From stay at home moms to corporate executives, there is an ongoing struggle with balancing everything that life throws at us. Over recent decades, working moms have found it necessary to juggle a career, a family, and life in general. There are soccer games, dance lessons, parent-teacher conferences, work meetings, deadlines, phone calls, birthdays, laundry, grocery shopping… the list could go on and on. It’s now more important than ever to find a healthy balance in our lives.
Because we are all different, balance means something different to each person. Below are five suggestions that I have found to be particularly helpful in my own life.
1.) Write down your values. Writing down your personal values will help you determine if you are living according to your beliefs or getting caught up in "the busyness" of life. If you value spending time with your family, working late every night will lead to imbalance. A periodic review of this list can help you stay on track.
2.) Establish your priorities. Your priorities should be in line with your values. If not, it is extremely likely that your life will feel out of balance. Many of the things on our to-do lists just aren’t priorities. Eliminating these items will free up time to do the things that are truly important.
3.) Stay organized. I prefer to use a PDA (a personal digital assistant). It helps to keep everything together in one place: phone numbers, appointments, to-do list, and miscellaneous information. Schedule a time to sort through mail, pay bills, and handle other paperwork -- and stick to it. This isn’t fun, but it’s a necessary part of life.
4.) Don’t compete with other women. This was a big one for me. Sometimes it appears that other women are able to gracefully handle much more than we are. What we often don’t see is that they have different circumstances, priorities, and values. What works for some people doesn’t work for others. Not only that, but we often view this as a weakness and don’t talk about it with others. I can guarantee you though that balancing issues affect all of us at one time or another.
5.) Take time for yourself. I know we are bombarded with this message all the time, but it’s one of the most important things we can do to maintain balance in our lives. The stress we feel very often affects those around us. A few minutes a day to yourself can make a world of difference. Whether you read a book, take a bath, exercise, or meditate, the value of this time is immeasurable. The point is: Find something that relaxes you, schedule time each day for it, and do it!