Balance, what a concept! Our lives are never in balance. Kids need help with their homework, deadlines are due at work, laundry is piling up, and the damn dog thinks he needs another walk. How are we expected to juggle all of our chores and take care of ourselves at the same time? Well, when someone figures out the perfect solution to this problem, I would love to be the first to know. I have a pre-teenage girl, a husband, two animals, a new house, 2 full time jobs and the weight of the world on my shoulders. So I am always balancing life, love, and careers. And I'm a terrible juggler.
One of my coping techniques is to make lists. I love lists, grocery lists, honey-do lists, packing lists, lists make me feel good. And there is nothing better than grabbing a bright red pen and checking items off my lists. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment, like I am actually making progress with my life. That isn't always the case. Sometimes I can't get everything finished, or I find more things to add to those lists. It truly is a never ending cycle, but having a list does help me to feel like I have a goal or a path that I can follow.
Taking a break just for myself has become my new savior. I don't always have the time to break off for my hectic schedule to have a day off or even sit down and watch a movie. Man, I can't even remember the last time I made it to the movies. But I try to take at least five minutes or more every day to reset, mediate and just listen to myself. I have even been known to sit in the car in the parking lot before or after a store and just sit in silence. I probably look ridiculous to anyone who sees me , but it is exactly what I need. Especially if I am stressed or frustrated, that is when I need it the most. I hate being frustrated, and knowing that my family are the ones around me that are going to have to deal with me. But it is amazing what a simple five minute breathing techniques or mediation can turn my whole day and mood around.
Exercise has been the hot topic for probably the past decade, and it has become even more important when health care charges are rising and obesity is on the rise. I have always been a sports player, constantly trying to stay in shape and looking good, in my eyes. But if I had my way, I would add at least another hour to the daily clock, so that I can get the time in on the bike or treadmill that I actually want. Since I haven't figured out how to do that, I squeeze in any time that I can, when I can. And it doesn't have to be much, walking the dog works perfectly. Or even with no dog, walking can be so therapeutic on so many levels. Listening to your favorite music or podcast, or even just walking in silence and using that time as an open eye meditation. Or if the house chores are just not going to wait and there is no getting away from those, it is amazing how many calories can be burned cleaning up.
My last idea, for now, is the simplest of all. Telling my family that I love them is good for my soul. I know that I don't say it enough, and they should be hearing it every minute of every day. Family and loved ones are the people we rely on the most, the ones that are there for us no matter what. So to make our souls warm, tell someone that you love them right now. They want to hear it even if they don't know that they do, and you will feel better for it.