Confession #1...one of the reasons why I haven’t written a blog post in a while is because I simply haven’t found the time. I can be the first to admit that balancing life is extremely hard. Often times I wake up with so many things on my mind; things that I feel like I have to do, things that I feel that I want to do, and by the time I go to bed at night, well those things are still on my brain. It’s a never-ending cycle. But I’m tired of living on a hamster wheel of unaccomplished goals and dreams. So why not write about it? Hopefully sharing how I feel will help someone else.
Confession #2…I still don’t have it all figured out. I've learned to be ok with that. Truth of the matter, we all get out of balance sometimes. You don’t have to be in a relationship or have children to feel this way either. Sometimes we can become so preoccupied with things that life brings our way that we end up taking on too much. We easily forget about what we need for ourselves and what we want to do.
I've learned that one of the reasons why I get so out of balance is because I have a need to control everything. But the reality is, it's absolutely impossible to try and control every situation. Learning this has been difficult but very helpful. For those of you with anxious minds, you're probably rolling your eyes at me lol. I know it takes a little more convincing to let go of control. Think of it as your best efforts to relinquish things that don't belong to you. 😉
Another reason I've been out of balance is because I don't know how to relax. There have been moments in time when I set out to relax and then felt guilty about it. The guilt then fueled the fire of feeling the need to be doing something. Therefore picking up responsibilities that didn't belong to me and consuming spinning plates. Sometimes, often times, balance is just relaxing and not doing anything. Most importantly, it’s also about being ok with it. Think of how much more you might actually want to do if you cleared your mind for a few hours.
As I work with so many women who are mothers and wives, I often hear that they do not have time for themselves or the things that they want to accomplish. As I try to help them navigate through this, I’m secretly saying, “me too”. It doesn’t take much for a small change to have you feeling like you are spinning out of control, asking yourself, "where is the balance"? Guess what...balance is not what you find but rather what you create (Jana Kingsford). You have to prioritize some things. Is it easy, probably not. But it's definitely worth it.
I recently sat down and wrote a list of all of the things that I felt that I was juggling and realized that half of it was unnecessary. UNNECESSARY! Can you believe that? I was adding things to my list of responsibilities that I didn’t even need. Funny how that happens right? So I have begun to create the balance that works for me. Again, I don't have it figured completely out but it feels so rewarding to understand and implement what I need.
When you’re feeling like you’re spinning out of control and can’t get much accomplished, even if it’s every day stuff, take a look at these steps on how I guide others and myself on what to do to create balance. You can do it!
Helpful tips on creating the balance you want:
1. Spirituality: My first go to is to figure out where I am spiritually. This may not apply to everyone. I always feel much better about everything else when I have the ability to focus on God. I can admit, that I tend to let that fall by the wayside (not reading my Bible or giving 5 second prayers before drifting off to a much needed sleep, etc). If you are spiritual, make this a number 1 priority. If you pray or meditate, start your day off with this or end your night with it. Fill yourself with inspiration, where you can, to keep yourself grounded. One of my favorite bible verses is “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). It helps me to remember to push through.
2. Making Lists and Checking them off: Now sometimes a list can be overwhelming within itself, but if you make a habit of writing down things that you think you need to do or want to do, you have given yourself a guide or a road map. If you’re super detailed and organized (unfortunately, I’m not), you may have multiple lists. What I’ve found is that writing things down can give you a visual of what you feel like you have on your plate. Sometimes you will quickly recognize that there are some things that are not necessary, like I did. You can quickly mark those off. The physical checking or marking off a list makes me feel proud.
3. Enlist help: I can’t say enough about having support. Whether it is your husband or wife or you have children who are old enough to take on some responsibilities, ask for help. It’s ok. You don’t have to do everything. Leave superhero stuff to Marvel and DC Comics! Find support from friends or relatives that can help with taking a load off.
4. Accountability: I recently decided that the first thing that I was going to do was to take accountability with my actions. I am constantly talking about things that I want to do but I don't take the first step to get it done. I asked some dear friends of mine to be my accountability partners to help me stay on track. I wouldn’t have done that however if I didn’t take accountability for my actions. I’d still be spinning out of control. When you actually accomplish goals, you have less spinning plates!
5. Stop taking ownership of things that don’t belong to you: I am the poster child for this very concept. I tend to take on responsibility for everyone else except myself. That’s why the list is so important because I needed to see that I was actually what I was responsible for and what I wasn't. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but if you ever want to do things that you want for yourself, you have to make sure you do this. It’s not being mean, it’s giving back other people’s stuff that you simply don’t have room for. Boundaries!
I’m sure that there are lots of things that can be added to this list and feel free to share them on this blog post if you care to comment. Happy balance creating!