Webster defines balance as…
An even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright or steady.
I wasn’t sure what I would write about for my first official blog. Until I realized our basement was flooding and then it became very clear on what I was to share. You see, I had to get the kids to school, do paperwork, go grocery shopping, call to schedule doctor appointments, and go to an important appointment for… oh yeah, me!
As a mom of 3 littles, wife, sister, daughter, therapist, I have many roles – and they all happen at the same time. Attempting to balance these roles, so that I can accomplish all I need to do, along with all I want to do, is not an easy task. Especially when your basement is flooded and you have to arrange for a plumber to be at the house during the time – of course – that I should be at the important appointment for myself.
In the end, it all worked out. The plumber came the following day, I made it to my appointment, got some work done and picked up the kids. I didn’t get grocery shopping done or have the time to schedule the future doctor appointments, but the things I had made a priority were done. While we shop-vacuumed the basement I thought about how hard it can all be, balancing all we need to do with what we want to do. Just how do we handle those times when the unexpected throws our “to-do” list out the window?
If things are out of balance, we can start to feel stress and anxiety along with frustration, disappointment and resentment. When other things pop up that were not expected…it seems that much more difficult. I hear and feel my clients frustration and stress with this all the time. Life is hard and messy sometimes. Things we wanted or expected to get done, just don’t.
In the book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying-Up by Marie Kondo, she discusses how to get rid of the clutter. The book references tips and ideas, which of course help us stay organized and decrease stress, but when thinking about our schedules I think this relates…
She says that in deciding what to keep and what not to keep, “ask yourself what things will bring you joy if you keep them as a part of your life? Pick them as if you were identifying items you loved from a showcase in your favorite store…Put all your clothes in one heap, take them in your hand one by one and ask yourself quietly, “ Does this spark joy?”
When considering your schedule, try doing the same thing. Take it all off the calendar, consciously add each thing on, thinking about whether each brings you joy. Of course, there are things we have to do daily that do not bring us joy. We are adults and we have responsibilities. But when you bring this kind of awareness to the challenge, it will help to assess how you feel about everything on your schedule. Is each item necessary to keep, and what can you do to make the drudgery more joyful if it isn’t bringing you joy?
When it comes to self-care, we must put it in the schedule and then follow through. Self-care is an EVERYDAY must – not an option! Be specific with what, where and when you will do which event, i.e. Yoga 9am at Blank Studio. However, I recommend scheduling whitespace as well.
What is whitespace?
Whitespace in your home, in your schedule and in your life.
In a world where life can seem all consuming, we fill our schedules and spend our time until it, and we, are just that, spent. I was reminded about whitespace while listening to a podcast with Brene Brown. She discusses “…whitespace as carving time out for nothing. Giving you time to be creative, be quiet, be loud, dance, whatever you are feeling you want to do in that moment. It allows scheduled time to not have any tasks assigned.”
The idea is to free up the space so that there is room. Room to grow and the space in your schedule to do that growing. Putting the whitespace in your schedule will enable you to be more mindful of your schedule, be honest with your time and help you to be more productive during your day.
So how do I find the balance in my to-do list and make time for myself, my family and the fun stuff?
While life comes with many stressors finding a way to balance and to steady yourself, will help you to be happier and more content, but also allow you to enjoy all the beauty, love and laughter that surrounds you.
What works for someone, may not work for another, but there are strategies to help you find balance. In Part 2 of this blog, I will share the first 3 strategies. Try them out, see how they feel and continue to practice the ones that help. You will soon find you are feeling happier, stronger and more steady.
Be sure to come back on join us for Part 2 and for the first 3 strategies for finding balance.
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