How often have you heard from someone, "It sounds like you need more balance in your life"? What is that like for you to hear? What comes to mind? For many it's the idea that you give equal attention, quality and time to every domain in your life and uphold your ability to function as well. As much as it would be nice to achieve this type of balance, imagine what it would be like to actually carry this out in your own life. Like many others, we live very busy lives with multiple responsibilities, tasks and events to engage in.
Here's an example of one individual who may feel overwhelmed with the idea of integrating "balance" in their life. A working single mother of a toddler, that is part of the PTA, a gym, and has a social life. The mother becomes easily overwhelmed and tired and is told to achieve "balance". The mother applies the traditional idea and attempts to self-care, exercise, spend enough time with her toddler, work with high quality, eat right, plan PTA activities, spend time with friends and eventually burns out. Sound familiar?
Let's change the narrative, balance is about being mindful, integrating all the different areas of your life, so you may be present for each moment, rather than attempting to give equal time, quality and attention to each moment. Self-care is not necessarily about adding more activities into your life to achieve balance, it's about feeding your soul in moments throughout the day that give you meaning, motivation and energy.
For this mother of a toddler, this may mean, slowing down to notice a milestone her toddler has met, accepting a compliment from her colleagues, accepting help with managing all her responsibilities, or taking a moment to breathe fully and take in a single experience. This is what balance is meant to achieve.
So engage your senses, notice the moments, breathe fully and acknowledge the moments that give you motivation, meaning and vibrance.
Easy to Picture, More Difficult to Achieve