A few weeks ago I asked How do you find balance? I was (and still am) feeling a bit overwhelmed. Blame it on trying to sell and buy a house, having a toddler, owning my own business, tax season, getting older, watever! I could list a bazillion things going on in my life and I’m sure you can to. But let’s face it, there are and will always be things that stress us out.
But how do we stay sane? How do we juggle responsibilities with interests? Work with play? Family and self? How DO we really find balance?
I’m not sure we’ll ever have the perfect answer but I was able to compile these 10 tips from the comments on my Finding Balance question.
- Take Time For Yourself
- I’m listing this one first as I think it the most important AND the hardest. Part of the problem most of us feel is that there is just NOT enough time. So how do justify taking even more of that precious resource just for ourselves. What we need to remember is that if we don’t take care of ourselves we won’t be able to take care of others. As they say "Put on your oxygen mask first!"
- Action Items: Find time for yourself even if it’s just a few moments. Sit in a quiet room. Take a few deep breaths. Go for a walk with your iPod. Take advantage of the gym’s free daycare. Something. ANYTHING! But make sure it’s just for you.
- I’m so bad with this. And sometimes I think it’s in direct competition with the tip above. If I am going to take time for myself then somethings gotta give and that something is generally sleep. It seems to be the easiest thing to sacrifice. But at what cost? We (or maybe it’s just me) need to realize that sleeping is as important as eating healthy and staying active. It really completes that healthy trio.
- Action Items: Make an effort to go to bed half an hour to an hour earlier then you normally do. Have kids? Nap if/when they nap.
- Make a To Do List
- Sometimes I feel like I just can’t remember things like I used to. There was a time in my early 20’s when I didn’t need a calender. I didn’t email myself reminders. I never wore a watch. Yet I was on time, finished my work, returned messages and accomplished what I was suppose to routinely. Now I wonder what happened to that efficient, productive women. Where did she go? Regardless if it’s age, distractions or just too many responsibilities, I have to come to terms that that women is gone. I must find away to be productive without her.
- Action Items: Take a moment every night to jot done the tasks that need to be accomplished the next day. Keep a list of long term goals. Get a white board in the kitchen for family to do’s.
- Accomplish Something Small and FINISH it
- Nothing beats the power of momentum. I truly believe procrastination’s worse enemy is accomplishment. Once you accomplish a task, no matter how small, the ball starts rolling and it gets easier to start the next. The key is to start small and end big!
- Action Items: Look at your list, chose something easy to accomplish and JUST DO IT! Even if it’s something as small as putting away clothes or returning an email. You’ll feel so much better when you do.
- Ask for HELP!
- *sigh* Confession time. I HATE asking for help. HATE IT! I don’t even like to accept it if it’s being offered. I can seriously be struggling with 50lbs of grocery bags and if someone offers a helping hand I turn it down. Not sure where this defect came from but I need to get over it. I have to remember there’s a difference between being independent and just being down right stubborn! There is nothing wrong with asking someone to give you a hand at whatever it is you need to accomplish. Sometimes I think we just don’t know how.
- Action Items: Take a look at your list. What can you ask someone else to do for you? What tasks would be better to accomplish as a team?
- Even though starting small builds a sense of momentum that can help you find balance, sometimes you need to skip the low priority items and head for the important ones. What’s important to you is going to be very unique based on your to do list and goals. Prioritizing your to-do can be an invaluable resource.
- Action Items: Create a priority system. For example 1=low 3=high and assign numbers to the items on your to do list.
- Recognize Your Accomplishments
- Sometimes you may feel like you aren’t accomplishing anything but in actuality you ARE! I do this all the time. I feel off balance, stressed, out of sorts and then I sit down to write a post and realize all I have accomplished. Don’t get lost in your responsibilities without recognizing how much you are actually accomplishing. Sometimes you just need to BRAG!
- Action Items: Take a look at all the item crossed off your to do list. Write out what you accomplished in a journal or blog. Have a conversation with a friend and talk about your day. You’ll may be surprised to hear yourself say aloud what you recently accomplished.
- Remember.. The World Will NOT end.
- I’m here to remind you (and myself) that the world will not end if the dishes don’t get washed. No one will die if the laundry stays in the dryer overnight. And take it from me, the emails will still be in your inbox tomorrow. We need to learn to Control It, Change It or simply LET IT GO!
- Action Items: Let something go today. Prove to yourself the world won’t end.
- Remove Distractions
- Recently I tweeted "Roni has come to the sad conclusion that the only way to actually accomplish work is by disconnecting. *sigh*" It’s true, we live in a world full of distractions. Don’t blame it on the internet, this problem was around way before twitter. Sometimes we just have to learn to avoid them.
- Action Items: Disconnect from the internet. Turn off the TV. Close your e mail window.
- Be Grateful
- Sometimes it’s not all about US. We may feel out of control or stressed but I think it’s important to note that we aren’t alone. Look around at those you love. Be thankful for what you have. When I’m feeling a bit stressed sometimes just looking at the toddler playing happily reminds me of what’s really important.
- Action Items: Make a gratitude list. Take a moment every day to reflect on what you have in life. Thank your loved ones for just being them. :)
Alright, I’m off to cross out "Write Balance Post" from my to do list. :)