Issue #3: Striking A Balance
Sometimes, balance means letting some balls drop and watching them spread all over the floor, in every possible direction. For any woman juggling a life of work, family, relationships, physical and mental health and all the other proverbial balls we have to keep in the air, the thought of dropping any of these probably elicits anxiety.
We’re not suggesting letting everything—including yourself—go, but there may be some value in letting certain things go, and reevaluating. Imagine all those balls rolling on the floor are the various roles you play in your daily life—which ones would you pick up first and which would you allow to roll away? In other words, how will you find balance?
In order to make this assessment, we all need to stop juggling and chastising ourselves when we do let things drop unintentionally. Primarily, this means prioritising pausing or slowing down in order to find balance. Stillness in our daily lives doesn’t necessarily require a rigorous yoga practice or regular retreats, it can simply mean slowing down, looking within and asking yourself, ‘What is important to me?’
When you’ve answered this question honestly, it allows you to focus on juggling the important balls and moving through life with more balance and compassion for yourself.
Each one of us plays different roles in the same day: woman; wife; partner; mother; child; sibling; friend; employee; colleague; mentor; spiritual being. Each of these roles requires something different from us and each of these relationships plays a part in helping us feel fulfilled. Is it even possible to apply an equal balance to these relationships? The difficult answer is no. So while we are many things, we do not have to be all things at once. Finding your equilibrium comes from having a steady support structure and that starts with you, at the centre of it and prioritising your relationship with yourself.
Balancing the books is an exercise we’re all likely familiar with, and it’s one that inspires collective dread. We should all budget our short term finances, and plan our long-term goals, but it’s one one of the hardest things to do, as life’s daily demands throw off our balance. This, however, is like any other part of learning to balance—it’s about prioritising and assessing our own motivations. So before you focus on the figures, perhaps it’s important to look at your personal relationship with money, and honestly look at how this informs your ability to find balance.
Hours behind our desks or laptops have made a sedentary lifestyle the modern-day plague. The growing concern around our mental health and physical wellbeing is the biggest catalyst to living a healthier and more balanced lifestyle. Our minds need a healthy body and our bodies need a healthy mind. We shouldn’t think about exercise or healthy eating only in extreme cases, overcompensating when we feel we’ve let ourselves go. Taking care of yourself should be part of a balanced routine. Eating well and exercising are crucial to helping us have harmony between our minds, bodies and spirit.
Technology allows us to do many things faster and more efficiently. And yet, we constantly feel “busy” and whatever time we save through tech-savviness is quickly neutralised by simply adding another item to the to-do-list. There is a growing trend to challenge the notion that burn-out is the inevitable price we pay for success. Buzzwords like “work-life balance” or “work-life integration” point to the growing awareness of the symbiotic relationship between work and your life outside of work, and ultimately between your mind and body. Work and productivity are enhanced when we feel energised and happy to be at work, and when we take the time away from work in order to refuel, rest and create balance.