Learning Balance in Daily Life
Places to go, People to see
Scheduling, Stresses and Obligations
Does your life seem like a barrage of one schedule or another? Do you accomplish a task on your to-do list only to be bombarded by a dozen more? Does it seem like you wake up each morning to the same routine and you never have the time you need to do things that you WANT to do - let alone enough time in the day to accomplish everything that you need to get done? If so, you're not alone. In the busy, hectic and rigorous demands of every-day life, there's more to get done than ever - and there simply isn't enough time in the day to achieve all of your goals and responsibilities while still enjoying the freedom to pursue hobbies and activities that you genuinely enjoy and look forward.
If you're like me, as soon as you agree to do something (even if it was something you genuinely want to do) it feels like an obligation, and it weighs heavily on your spirit. It sucks to feel like you're trapped in an endless timeline of places to go, people to see and things to do. You fall into bed exhausted at the end of every day and toss and turn as you mentally calculate all of the things that you need to accomplish the next day - including all of the things that you didn't get to or put off today. Constantly watching the clock, planning out your day to the last minute and over-scheduling your time leaves little free time available to do the things you love and you often continually put off your true passions for more important obligations, deadlines and responsibilities. When you wake up in the morning, you're already tired and it only gets worse as the day progresses. You often wish that you could go back to a time when things were simpler - where you could simply go outside and lay on the grass and enjoy watching the stars, dreaming of the future.
Balance in Action
Do You Find Ways to Find Balance in Your Daily Life?
Always Running Out of Time?
So many things to do, So little time
As an adult, your responsibilities probably grew exponentially. You didn't start out overwhelmed - it happened over time. You probably didn't realize how much was riding on you until it was already too late. You get up and take your kids/spouse to work. Then you go to work yourself. You come home and make dinner or do some chores around the house. I have a practically full-time second job writing articles, and it feels like a continual struggle just to break even and keep up. On top of all that, you have to somehow find the time to spend quality time with your significant other/spouse, spend meaningful time with your kids, at least listen to your favorite TV show (that you're already behind on) spend time with your friends, run errands, go shopping, walk the dog, make time to accomplish various other assorted tasks on your list, etc. When you examine everything that you're expected to accomplish in any given day, it seems impossible - yet you do it every day regardless. You tell yourself that weekends will be your time to relax, catch up on sleep and go out and have some fun. Unfortunately, however, since you're already pressed for time, a lot of the tasks you were unable to complete during the week pile up and take up a huge chunk of your weekend relaxation period. You're suddenly spending all of Saturday running around like a chicken without a head and before you know it, it's ten o'clock on Sunday night, you've barely gotten a chance to sit DOWN let alone relax, and the process is about to start all over again. It seems like an endless loop of responsibilities and tasks, and it's hard to even catch your breath. Most of us are so accustomed to this busy lifestyle that we don't realize how bad it's been. Then you get sick, and your body begins to suffer from the side-effects of continual stress - and forces you to take a break, whether you want it to or not.
Even illness is not necessarily a chance to catch up on sleep and give your body the rest it needs. With more and more employers relying on mobile or work-at-home capabilities, you may be required to be available - no matter how bad you feel. You may not be able to take time off of work at all, and you run the risk of infecting your entire department. The office is suddenly filled with the sounds of coughing/hacking and everyone is miserable. While misery loves company, it's hardly healthy - or advisable.
Make the Time to Relax
Coming to Terms with the Reality
The bottom line is that you're not going to wake up tomorrow with an extra seven hours added to every 24 hour day, and if you want to have the capability to do things that make you happy, you have to make time for them. Give yourself permission to take a break - it will do wonders for both your physical and emotional well-being. If you rarely are able to simply enjoy spending time with your spouse or significant other, ask them out on a date. Get out of the house. At least TRY to put your mental hurdling on hold - temporarily. Decide to take a night off and put all of your obligations on hold. Don't put undue pressure on yourself. Stress impedes the immune system and too much of it will inevitably lead to a mental or physical sense of collapse. The more you try to hold on to time, the quicker it seems to pass you by, and if you're always WAITING for the right moment to take a break, you'll realize too late that you're out of options and that it's simply too late to do anything about it.
The world is not going to stop turning if you turn off your phone or close your laptop for a few hours. When it's time to get back to the task at hand, you'll be mentally and physically refreshed, and you'll be able to approach your responsibilities with a fresh, clean outlook. Overall, taking the time out of a rigorous schedule every so often will give you more opportunities to grow. You'll be able to learn new things and use them to your advantage in the future and you'll be better prepared to handle the inevitable stress in the future.