Today I woke up expecting to sigh with relief. Summer is in full-swing, and a major holiday is not in sight for a while. Instead, I woke up to multiple emails from two offices I work in, my university, the State (when you’re a teacher they want paperwork for everything!), bills, meeting reminders, event reminders, and all before I even checked my text messages, fed the cats I’m sitting for or put my contacts in. Can’t a girl just get some coffee first????
I keep hearing about this urban legend called “work/life balance.” Okay, I’m being snarky. I am very much to blame when I let things get disorganized in my life. This is mostly because I have a very difficult time saying “no” when I am asked for help. Especially when you work for an organization that has given you so much fulfillment in your life or when a family member who’s been there for you needs something. You want to be there for them 24/7. But can you???
Maybe the disorganization in YOUR life comes unintentionally from your spouse or kids, or a needy friend. Maybe it’s the urge to constantly stay busy to avoid dealing with emotions. Perhaps you’re just disorganized by nature and can never keep your calendar straight. Whatever it may be, everyone has something that effects the balance in their life, or as the Libra in me likes to say, tips the scales.
So, what is the solution? To be honest, I do not have the perfect answer. Everyone is different, and thrives in different ways. The only suggestion I know to be true is the old adage, “know thyself.” Once you know what is best for you, then you can slowly clean up the trail of disorganization in your life. For me, it took two friends intervening to prevent me from making my life in to complete chaos. I wanted to be involved in everything, but it ended up effecting my life spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Both of my friends made me realize how much I do, and that I needed to start saying yes to the things I WANTED to do, not just because I felt obligated too.
The next question you may ask yourself is how do I get balance back in my life? Again, I do not have the perfect answer. For me, it was facing the fear of saying “no.” I had to look at everything I was involved in, and admit that something had to give. I had to painfully cut my volunteer hours in half every week. By doing that I was able to add more time to have dinner or lunch with a friend or family member, and I can now attend yoga on Thursday nights. And that made me so happy. It also gave me more self-fulfillment when I was volunteering because I was more present in the moment and not as stressed. I am by no means suggesting you do exactly what I did; what you need to cut/add in to your life may be completely different.
Having that work/life balance does not happen overnight. It takes time and reflection to make it work! For me, I am constantly evolving and changing my routine around to make sure I am living my best life. Despite what I said in my introduction, I managed to have a stress-free day so far. I know my anxiety is at its peak in the morning, so I prayed and meditated while my coffee was brewing. Then I looked at my calendar and reviewed what my day looked like, and what needed to be done. I had to make some adjustments. But that’s okay. I made time during my drive to work to call my best friend and catch up. On my break I sent some texts. And I did this because I want to and I enjoy it; if I don’t want to, then I will catch up with them at another time. If they love you, they will understand…trust me, they are busy too!
Nobody’s life is perfectly balanced. If it was this world would be pretty boring in my opinion. But I hope by writing this it will get you thinking about your own stress, and give you the courage to realize that you can’t do it all, or please everyone. I can assure you that when you take care of yourself first, you will be happier and healthier, and that is what becoming the best version of yourself is all about!