10 Jul How creating balance can help you thrive.
I have come to value the benefits of creating balance in life. I do however despise the word ‘balance’ when it is referred in the context of achieving work/life balance. Because when you put it that way, it describes a state of feeling that appears possible. But is it?
The english dictionary describes balance as “a situation in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions”.
How can we possibly achieve equal or correct proportions of work and life balance when we are working so much more than ever and we are not making time for ourselves and our own needs?
Does it even exist? I am believing not. Rather what I do believe is that we can create a level of balance in our life on our own terms which we are comfortable with. It doesn’t matter if there is not equal distribution of activities, its more about balancing our own needs and desires with our family’s, work and other areas of our life.
More specifically we are living our life the way we want to, doing the things we want to do and being with the people we want to be with.
I have realised looking back on my last couple of years that I have been seeking and creating balance in my life. When I became a mother, I created a level of balance that I was comfortable with – I was nurturing and caring for my daughter, taking care of the family and making some time for myself. I even created a level of balance around learning and using my brain when I started studying my training and assessment qualifications.
On the flip side of that, when I returned to work post maternity leave, I was completely out of balance. I lacked focus on anything outside of work and my daughter. I was on automatic pilot, just bubbling on the surface of life trying to stay sane, functional and healthy. I remember juggle work calls whilst my daughter was in my care sick, I was hanging out washing with my phone earpiece in and I was mentally preparing dinner in my head. I hated it and I knew that I was tipping the scales only one way.
But a year after meandering my return to work as a mum, I realised that a change was needed dramatically. I hated saying that work was a means to an end. I hated being in that constant state of rush and the unforgivable mindset of living in the future and pining for my past, easy life. I reached a time in my life I knew what I didn’t want, but I also didn’t know what I did want…I do now.
Below are some of the ways I have created and are still creating more balance in my life:
- I wrote down what I defined life balance to be.
- Then I wrote out what my life would look like if I created more balance in it.
- I looked at my hobbies and passions for inspiration. Running is my big passion and I knew that I had to start there.
- I wrote a list of my skills, strengths and experiences, because I wanted to understand what I could offer a new workplace, business, friends, health, family etc.
- I revisited my values and tapped into what was most important to me.
- I educated myself on all things mindset, mindfulness and creating new habits
- I took small actions to create the change
- I wrote out my non-negotiables i.e. having breakfast with my daughter, waking up at 5am, not working at night time
Having balance isn’t about achieving an end state, it will always be a working progress. Our life stages determine the level of balance we need and want. And when it changes, because things always change (becoming a mum teaches you that), we need to assess and re-jig those balance scales so that we are being true to ourselves and our wellbeing.
What strategy could you use today to get started on creating balance?
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