The average American is over-worked and highly stressed. From working full-time, having more than one job, all while balancing family life, things can get hectic really quick! It is crucial that in between the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we find time to tune everything and everyone out, just to love on ourselves.
About 85% of males and 66% of females in the U.S. work more than 40 hours per week. How in the world can one find the time to take care of themselves when the kids need to be taken to football practice, your mom has been wanting to spend time with you, your spouse feels disconnected from you, and the house needs to be cleaned? It seems impossible! You can’t take a vacation anytime soon, you can’t tell your children to leave you alone for a couple of days, so how can you unwind amidst your chaotic life?
Balance is key
American author Thomas Merton famously quoted, “Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.” Balancing the various demands of life is the key to managing your lifestyle. For example, my family and close friends know that I am skilled in web design and many times, I’ve designed professional websites for my family and friends free of charge. However, right now I am planning a wedding (exciting!), working two jobs, and in the process of moving into a new home. I’m sure you can imagine that I’ve had to tell some people that I am not available to create websites for a while!
Balance is understanding when you spend too much time on one important task, and as a result, the other equally important task does not get the attention it needs. Balance is writing down in a planner how your day will unfold. Literally, write from hour-to-hour what you plan on doing throughout the day, if need be. You never realize how important and precious time is until you don’t have much of it to spare.
Understand when it is time to rest. I know you may feel unstoppable and as if there’s just not enough time in a day, but sleep has to be prioritized in order for you to be your very best self. There is a laundry list of problems that could arise from lack of sleep. Some of them include a weakened immune system, thinking issues, lower sex drive, and the list goes on. Wind down before bed by turning off the TV and instead reading a book while drinking a warm cup of chamomile tea. Your body and brain have to know it is time for sleep, so prepare for it by relaxing and turning off distractions.
If your life is too chaotic, it may be time to cut off subordinate tasks
If you’re feeling overwhelmed every day, it may be time to re-evaluate your priorities. Maybe now is not the best time to begin a new business venture when you are caring for your aging mother. Maybe you have to sit out this season on the bowling league while you focus on getting your master’s degree. List all of your priorities on a sheet of paper and order them from least to most important. You may realize that some things you dedicate time for are not in fact priorities. It is important to do this a few times per year.
Feed your spirituality
Get back in tune with your spirituality by taking time to read an inspirational book, meditate, or by taking a walk in the park on a nice day. Feeding your spirit will result in better physical performance and an overall better outlook on life.
Control what you eat
Since we naturally cannot live long without food or water, I’m sure you can imagine what happens when we aren’t finding enough time to eat a balanced meal or when we consume mostly fast foods or other “quick fixes” in order to feel full faster.
Food is what fuels your body’s cells. Your daily diet should include a balanced combination of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and other nutrients in order to ensure you are performing at your best.
“Unwind” after your work day
A working mom once told me that when she gets home every day from work, she greets her kids, goes straight to her room, shuts the door, and spends about 30 minutes unwinding before she interacts with her family. Her children respect her routine because they understand that mommy needs some time every day to herself. Just like this busy mom, everyone who wears multiple hats needs some time…whether it’s five minutes or an hour…to detach from the world.