We all crave balanced lives with enough time for those things we want and need to be happy. Most of us strive to maintain a sense of equilibrium in our lives, with success often coming in waves.
There are days and even weeks when I feel like my life has struck a perfect balance. During those times, I work two full days a week, spend lots of focused and loving time with my kids, have time alone with my husband, wake up early to meditate and pray, talk to my faraway family, have lunch or coffee with girlfriends, exercise six days a week, make healthy meals, sleep at least seven hours a night and feel a sense of overwhelming joy and well-being.
But... then a work deadline comes along and things begin to come a bit unraveled in my home. Life just starts getting out of whack when I am super busy, and I feel unbalanced.
Suddenly, I don't make it to the gym for a few days, the refrigerator becomes empty, laundry piles up and our home life becomes a bit disheveled. Our meals go from decent, homemade ones to takeout and quickly cooked ones. My kids notice because they spend more time with a babysitter, so when I am with them, they adhere themselves to my side. The toddler clings to my leg and my mommy guilt kicks in strongly because I am clearly not spending enough time with my precious children.
These times simply happen to all moms, especially when we are engrossed in a project or have a major work deadline. Occasionally, this is completely normal and okay. But as a way of life, this can be draining, depressing, and a contributor to marital distress.
Balance is achievable -- especially if you keep your life in "the happy range." The happy range is where everything in your life is feels "right," and you are spending your time and energy in alignment with your priorities.Here are 5 ways you can live a life that feels more balanced, joyful, and happy!
- List out the top 10 most important things in your life, such as your children, your faith, your relationships with your husband, friendships, exercising, hobbies, a clean house, etc. Put them in order of importance, and then think about how you actually spend your time. Are you spending your time and energy in alignment with what's important to you? If not, what do you need to change?
- Try to dump one or two time-sucking activities that pull you away from living a balanced life. For example, if you volunteer at your child's school and keep getting tasked with more and more duties, draw a line and do only what feels right to you. If housecleaning is overwhelming to you, see if you can fit it into your budget to hire housecleaner to do deep cleaning once or twice a month.
- Schedule your week out every Sunday evening. Sounds a bit tedious, but if you are in control of your calendar and manage your time, you can make sure to schedule in your workouts, date nights, time alone or whatever it is that makes your life better.
- Lighten your standards a bit. If you crave more time with your children and husband, but spend two hours each day cleaning and tidying, see if you can let your standards slide a bit. Limit the number of times you are picking up toys -- such as simply cleaning up at the end of the day when kids are in bed, so you can reserve your kid's naptime for your own creative endeavors or relaxation time!
- Don't forget that "feeling good is feeling God," as Dr. Wayne Dyer says. Life should be savored and enjoyed. If the joy has been sucked out for you, then do some re-evaluation of how you are spending your time. You should feel happy a majority of the time. You should feel like life is good and you are living on purpose. If you feel down, overwhelmed, and dissatisfied a majority of the time, take a closer look at what is off.
I'd love to hear from you - how do you maintain balance when life is crazy? Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!