Imagine a day that you wake up feeling renewed, focused, and ready to face the day. There is a pep in your step and you’re motivated to continue working towards goals you have for the week.
You may have looming deadlines, bills that are due, and kids to take care of but you feel confident in your abilities to get everything done and not pull your hair out while doing so! Life can be very stressful, however, there are plenty of people out in the world that healthily take care of their business. The common denominator? Life balance.
Life balance is when a person does not go from one extreme to the other. You’re not over-working yourself or staying up half of the night watching television because you know that you have work at 8am, the kids have to get to school on time, etc. Instead, you’ve set a schedule that works for you and you stick to it.
Creating balance in life requires discipline and self-awareness. You have to be aware of how you feel, what is causing you to feel a certain way, and evaluate these pieces because this will dictate how you structure your life balance.
If you’re struggling with creating balance in your life or just don’t know where to start—here are 5 tips that will help you out.
1. Evaluate everything that is taking up time in your life (i.e. career, family, business endeavors, extracurricular activities, etc.) and write it down.
Sometimes the only way that a person is able to see what is going on in their life, is to literally see what is going on. Try writing down everything that is occupying time in your life. Writing down your current project list(s) allows you to have a succinct visual on what is occupying your time, and from there, you can decide what needs to be or even can be nixed and what needs to stay.
Consider this: instead of trying to do it all, carefully evaluate the top 5 endeavors/projects/events you want to invest your time and energy into so that you can create quality, meaningful outcomes.
2. Eat right and get enough sleep.
Eating and sleeping are two of life’s most essential necessities for success and proper brain functioning, however, these are the things that often get neglected the most when stress enters the picture.
The food that you put into your body is your fuel. What we fill up on will either help us or hurt us. If you have trouble with eating healthily throughout the day, try meal prepping the night before (or during the weekend).
Pay attention to the meals that you’re eating and how they make you feel when you’re finished.
The other half of attending to your food, is getting the proper amount of sleep.
Make a concerted effort to get on a sleep schedule and stick to it. Our bodies are set to run like clocks and sometimes you have to set yours to a strict schedule. Without proper sleep, our thinking becomes slower, we aren’t as alert, and certainly you will not be the best version of yourself when you’re running on empty.
3. Set aside time for yourself.
My happiest days at work are the days that I actually leave the office to take a lunch.
Taking a moment for yourself allows you to recharge.
In today’s world, we are being asked to do more with less time. Parents are working full time jobs and still struggling to pay the mortgage, college students are working 2-3 jobs and are still having to take out student loans. If you are in a situation where it seems impossible to take time for yourself-think outside of the box. You do not have to spend money in order to set aside time. Take a hot shower or bath, walk outside or have a seat on the front porch. Boil yourself a cup of tea and take 5 for you.
Create a moment in your day that is yours and yours alone.
When we start to feel overwhelmed, this is often a sign that our balance is off. Breath can be a very effective tool in relaxing and regaining balance.
I tell my clients that the best part about using your breathing is that it’s free and accessible anytime! Begin your day with 3-5 deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Breath work is centering and allows for more clarity of thought.
Throughout the day, you can easily implement breath work when you start to feel like your emotions are getting the best of you. Center, calm yourself, and then assert yourself. If you assert yourself before you’re centered, you may end up saying something that is “off the cuff” or reactionary.
For some, breath work takes practice as our natural inclination as humans can be to take short choppy breaths. Once you begin to use your breath effectively, you’ll wonder why you never used it in the first place!
5. Set consistent and firm boundaries with others.
Setting boundaries is a must for creating life balance. Boundaries help to define what we as humans will or will not accept in our lives.
Setting boundaries can be difficult, however it’s a vital part of protecting yourself and your mental health. If you find that your mental health is declining, your stress level is increasing, and you’re feeling taken advantage of, then it’s a pretty good indication that you are not setting boundaries properly.
Learn how to articulate what you expect from people and what you are willing to do and not do.
Through explaining to someone what your boundaries are, it lessens confusion and can be very freeing. Always remember that you are in control of yourself. In order to regain balance, sometimes you have to say no.
Tying it all together…
Finding balance in life is a continual self-exploratory process. Just when you think that you have it all under control, something may happen to throw everything out of whack. Learn to realign and adjust. Balance in life may look differently to you than it does your partner or family member.
Make balance in your life a priority. Eat right, get your rest, learn to say no, and set time out for yourself and you will begin to reap the rewards of living a balanced life.
If you don’t take care of yourself—then who will?
Wishing you an empowered life full of balance today and everyday,
P.S. Take a look at these articles for even more information on improving that delicate work-life balance and more on creating balance in your personal life: