The Pursuit of Balance
There is always talk about the ever-elusive ‘work-life balance’ – who has it, who doesn’t. All the articles on the Internet and the chatter on social media make it out to be a thing that is always just out of reach; like a balloon that you’ve let go of, but as hard as you try, you can’t jump high enough to get it back.
For the past year, I think I can safely say we’ve all struggled with finding balance, whatever form we wish that to take. Very few people on the planet today have experienced a global pandemic, so you’re not alone! So we’ve got that on our plates as well as its compounding ‘elusiveness’. No wonder we’re often feeling out of balance!
I’ve learned two things:
1) We perceive ourselves to be ‘out of balance’ not because we can’t do it, but because the goal is constantly shifting and changing. Priorities change minute by minute, quite often so fast that we don’t notice it and all of a sudden, we’re feeling out of balance again.
2) In these days of remote everything, the line between ‘work’ and ‘life’ is really, really blurred. I mean REALLY blurred. Because our work space and our living space is now the in the same place, there is no transition time between leaving work and arriving at home. We used to use that time in the car or on the bus to de-compress, shift to our personal selves and change our environment. Now we just try to cope with whatever is in front of us at particular moment, whether it’s a personal task or a work task, we just deal with it. In amongst all of that chaos, we’re told we need to find time for ourselves alone.
You are the answer. You yourself are responsible for your well-being, all day, every day. Not your job, not your spouse, not your kids. It starts and ends with you. It follows then that you need to make yourself the priority, say ‘no’ sometimes and stick to boundaries so that you can be your best self for everyone and everything in your life. This is the center of being in balance. Makes sense, doesn’t it?!?
Many years ago, I made health and fitness my first priority for two reasons. The first is that I came out of corporate physically and mentally fried, and the second is that starting a business meant that I was going to be in control of everything I do. Not my boss, not my spouse, me.
That in itself brings a sense of freedom; freedom to choose what to do with my time as the days stretch out before me. I start each and every day in three realms: physical fitness (weights, cardio), mental fitness (brain games, reading) and reflection (journaling, meditation). It’s what works for me; odds are that what fires up your day is totally different. My regimen starts my day off right, prepares me for the day ahead and gets all my systems firing. I started off by scheduling this commitment in my calendar several years ago and I did it daily, without fail. Now it’s my morning ritual; I don’t schedule it, I don’t even think about it, I do it automatically. Total game changer.
If I was able to give you two hours of time every day to put yourself first, what would you do with that time? Why not schedule it alongside the other time slots in your calendar, make it a priority and do something just for you?
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