That title makes me laugh out loud at myself. Ask anyone who knows me and they would tell you that I’ve been missing a lot of balance the past couple of years. Between a sometimes 24/7 job, going to graduate school part-time, taking care of myself, my cat, apartment AND trying to actually spend time with important people in my life, it seems like something is always getting shorted. But, I have made a commitment to make myself more of a priority this year. And since I know I’m not the only independent-stubborn-do-everything-take-care-of-everyone-wanna-be-wonder-woman out there, I thought I’d share a little bit of how I’m trying to accomplish this.
1) A cleaning schedule. Yes, I feel a little bit like I’m back in college; we used to have chore charts on our refrigerator. But keeping my home clean and organized is something I’ve let fall by the wayside. And I for one feel so much better and function so much more efficiently if I come home to a clean place. So I’ve started a cleaning schedule. I have one small task assigned to each day; for example, Monday’s is to clean the bathroom. Breaking up projects makes them feel less daunting…I’m more likely to clean when I think to myself “all you have to do is run the sweeper, no big deal!” So far, so good!
2) Eat. I’m really bad about this. Really bad. Most people eat out of stress or emotion…I actually avoid it during those times. And when time is short, it’s easier for me to just keep going and survive off of coffee and sugar (healthy, right?!) So I’m making myself meal plan each weekend for the week to come. I try to cook at least one dish each week that I can have for leftovers the following days. And I have plenty of portable options (fruit, protein bars, nuts, yogurt, veggies, crackers/pretzels.) I know that not eating properly affects my ability to be my best and I need to make the time for it.
3) Health time. I’ve been making it a priority to make sure my whole self is healthy, such as going to the chiropractor to work on some problems I’ve had for a while. I usually breeze past any ailments I might have because I’m wrapped up with doing too many other things and I don’t want to worry about the details. I’ve also been sure to take time, at least a few times a week, to do some kind of work out that I enjoy. Recently it’s been yoga or spinning. Even though I could probably be spending that time on homework or running errands, I’m trying to remember that an hour of “me” time is necessary.
4) Time off. This may seem shocking…but the world can function without me (gasp!) Accepting that is sometimes hard, I like to take care of everyone, all the time. But again, staying refreshed is necessary to be productive. I’ve already got time off scheduled for mid semester and I’m thinking about trips for summer. Really my favorite vacations are spent at home, catching up on projects I’ve wanted to work on and visiting a lot of friends. The important thing is to rest.
5) Boundaries. This is somewhat of a culmination of the other points. I’m teaching myself that it’s ok to not be on all the time. I’ve started shutting my work email off my phone during the weekends. I try to spend my evening hours doing things I enjoy and not only things I feel required to do. And I allow down times; because sometimes the best way to end a busy day is curled up on the couch cuddling with my kitty. 🙂
What about your life balance, do you have any secrets to share?