How to Strike a Healthy Life Balance
I know that at certain points during any given year, one aspect of my life seems to dominate over everything else. Whether it’s work, family, or something else, it seems as though my day-to-day life is consumed with that particular facet. And it’s not necessarily a bad thing, either- these various things need our attention, sometimes more than others. However, in order to strike a healthy life balance, it’s important for us to make a conscious effort to place some of our attention elsewhere, even when one aspect of our lives seems especially demanding. Psychologist Robert Brooks, PhD, co-author of The Power of Resilience: Achieving Balance, Confidence, and Personal Strength in Your Life, says "Even if you don't have much control over the hours you have to work, you can ask yourself: In what other ways am I bringing greater enjoyment into my life? Focus your time and attention on things you can control." Below, you’ll find a few ways to start achieving that ideal balance in your own life (or at least getting awfully close to it):
#1: If you have to, schedule in something enjoyable.
When our lives become especially hectic, it’s difficult to justify much else outside of the absolute necessities while managing our time. Eat, sleep, work, repeat. However, this sort of rigidity can potentially leave you feeling sluggish, over-worked, and detached. Instead, make time wherever you can to do something that you enjoy doing, whether that means a dinner out with friends once a week, a spa day at the end of a busy month, or a quick overnight getaway with your significant other a few times per year. This will give you something to look forward to and keep you feeling productive and confident.
#2: Try to make your life more efficient.
If you are constantly feeling harried and have a seemingly never-ending to-do list, sit down and really think about how you can cut back on some of your lesser-important tasks in order to make your life a bit easier (and to give you some much-needed downtime). Consider easy tweaks such as having your groceries delivered each week, hiring someone to come and clean your house once or twice per month, or hiring an assistant to help you with mundane daily tasks.
#3: Master the art of saying ‘no’.
Oftentimes, when we feel overbooked and overworked, it’s because we have taken on too much all at once. The problem with this is that when we are spreading ourselves too thin, various aspects of our lives begin to suffer due to lack of attention. In order to avoid this, don’t feel guilty about turning someone down when they ask you to take something else on. No, you can’t spearhead that new work project. No, you can’t watch you two year old nephew once a week. And, no, you can’t plan and host your aunt’s 70th birthday party.