There has been a lot of buzz lately about the concept of ‘life’ balance. Since the boundaries of ‘how’ and ‘where’ we work are becoming more and more blurred, the stress of work is now infringing on our personal lives even more. Couple that with social commitments both for adults and their children, and you can quickly see how the plate becomes very full indeed. The challenge then becomes in managing the prioritization of all the moving parts as well as managing our own personal resourcefulness in order to do so.
Here’s what Wikipedia has to offer on the subject… “Work–life balance is a concept including proper prioritizing between “work” (career and ambition) and “lifestyle” (health, pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development/meditation). According to a survey conducted by the National Life Insurance Company, four out of ten U.S. employees state that their jobs are “very” or “extremely” stressful. The study states that women, in particular, report stress related to the conflict between work and family. In the study, Work-Family Spillover and Daily Reports of Work and Family Stress in the Adult Labor Force , researchers found that with an increased amount of negative spillover from work to family, the likelihood of reporting stress within the family increased by 74%, and with an increased amount of negative spillover from family to work the likelihood to report stress felt at work increased by 47%.” Read more from Wikipedia
I think those are very interesting statistics.
So, do YOU ever feel that life seems out of control and you’ve got endless demands tugging at you from all directions? When that happens it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, fatigued – and just plain stressed!
Well here’s some good news… believe it or not, balancing your life does not require massive changes. You don’t have to quit your job, abandon your family and escape to a remote retreat in order to feel peaceful and happy. In fact, true balance is something that starts WITHIN YOU first and foremost – no matter what else is happening in your outer life circumstances.
Below you’ll find three simple ways to begin building a greater sense of inner peace and harmony:
1) Quiet time
One of the first things we tend to sacrifice when we’re busy is our personal time. Instead we devote all of our energy and attention to caring for others, multi-tasking, meeting responsibilities and “being productive.” Over time this depletes our energy and we begin to feel more and more burdened by our responsibilities.
To live a more balanced life, quiet time to yourself is CRUCIAL. You may believe that you don’t have any time available for yourself, but something amazing happens when you consistently MAKE time; you find yourself feeling happier and more energetic, your focus improves – and you still get plenty done! Just a few minutes spent sitting quietly in meditation or reading a book can do wonders in transforming stress into peace and happiness.
Beyond making time for things you enjoy, there are other ways to nurture and love yourself on a daily basis. Getting a full 8 hours of sleep (or as much as you personally need) is a great start, as well as eating nutritious food, exercising daily and speaking kindly to yourself.
Have you ever noticed that when you’re really tired or stressed, even the smallest problem can seem like a nightmare? On the other hand, when you’re feeling well-rested and centered, you’re much better able to handle upsets. Caring for yourself is one sure way to consistently replenish your energy, inner peace and joy – which means you’ll have the strength to handle whatever comes your way.
Did you know that one of the biggest causes of stress is rigid expectations? We all do it from time to time; get a mental picture of how our lives “should be” – and get really annoyed when our outer circumstances don’t cooperate! One of the biggest gifts you can give yourself is a flexible state of mind. In other words, learn how to detach from unrealistic expectations and go with the flow.
When you have a flexible mind-set, you’re able to deal with crises and problems much more easily because you’re not working against a preconceived notion of how things “should be”. You’re able to tap into your creative problem-solving skills and move through challenges without all the drama and frustration. Be like the tree that bends with the breeze – and you’re much less likely to break!
We can be sure that the greatest hope for maintaining equilibrium in the face of any situation rests within ourselves.
–Francis J. Braceland
These inner changes can make a dramatic difference in your state of well-being, and you may also want to examine your outer life circumstances and see if there are other small changes you can make to help support your inner work.
For example, you might choose to let go of certain obligations that are no longer meaningful or enjoyable to you. Just because you agreed to host weekly meetings for a support group three years ago doesn’t mean you have to keep doing it forever – especially if it’s become a drain on your time and energy!
Be willing to let go of activities that no longer complement the lifestyle you desire, and you’ll create a space for greater fulfillment, joy and peace.
To your Life!!
P.S. If you’re feeling particularly out of balance, if your days are just so stressed that you can’t wait for night to come so you can just go to sleep, then you could really use A NEW perspective on life. Some things we just can’t do on our own because the WAY in which we look at things is PART of the problem. Without changing our perspective, we continue to see the situation in the SAME way and responding to it in the SAME way. Let’s face it… if you haven’t been able to resolve something that isn’t working for you, that means you don’t have the personal resources to do so. Wouldn’t NOW be the right time to gain new information that will lead to new insights that can completely transform your life? The difference between continuing to struggle and ending that struggle (like may of my clients) is by acquiring information, skills and attitudes that enabled you see your situation from a new perspective and thereby alter how you feel and respond to it. This is the best use of a coach!
Please leave your comments below. Let me know if this information was helpful to you and if so, please pass it on and SHARE it with others!! You never really know who might need this message at this time.