Ah, the illusionary work-life balance. It’s the thing each persons yearns for yet hardly any of us succeed in. Is there ever a point when we feel like we have it all figured out?
When Meg Biram shared this month’s blog LinkUp topic, work-life balance, I was intrigued. Being one who is busy all the time (full time job, running a blog, dog mom, wife/sister/daughter/friend), I do have a few things up my sleeve on how I try to keep my life balanced.
I take time for myself
DO WHAT YOU LOVE. I can’t say it enough. If you want to paint, paint! If you love to write, write away. If you love reading, make time for it.
We can’t just take and take and take and expect to feel balanced. We need to give too. Whether that’s helping an elderly neighbor bring in the groceries or spending time volunteering at the local dog shelter, giving back does more for us than we realize.
I devote myself fully to the task at hand
This isn’t always easy…my ADHD mind races constantly, and I really have to work at staying focused. But when I can give my ALL to a project at work, when I put away my phone at dinner, and when I give each post my all, the results are always better.
Make time for exercise:
No excuses here. This is one of the most important ways I stay balanced. Without it, my whole body feels out of whack. I usually take my lunch break and put in a good half hour in my building’s gym three times a week and try go bike riding or jogging at least two other days. It’s an instant mood lifter and helps freshen my mind for the rest of the workday.
This goes without saying, but I feel most balanced and happy when I put the right foods in my body. I’ve just started a clean eating program for the next month (RIP Chipotle, miss you) and it’s helped me have a clearer mind and feel less of the mid-afternoon slump. And when you eat healthy, it helps lead to other positive decisions.
I don’t know if everyone is like this, but I feel most balanced when I’m spending time with those I love or those who inspire me. I need quality time with my hubby, my family, my girls, and making new friends to feel balanced. If I go too long without brunching with my babes, I am not a happy camper.
Dedicated time to blog
Some of you may not know, but I commute into work. “Well so does everyone else!” BUT YOU GUYS - I commute 50 miles into work. Just let that sink in. While some may call Loudoun County Virginia’s wine country, I call it home. #sorrynotsorry but I love it. People tell me all the time what a crazy-person I am for living so far from where I work. But here’s the thing - I use that long commute to do my blog work on the bus. I’m not the most organized person ever, so it’s really nice for me to have dedicated time I can work on something. And this way, when I get home after a long day at work, I can just relax, cook and enjoy the evening.
A lot of people feel like there’s something missing in their lives, but I don’t feel that way at all. Prayer is probably the top thing that keeps me centered and balanced. At the beginning of each day, I give all my concerns, my cares, my worries to God and from that moment on, I’m not burdened with those things. It’s very freeing.
Listen to Your Body
This is one thing I almost always do. If my body is saying GO TO BED, I’m there. Does it make me a looser who goes to bed early? Yes. But am I happier person because of it? Yes.
Ok so those are the things I prioritize to create balance in my life. "But Julien, there are only 24 hours in a day!" YES, yes there are. So guess what? Something’s gotta give. Here’s what makes it more manageable for me:
Taking bite sized pieces of my priorities and making them happen. So somedays, I’ll choose to read on the bus instead of working on the blog. Or other times, I’ll workout then grab takeout because I’m too tired to cook. If this is you, the important thing is to not beat yourself up about it. We’re all in this journey learning how to LIVE FULLY together.
Saying no is ok. Would I love to go to all the events, workout seven times a week, see my biffles daily and get at least 9 hours of sleep every night? OF COURSE. But I can't, so I have to say no to some things to keep my balance (and sanity!) in check.
Do you have any tips on work-life balance? I'd love to hear them in the comments section below! Be sure to check out the other ladies in the linkup to get more tips on work-life balance!
Image via Death to Stock Photo