Balance in life is so important. From start to finish, sunup to sundown, there is a constant flow of events that seem to fold into each other in almost every moment of the day. These events can create havoc in an already busy life if we let it! As a teacher, currently teaching remotely, with 3 children of my own at home, this havoc does not sidestep me. In fact, most days I realize that if it weren’t for automatic response, I would probably forget to breathe. The problem here, then, is that by the end of the day I am feeling not only overwhelmed but I am also wondering “where did the time go?”
It seems that in the middle of grading, planning, changing diapers, making lunch, cleaning the house, checking in with colleagues, helping my kids with homework, cooking dinner, did I say changing diapers..?...oh, and a myriad of other daily stuff, like you know, feeding the dog, or feeding myself, there is little time to think about ‘time.’ Right?! In this moment, as of now, I realize that even in a state of being awake, I am far from feeling ‘awakened.’ Actually, I have developed a robotic function to myself that only seems to go away when I am able to sit and realize ‘wow! I haven’t thought about breathing today! Thank you lungs, and heart, and you know...body!’ This is me, most days.
What can I do to change this robot function-on/off switch? Aside from reading self-help books, talking to friends, and sharing other’s suggestions about my woes out on social media, I found three things that they all have in common. Simple really, but perhaps not as simple when they are put into action. Regardless, I placed them at the top of my to-do list. Quite frankly, once I had established a system, they have changed my life... well, at least the last 4 days since I decided to put them into action!
Let’s go with action step number 1. The first thing I do when I wake up, the very first thing, is to breathe with intention. I choose 3 things I am going to do well during the day and I commit to them. Today I committed to writing this blog, checking in on my finance spreadsheet, and hugging each of my children at least 3 times randomly throughout the day. So far, I have completed two and half of those commitments.
The next step requires a bit more planning. Prior to beginning this process of balance, I sat down and I reflected on my day with the purpose of identifying the 3 most busiest parts and placing in a 5 or 10 minute breakaway activity. Today I went for a walk with the kids, I sat down and ate lunch with them and we talked about our day, and at 8:00 tonight I am going to push in a 5 minute meditation. By giving myself deliberate breaks, I bring myself back to my center. I even allow myself time to focus on my breathing! With regards to this step, it may be more actionable if you set a timer or calendar that can go off to remind you that it is time to take a break. I found this was most helpful as I began to plan my breaks in.
The third step of this plan is to be sure to follow through with steps one and two. It seems redundant, but when we get down to the nitty gritty, balance is about breaking away from the daily routine and constant havoc. It is about making time for the important things, one of which is our family and ourselves. If you are anything like me, it is so easy to put yourself last when you have so many other things to do. But we have to be intentional, deliberate, and, in some cases, plan out our day so that we can find that balance. Balance in life is necessary. When I look at my babies faces, I am reminded of how the little moments are so valuable and irreplaceable.
We want to hear about some ways that you balance out your day. Do you have any recommendations?