All work and no play doesn’t just make us dull, it can make us unhappy. Unfortunately, with limited time and so much to accomplish, we often put our work before ourselves and are left feeling stressed, anxious and unsatisfied. Without balance we fall – or fall apart. Balance is integral to maintaining a healthy, happy lifestyle and realizing our best self.
How do I find balance? Here are a couple rules that I follow:
Finding balance starts by getting organized. When you’re juggling multiple competing priorities it’s important to schedule your time so that you can both complete the tasks expected of you and enjoy the activities you need to feel happy and healthy. Start by charting your “to-dos” on a calendar or agenda. Determine what needs to completed and when. Then see where you can squeeze in some much-deserved “me time.” And by “me time,” I don’t just mean “sit on the couch like a zombie” time. I mean time to exercise, journal, be outside, meditate or do whatever other activities serve to relax, refresh and inspire you.
Learn to say “No”
Maybe you want to be everything to everyone, but this appeasing attitude not only makes finding balance impossible, it’s self-defeating. If you don’t make time for yourself, you run the risk of burning out and when that happens you’re no help to anyone. Start setting boundaries by saying “no” to some of the ever-growing requests from friends, family and coworkers. Of course, saying “no” can be a real challenge for some of us. If that’s the case, try telling them you’ll think about it and get back to them. Then go home and consult your schedule and see if committing to that request interferes with time you’ve scheduled for yourself. If it does, then let them know you can’t help them this time. If they’re good people, they should understand.
Leave Work at Work
Finding balance isn’t just about carving out time between work and play. It’s about how you use that time. The whole point of downtime is to give yourself a break. If you’re constantly checking your emails or spending your weekend fretting over what’s waiting on your desk for Monday, then it feels like you never really left the office. Instead, be strict not just about how you spend your time, but how you control your thoughts. Thinking about our tasks and responsibilities is essential, but not for the hour we’ve scheduled for unwinding.
Your Happy Challenge
Find some balance this week by setting up a schedule with some time dedicated to relaxing and de-stressing. Follow your schedule, and when you’re enjoying some “me time,” be sure to stay in the moment so you can properly recharge.
How do you maintain balance? What do you think of my rules? Share your thoughts!