This statement has absolutely gotten my wheels spinning lately. As a mom, wife, daughter, sister, gym owner, coach, teacher, and competitor who has recently undergone some life shift changes this statement often leaves me frustrated. Balance???….some days I am lucky to glance weary eyes into a mirror before 5:00 and realize I have spent my entire day with smudged mascara, crazy hair and broccoli in my teeth. Having an injury post Regional’s this year, and heading back into a classroom this fall has further peaked my anxiety. People say, “It’s okay you will find a good balance in your daily routines.” Being as much of a perfectionist as I am, I struggle with this concept. I don’t know any other way than “all in” in all areas.
This weekend I forced myself to sit back, reflect, chill out and come up with some guidelines or truths for myself about this word, “balance.” I know many woman and men who juggle just as much, if not way more, and I wanted to share some of my rambling thoughts and ideas to see if they provided other people with some fresh perspective.
1. Limit your time on social media.
I love facebook… I really do. I love reading success stories, seeing adorable children and pets and keeping up with distant friends and relatives. I think it is such a great networking and business tool. I also think it has the ingredients to be a recipe for disastor. After my injury I spent hours face down on the floor trying to eliminate spasms up and down my leg. During that time I got sucked into way too much social media time. Facebook is a highlight reel so to speak. It’s an adult refrigerator where we show the best of our daily experiences. We see the best of everyone’s lives and then start playing the comparison game. That is when damage starts to play into our personal balance game and we start to always think that we have to do better, be more, and accomplish even more in our already short days.
2. Realize your “balance” is different from everyone else.
What works for some people does not necessarily work for others; and one person’s idea of balance may not constitute anything remotely balanced from another person’s perspective. And that’s ok!!!! It really is!!!!! Every single person has components in their lives where they struggle with balance. For some it is finding gym time, for others family time, for others work/life balance is an issue. The point is I think it is helpful to realize that you are not alone. Being in the education field has instilled in me the belief that everyone is a lifelong learner. Learn from those around you, don’t be afraid to share your struggles, and draw from simple inspirations you see in the lives of those around you daily. Consider your own motivators, post them, visualize balance, and strive to achieve it enlisting the help of others along the way.
3. Set realistic and attainable expectations of yourself.
Setting realistic goals doesn’t make you complacent, it makes you balanced. Striving for balance doesn’t mean that you stop showing up to the gym, or discontinue pushing yourself so hard. It simply means, show up, give 110% focus during the time and duration that you are there and plan to show back up to do it again the next day. What balance does not look like is spending your day planning out your workout and agonizing over skills and time that you don’t have. Finding balance means giving 110% in every facet but not carrying those facets into other areas that you juggle. For me that looks like giving 110% in coaching, in teaching, mothering, helping with the gym, but not letting each area take over the next. My boys deserve my full attention, not a distracted mom who couldn’t leave work at work or my workout session at the gym. This is a tough one for me, but something I am determined to get better at.
4. Pay attention to your health.
We hear it over and over again, but we rarely pay attention. I strongly believe our health is one of the biggest factors affecting our quality of life and our work. We are far more productive and happy in all areas we are trying to balance if we get enough sleep, eat a little healthier, and fit in some type of activity.
“Life is about balance. Be kind, but don’t let people abuse you. Trust, but don’t be deceived. Be content, but never stop improving yourself.”