistic, attainable goals in the following areas:
To find balance, you often need to lose the desire for power, control, and perfectionism. Balance is the absence of rigidity; it is about flexibility, freedom, and a dynamic and intentional way of living.
Regardless of your external circumstances, therapy and coaching can help you restore the much-needed balance in your life. No matter how busy you are, we can always find some room for slowing down and enjoying more out of each moment. Ready to get started?