They say life is all about balance, right? Many of us today are juggling a multitude of daily things—a full-time job, school, a side-hustle, caregiving, children—and the list goes on from there. So how does one balance their priorities and still make time for self-care?
My co-workers often rattle off to me a laundry list of “When I get home, I have to do X, Y, and Z,” which makes me tired for them and leaves me wondering how they do it all (and still seem so put together)? Then I think of my own daily “to-do” list and wonder how the heck I accomplish it all.
Last weekend, on what was a truly beautiful February weekend, I took a hike all the way down through a nature preserve to a local beach. While I was on the beach, I came across a log that someone had carefully and meticulously balanced rocks on. The sight, on a day when I felt particularly overwhelmed with everything going on in my life, made me think of balance.
Sometimes I balance everything well. And then there are the times that I feel like life is getting away from me. Between working a full-time job, being a full-time caregiver, and finishing up my nutrition schoolwork, there hasn’t been a lot of “free” time for things like blogging (hence the sparse content around here some weeks), attending events, or just going out with friends. Even though I tend to be someone who enjoys always being busy, there are times where that can feel downright overwhelming.
So, how do I cope and still carve out time for myself (since I haven’t figured out how to clone myself yet)? The answer is surprisingly simple—I cut myself a lot of slack. I know that there are going to be some weeks that are easier than others, and then there will be those weeks when nothing gets crossed off of my to-do list. And, while it’s not ideal, I try not to let the latter bother me. It’s more important to me to take some downtime when I need it, so I don’t have a full-on meltdown or experience burnout (which some weeks feels impossible to avoid).
The last few weeks have been rough. In addition to my 9-5 workload, I’ve had blogging commitments and registered and started studying to take the Board-Certified Patient Advocate exam next month. I’ve had lots of social commitments during the week and have been trying to carve out a consistent workout schedule on the weekends.
One thing that helps me feel less overwhelmed is planning out my weeks in my planner on Sunday nights. It makes it so much easier to face a Monday when I know exactly what is on my plate. But again, I’m not too hard on myself if a blog post doesn’t go up or I must cancel plans with a friend. There is only so much time in a day and if I know that I’ve used it wisely, I’m content.
While the rocks at the beach were pretty to look at, to me they signified the effort that it takes to achieve balance in modern-day life. My advice to you would be to give yourself a break when you need it. It might not feel ideal in the moment, but in the long run, it will be worth it—and something you never expected may come out of it.
What are your thoughts on balance?