Something we are all always searching for and strive to achieve. Balance. These days life seems so busy with ……expectations. Expectations put there by us…by others, by society. And when we try to achieve those expectations, we get stressed, overwhelmed and sometimes …sick. Why do we do it to ourselves? We are over achievers? We don’t want to let others down? We are to proud to admit we can’t do it? Sometimes all these reasons apply. But there comes a time that it has to stop, because there will be suffering. Wether it is your health, your relationships, or your work…something will suffer when you try to be all…do all. I know so many women who have succeeded in finding the balance but others, me included, who are still trying to figure it out. But where do you start? I think for each one of us its is different. I think for me, part of this journey is sorting it out soon and not just writing about it. So where am I going to start?
- Work- I love my job and I think I am actually pretty good at it. My work family is exactly that…like family, so in the past I would sometimes not press upon them, my expectations or I would not be as tough in terms of my standards. Also, because I cared about the people I work with, I would sometimes try and make their job easier, which is not always bad, but I would sometimes do it by answering their questions instead of nurturing problem solving and/or I would put my job and my role aside to support them instead of giving them the tools to develop themselves. As a result, I was often working on my lunch or at home to get my stuff done, or I would be over run with questions and issues as soon as I walked in the door which can sometimes be overwhelming. There was no balance as I was always thinking of work and work was thinking of me. Well, no more! I sat down with my direct reports and simply told them how I felt. I was feeling a little overwhelmed and the pressure of people coming to me for everything was too much. The weight of being the one everyone counted on was laying heavy on my soul. And I was not doing them any favours. I am so lucky though because I have the best women working for me! They embraced and appreciated my vulnerability and understood where I was coming from. It wasn’t their fault after all, I had put that in place. It was my desire to have all the answers and always be the strong one. Now I feel so hopeful that we will all have the balance at work and actually be more able to support each other.
- It’s okay to say NO. That’s right, sometimes you need to say it! You cannot accept every invitation, go to every party, attend every dinner. Sometimes you just have to say NO, and that’s okay. Friends will always understand.
- No more guilt…family will understand. For me, being raised Catholic, there is guilt. Guilt not always placed there by someone but by yourself..because of that expectation you put on yourself. Stop it! You cannot always fix every ones problems or save every one from their sadness or despair. Don’t feel guilty for saying NO, don’t feel guilty for not being there for every problem and don’t feel guilty because someone had a bad day….and you didn’t
- Figure out the diet thing! You cannot feel guilty and hate yourself because you had a glass of wine or a piece of chocolate. I am sorry but if you are a foodie, as I am, you love food and the experience it can bring. So you have to figure it out. Have an amazing dinner? Go for a run, a walk, do yoga!! Whatever it takes. If you know there is a dinner party coming up…be good all week, work out…whatever it takes so you can enjoy the experience of that dinner party and not bore everyone with your lines of “Oh I really shouldn’t ….”
- Unplug!!! Yes, as I write a post online…on a blog…I say it…unplug!! The time we spend online can be crazy sometimes. And don’t get me wrong. I use it for so much research, creativity, communication..I love the internet but it can be all consuming and obsessive. This is really where some of us will have challenges , me included…but if I unplug for 30 minutes, I can do yoga!!! I can go for an amazing walk in the sun! I can listen to music while washing dishes and sing at the top of my lungs. I can meditate. I can read a book. I can prep meals for the week. I can talk to a loved one on the phone. (no texting!) Did I say already, that I can do Yoga? Yes Yoga! I have been wanting so badly to start my Yoga again and time and time again I do not seem to be able to find the time. But the time is there….I am just doing something else…again…or for to long….or sleeping…Stop it!!! This is where I really struggle….Day in and day out lately, I fail at making the time….BALANCE…Figure it out girl! Balance it out!!! Put yourself first! Yes you! First…because if you do that…if you remember what makes you happy, if you re-visit what you enjoy then you will be the best version of yourself..but that takes Balance. It won’t happen on it’s own, gotta do it..gotta make changes, gotta talk it out…Balance it out!