Take time to smell the roses. Image:Marie Vonow
We often hear about getting a work/life balance. Then there is the need to get a balance between taking care of the needs of others and our own needs. Here are ten things you can do to help achieve balance in your life.
• Don’t waste energy attempting to be superwoman. She doesn’t exist and you wouldn’t even want to be her. Your friends and family don’t want a superwoman. They want someone human they can relate to and sometimes have a laugh with.
• Delegate jobs to others. It is not your place to do everything. Do not demand perfection from others. (Don’t expect perfection of yourself either.) With many things near enough is good enough. As time goes by you can make gentle suggestions of how things can be done better if advisable. (Yes, pegs need
to be used to keep clothes from blowing off the clothes line.)
• Accept help when others offer. Yes, you might
be able to manage but say, ‘Yes thanks’. Others like to feel needed. People may not offer in the future if you turn down an offer of help today. You can return the favour another time.
• Schedule regular time for yourself. Writing it in your diary helps to make it happen. It is not selfish to have some time doing what you want. It may be catching up with a friend for coffee or a movie. It might be quiet time on your own. You will be able to function better after some time for yourself.
• Join a group that fulfils a need in your life. This may be a church, sport or social group. It could be a support group if you are a carer or have a health issue. Perhaps it is a class where you can learn a new skill.
• Find the balance between work and play that suits your personality. What is work to one person can even be play to another and vice versa. However make sure you truly do have some play in your life.
• Make up your mind to bounce back after a rotten day. Bad days, sometimes weeks, happen to everyone. At times one wonders how one will get through, but one does. Take a deep breath and focus on something positive.
• When you feel overwhelmed talk to someone who has empathy. Talking can help you sort out your priorities. Just expressing what you are feeling helps. Then talking about other things reminds one of the big picture.
• Keep your sense of humour. Picture the latest frustration in your life as the script for a sit com. Exaggerate certain parts. The audience would be laughing. Try to see the funny side when possible. Okay, some things just aren’t
funny but some of life’s minor irritations can be viewed as humourous.
• Arrange to see a counsellor or psychologist if you feel overwhelmed by all the responsibilities or choices in your life. Talk to your doctor if you want to know what is available or need a referral to access a suitable service.
Trying to achieve balance in life is an ongoing process. At some times it is harder than at others. As Suze Orman, American writer and motivational speaker says, ‘A wise woman recognizes when her life is out of balance and summons the courage to act to correct it, she knows the meaning of true generosity, happiness is the reward for a life lived in harmony, with a courage and grace.’