May 19, 2023
Life Work Balance is Bulls**t
Finding ‘Balance’ in 7 Areas of Life (yes 7): The pursuit of a myth.
Like so many, you might be feeling overwhelmed and burnt out by the demands of your life. For example, are you feeling challenged to find time for yourself, given your work, family responsibilities, and financial obligations? By the way…we mostly all are. I’ll state the obvious, it’s easy to get caught up in our lives, and at the same time neglect the things we actually need in our life, while in the process of living our life!
Start by considering the reality of the 7 areas of life- because gaining awareness of our physical, mental emotional, spiritual, vocational, financial, and relational health is crucial for having an overall sense of well-being. In this post, I’ll offer some reminders, suggestions, tips, and food for thought on why stopping the pursuit of the mythical ‘life work balance’ is the key to finding a sense of equilibrium. My intention is to offer some insights and suggestions for you to consider so you can meet your needs without sacrificing the other important aspects of your life. So, grab your favorite beverage and let’s dive in!
You Are the Center of Your Universe
Picture yourself in the center of your universe, now consider your responsibilities, family who depends on you, children, significant others, community, career and more…so much more! Like the flight attendant who tells you, in case of emergency, put on your oxygen mask first, think of self-care as the oxygen you need for self-preservation and success in all areas of life. It helps you to stay physically and mentally healthy, and can improve relationships, business, and an overall sense of wellness. When you make self-care a priority, you create capacity and the energy needed to do all you do. Not having a ‘practice’ of self-care is depriving you of the oxygen you need to look after your life, those you love, and all that you want from life.
There are many ways to practice self-care and you need to discover what works best for you. From getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, to spending time outdoors, time with loved ones, practicing meditation or mindfulness, and taking breaks when needed. Awareness is the first step to discovering what works best for you.
Self-care is often seen as selfish, but in reality, it’s actually the opposite. When you take care of yourself, you are better able to take care of others. It’s important to remember that you can’t pour from an empty cup. So, make sure to fill yours up first!
Vocational Area: Finding Balance and Fulfillment in Work
It is so important to find balance and fulfillment in our work lives. When we love what we do, it shows! But what happens when our work life isn’t as fulfilling as we want it to be? It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind and forget about our long-term goals and happiness.
That’s why it’s important to take a step back and evaluate our career choices from time to time. Are we in the right field? Do we enjoy going to work each day? If not, it might be time for a change.
There are several ways to achieve a sense of balance and fulfillment in our work lives. Here are a few suggestions:
Find a job that aligns with your values: When you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work. Make sure your job is something you believe in and care about.
Create a positive work environment: Surround yourself with people who make going to work enjoyable. If you don’t like your current situation, see if there are ways you can change it or look for a new job altogether.
Set big goals but realistic timelines: There are no goals too big, just timelines that are unrealistic. Set goals in achievable timelines that will help you grow in your business or career without becoming overwhelmed.
Make time for yourself: Don’t forget to schedule some “down time” into your busy week. This can be anything that supports filling one of the seven areas of life buckets.
Financial Area: Managing Finances and Setting Financial Goals
It’s no secret that money is a major source of stress for many people. In fact, financial worries are one of the most common causes of anxiety and depression. If you’re struggling to keep up with your finances or you’re constantly worrying about money, it’s time to take control and get your finances in order.
There are a few key things you can do to get your finances under control and start feeling better about your money situation. First, take a close look at your spending habits and see where you can cut back. You may be surprised how much money you can save by making small changes to your spending habits.
Next, start setting some financial goals. Figure out what you want to achieve financially and start working towards those goals. Having specific goals will help you stay on track and motivated to improve your financial situation.
Make sure you’re staying on top of your bills and payments. Late payments can lead to fees and damage your credit score, so it’s important to stay on top of things. Set up a budget and make sure you’re always aware of where your money is going.
If you’re struggling with your finances, don’t hesitate to seek help. There are many resources available to help you get your finances back on track. Talking to a financial advisor, counselor or mentor can be a great first step in getting your finances under control.
Physical Area: Exercise, Healthy Eating Habits, and Adequate Sleep
When it comes to taking care of our physical wellbeing, exercise, healthy eating habits, and adequate sleep are key. Exercise helps to keep our bodies strong and our minds sharp, while healthy eating habits help to ensure that we’re getting the nutrients we need to function at our best. Adequate sleep is also crucial for both our physical and mental health.
For many of us, finding time to fit all these things into our busy lives can be a challenge. However, it’s important to remember that self-care is an essential part of living a fulfilling life. When we make the effort to take care of ourselves, we’re able to show up in all areas of our lives with more energy and enthusiasm.
Mental Area: Practicing Mindfulness and Stress Management Techniques
When it comes to self-care, mental health is just as important as the physical. After all, thoughts and emotions have a big impact on our overall health and well-being. That’s why it’s essential to discover and put into practice ways to manage stress and keep our minds healthy and balanced.
One great way to do this is through the practice of mindfulness. Mindfulness is remaining present in the moment and aware of our thoughts and feelings without judging them. It can help us to better deal with stress and anxiety and can even improve our physical health.
There are different ways to practice mindfulness. One simple way is to focus on your breath for a few minutes each day. You can also try meditation, yoga, or Tai Chi. Just find what works best for you and make it a part of your daily routine.
In addition to mindfulness, there are other stress management techniques that can be helpful. Exercise is a great way to reduce stress, as it releases endorphins that help improve mood. Getting regular sleep is important, as fatigue will make stress harder to deal with. And finally, try to take some time each day for yourself – do something that you enjoy or that relaxes you completely. This could be anything from reading a good book to going for a walk.
By taking care of our mental health, we will generally lead happier, healthier lives overall. So, make sure to incorporate some self-care into your day-to-day routine.
Spiritual Area: Exploring Religion/Spirituality and Connecting to What Matters Most
No matter what your belief system is, connecting with something larger (i.e., a higher power) than yourself can be beneficial. If you grew up with religion or spirituality as a part of your life, reconnecting with those roots can help ground you.
When you take the time to explore your spiritual side, it can help bring clarity and peace to the other areas of your life. It can be a way to connect with yourself on a deeper level and understand what matters most to you. Taking care of your spiritual needs can also help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.
There are many ways to connect with your spirituality. You may find that attending religious services or participating in spiritual rituals is helpful. Or maybe you prefer spending time in nature, reading religious texts, or meditating. There is no right or wrong way to connect with your spirituality – it’s whatever helps you feel grounded.
Not sure where to start? Experiment with different activities and see what feels most meaningful to you. The important thing is that you make the effort to nurture your spiritual side. When you do, it can have a positive impact on all aspects of your life.
Relational Area: Building Meaning
The most important and impactful relationship is with yourself.
It’s so important to find meaning in each and all areas of your life, which is grounded in taking care of yourself! When you bring your awareness to taking time for self-reflection and self-care, you’re able to recharge and reconnect to all areas of your life. This opens the door to your life with a clearer direction and outlook and more energy to put towards the things that are most important to you.
There are endless ways to practice self-awareness, and care but some of the most proven include regular exercise, (as simple as a walk) eating a healthy diet, spending time in nature, practicing meditation or mindfulness, and connecting with friends and loved ones. It’s important to discover what works best for you and make this (never ending) journey a priority in your life. Your body, mind, soul and who love you the most will thank you for it!