Just out of curiosity, what is your work-life balance like these days?
We all go through seasons in our lives. We will be young a carefree for a while. Then a broke student for a time. Typically that is followed up with young married and no responsibilities. Moving quickly to mortgage and babies. After that, there will be a blur. In that blur, there are kids, daycare, football practice, field trips, emergency ward visits and any number of things including pets that make this time in your world pure chaos. The teen years are fun, stress, anxiety, middle of the night calls, varying degrees of truths being told. Then you become your parents. Kids are more independent, you hear from them less and you look across the table and see someone who resembles that person you met 20-30 years ago.
That last part is where I am now. Two out of three kids have moved out. The third is so independent, she may as well be moved out. So that means it is time to look at our work-life balance. Do you make time for leisure? Do you make time for the gym? Is there room in your day for reading? What about me time, do you have any of that?
Actually, it doesn’t matter which of the above stages you are in, there needs to be a work-life balance. If it isn’t a priority during the chaos, it will be really hard to put it into your world later. Putting yourself first is really hard to do for some people. I fall into that camp. I am no longer that high in demand on the go for the kids, mom. I have spent the last 28 years being at the mercy of my children and husband. I absolutely chose this role, make no mistake. All I wanted to be when I grew up was a mom. I still am that mom, and now the best part, a Grandma, I just am not living by the calendar as much as I once did. So for me, finding the balance is actually tough.
If you have spent your adult life leaving for work every morning and having the weekends off, the idea that there is a separation between work and not work is a whole lot clearer than it is for people like me. Even my husband who has been a serial entrepreneur for all of his adult life struggles with this new balance in life.
The balance is found in putting small bits of me time into your day. How can I get a gym workout in when I have twelve other places to be? So, as you watch a little tv in the evening, do some yoga, stretching, or body weight exercises. It is found in parking at the outside edge of the parking lot to get just a few more steps toward your 10 000 step goal in. It can be choosing green tea at coffee break instead of a can of cola. Sometimes, the balance comes in the form of saying no to an event that you really don’t want to go to but instead of just hanging out at home, you go for a walk or a paddle, or a game of tennis.
Balance is found in the small things. Doing a squat challenge with your spouse, thanks Caroline for that great idea. It is walking the dog together so that you can walk and plan at the same time. Choosing to go a week without meat and finding new sources of protein that you like. Working toward having a life outside of work and after raising kids can be really tough. But it is completely worth the effort.
Keep in mind too, that you may need to look for an accountability partner to remind you that you have a life to live outside of work. Balance may mean grabbing a walking buddy, yoga partner, softball friend, dance partner, golfing caddy. Balance may also mean doing a little of nothing. If you are constantly on the go, a balance may mean taking a book to the park and unwinding.
This, to me, is not talked about enough. We are meant to be well-rounded beings, not round beings. There is something to be said for a Sabbath day each and every week. A day of rest, not chores. A day to remember who your friends and family are. A day to call old friends, and to open a favorite book.
So, do us all a favor and learn to find a balance between work and life. You will feel better and in return, the people around you will feel better.
Overcome your barriers, intend the best, and be patient. You will enjoy more balance, more growth, more income, and more fun! – Jack Canfield