Lately I’ve been feeling totally out of balance. I’m not following the food regime that makes me feel good. I’m finding myself in a state of busy all the time, and I feel like I’m behind on everything. Today for example, I had no clear idea of what I was going to write for this blog post, which is why I’m actually writing it on a Wednesday morning instead of writing it on Tuesday, like I usually do. Here is what I have learned though. Even on the days that I feel like I can’t get everything done, I’m only doing what I can and I’m resting when I need it, rather than pushing myself to do more than I know is possible. I also make sure that every morning I do my full 2-hour morning routine: 20 minutes of meditation, followed by journal writing, a 20-minute walk with the dog, and then 10-15 minutes of yoga or a more strenuous exercise, followed by breakfast and a shower. Yes, it’s a long time to spend on myself every morning but it’s what keeps my head in a good place. I’m also asking for help from people who will be there to support the projects I’m working on. On those days when things feel like they are going off the rails, I try to move forward with a positive mindset. Instead of punishing myself for everything I am unable to get done, I quickly forgive myself and do what absolutely needs to be done that day.
Sometimes that means things like posting on social media won’t happen, and I am ok with that. The important things for that day are still going to get done. I’m still eating 3 meals a day, I’m getting to the meetings that I have scheduled on time, and I’m meeting all of the deadlines that affect others. Sometimes we get so far into overwhelm that it’s no longer the tasks that are the problem. It’s the meaning we add to them and the fact that we have allowed the stress to take over. When we are running in a stressed state, we aren’t using the best parts of our brain. We are using the part that is meant to decide whether we run from a threat or not. That part does not make good decisions when we aren’t really about to be eaten by a… (insert scary animal). Perhaps the important thing that I have learned about balance is: it doesn’t really exist! When I first started hearing the term work/life balance, it was everywhere. It felt like another thing I had to chase. At the time I had great work life balance. I enjoyed my work life, and I enjoyed my home life. Since starting my coaching business, I have struggled a little more with work/life balance; my work and my life both happen in my home and it’s harder to separate what is work and what is life. I also have had some health issues (nothing diagnosed), where my energy is up and down. Keeping my energy in balance has also been a struggle. Now I take a day-to-day approach. Do what needs to happen today with the amount of energy I have. Some days I get it wrong, but I take the next opportunity to rest and continue on my way. No more punishment or anger with myself, just see what went wrong and try not to go there again. Our balance changes, every day, every week, and every year. We are always changing, and so our priorities change too, therefore our balance does as well. It’s not something you can chase but it is something you can remain conscious of. When we are aware of what brings us energy and what drains our energy, we can make choices to help keep our energy in balance.
The truth is that these times of feeling stressed and out of balance don’t last forever, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. For me, I know that after this week, when things quiet down a little, I’ll have time to get back to where I want to be. Take the time to take care of your needs, and learn to let go of things that don’t matter – you will find yourself less stressed and more balanced in no time.