One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

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10 Tips to Help You Find Balance

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Finding Balance

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.
SLEEP!
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?
Prioritize
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. :)




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Discussion

There are 23 comments so far.

    workout mommy

    March 4, 2009

    such a GREAT list Roni, thank you! I also struggle with all of these, especially sleep.

    melissa (nyc)

    March 4, 2009

    Great post. Very helpful

    Amy

    March 4, 2009

    What a fantastic post, Roni!

    Tabitha

    March 4, 2009

    Roni,

    I too struggle to remember things and I’m only 22! I just graduated college last May and up until then, I didn’t need to look at my calendar or set ten different reminders for one task. . . but now I do! lol My whole point is it must not be age. . .maybe it’s a mom thing? I have a 3 yr old. . .

    Great list, by the way! All are very good tips!!

    Annette

    March 4, 2009

    great list!

    My biggest help is to remain present with what I’m doing instead of stressing out and trying to do 50 things at a time ;)

    Berni

    March 4, 2009

    Great tips Roni!

    I especially love the one about needing to Brag. Each week I post about the things I’m proud of having achieved that week, even the small things. Sometimes doing this makes me feel a bit uncomfortable, like who really cares if I cleaned the house. But I do it anyway, all part of trying to be more positive and less self deprecating.

    I invite you all to share your bragging in the comments any time, if we all do it together it might not seem so scary ;)

    Tessa

    March 4, 2009

    I love this list. I found myself saying, ‘yup, that’s my life now’ to them all. Being a new mom, I am trying to adjust to this new life. The only time I have for myself is after everone has gone to bed. That is when I do some cleanup, take my shower and relax. It takes about 1 to 1 1/2 hours out of my sleep-time but I need it. If I didn’t take it then, I wouldn’t get any at all.

    Michelle

    March 4, 2009

    Thank you! THANK YOU!

    I have felt so UNBALANCED lately that I wanted to scream. I have been shoving food in my face, I haven’t been exercising, not been sleeping enough. It’s taken a toll. I am not 15lbs heavier then I was when I hit my goal on my birthday in September, exhausted and have been coping with food.

    Finding balance. I woke up early this morning and did dishes :)

    Thank you Roni..seriously.

    Michelle

    gottahavefaith

    March 4, 2009

    Thank you for this post, Roni. You are so right and I relate to every point on that list. Another thing that helps me stay balanced is trying to live in the moment, taking care of the task in front of me without worrying about everything else that I need to or think I need to do.

    Marissa

    March 4, 2009

    Great tips!

    Liz

    March 4, 2009

    Oh Roni. Sigh. Thank you so much for this. This came at a perfect time for me.

    You are such a blessing! THANK YOU :)

    Christy

    March 5, 2009

    Great info!

    I know you are a very active blogger…so I stumbled across an Ultimate Blog Party and thought I should let you know about it. I am totally going to try it this year. You can find more info at www (dot) 5minutesformom (dot) com

    You can add your blog to the ‘party list’ and have a chance to win or give away a prize. It is all virtual too…so NO travel required :-)

    crazylady

    March 5, 2009

    This is really a great post Roni! I need to study and implement this list big time!!!!

    Nina

    March 5, 2009

    Love you! This is such a great post! I think I’ll print this list and pin it over my desk, to the fridge, wherever. Maybe I’ll cut it into pieces and pin it all over my apartment in small bits. :)

    And I can tell you, accepting help when you see that you have accomplished so much and reached your limits feels GREAT, especially when offered by the right people!. And don’t feel bad about it, you’ll be able to give it back in no time.

    LOVE, Nina

    joAnee

    March 5, 2009

    Awesome Ronnie ! Thank you! I gotta get off facebook!! haha:)

    Monica Shaw

    March 5, 2009

    Great list. I love this one: “Remember.. The World Will NOT end.” The way I always think about it is: “Is someone going to die as a result of this?” If the answer is “no”, then the situation can’t be all bad. If the answer is “yes”, then um, I’d be in trouble. =)

    Jennie

    March 5, 2009

    This is an awesome list! I needed to see this today. It is just already one of those days that everything is going to happen on. I think that sleep can be also part of number one. It is definitely taking care of yourself and if you add the luxury of a hot bubble-bath and an ice cold glass of water (or wine)…. mmm right to sleep after that!

    Christie

    March 5, 2009

    This is such an awesome post. I have actually put some of these things into practice in my life and I can say that IT WORKS!

    The last one, the one about gratitude, is big for me. If you are feeling sorry for yourself, it hard to recognize all the things that you have to be happy and thankful for. A gratitude list (even if it’s just in your head) works wonders for me.

    Thanks for the tips!

    Jac

    March 5, 2009

    I especially like the idea of a Gratitude List! I am horrible at being greatful; and I tend to ignore all the great things in my life and focus on the negative. (Just the funk I’m in I suppose!)

    Thanks for this great reminder! (It’s much needed here!)

    kristisummer

    March 5, 2009

    great list. love the sleep part, which is so important, without sleep and health nothing else matters. I also love lists, but I especially love crossing stuff off my list.

    Greg

    March 6, 2009

    Great list. Number 1 – prioritize. I’ve found that the best thing I can do for my sanity is know what needs to get done first. The rest can wait.

    fitforfree

    March 6, 2009

    Thanks for this, Roni! I especially like “accomplish a small task”—it’s easy to have an all-or-nothing mentality about work as well as food!

    Sleeping is so very important (as are naps!). I generally get up at 3 or 4am which gives me kid-free time in which to work…but sometimes by 1pm, I’m dragging big time.

    I also like your gratitude list – I try to tell my husband and kids how much they mean to me often indeed.

    Enjoy, Barbara