Is it possible to find a comfortable balance between all areas in life and maintain it?
I ask myself this question frequently. This June I have been ON IT so far, but at times like these I am brought back to a few months ago when I was a mad woman constantly overwhelmed. Sure, a part of that is my mania, but could it be more than that? Are we bound to have times where we leisurely add things on and others where we have the same load and are completely overburdened? I wonder.
There are so many areas calling for our attention. I tried to list some and ended up with a giant paragraph going over frequent personal tasks like keeping up with diet and exercise, to home tasks like caring for pets and cleaning, to social tasks like keeping in touch with friends and family, to personal enrichment tasks which for me are things like attending open mics and taking time out to write. No wonder we all tune out the list and binge watch shows on Netflix, just writing that last sentence made me anxious.
Whenever I feel like I get into a good groove in one of these areas, another tends to be neglected. In general I think this is unavoidable. The dedication to these areas will vary depending on the time of year and how you’re currently feeling, but I think there are some tools we can use to keep ourselves accountable and also ensure that we take some time for ourselves too.
There are endless apps to organize your life, but I find it lacking that there isn’t a place to centralize all the information from all the different apps. Regular planners weren’t working for me because I found their format too rigid. Some sections I would overuse and others would never be touched. My friend Sarah recommended the Bullet Journal to me and she was one of the people who recommended Stardew Valley so we know her intel is good. I got my first Bullet Journal recently and I am in love with it. You are in charge of everything and there are over 200 pages for you to play with. You can put as much or as little effort into it as you want, but take some time out of every day to look at it and update it.
To be honest, I reached a fitness slump. I’m at my heaviest despite working out and was feeling really low and embarrassed about it. I’ve decided to do something about it and signed up for Diet Bet. You bet $35 that you can lose 4% of your body weight over a month and sign up for a bet with a bunch of other users. They recommended the app Zomies, Run! which I am falling in love with and I started logging meals more consistently through My Fitness Pal (my username is lizinmotion).
In a previous blog I mentioned how helpful the meditation app Headspace has been for me, and I think it’s worth mentioning again. Take some time out of the day for you and for your mind. I have also begun taking time out of my day to connect further with my body. I turned to YouTube and quickly found Yoga With Adriene. She has so many different kinds of videos to choose from! I started with her 30 Days of Yoga. I like that she reminds you throughout to slow down and connect with your body. I’m only on my second day, but I have a feeling I’m going to be following her lead beyond the 30 days.
The hardest to balance are the friends and family categories. I’m already an introvert by nature, so I don’t really plan any socially intensive events more than 3-4 times a month, if even that often. I feel like I never see my local family enough and my friends group has expanded far enough that I can never fit them all in a single month. Yes, we live in a digital age so I can still text and interact with them on social media, but it just isn’t the same as sitting next to someone smiling and catching up. I miss that sometimes.
As hokey as it sounds, I think it really is about being more mindful of our time. I need to own it when I spend a whole week watching TV and playing games instead of keeping in touch with the people I care about. Technology is great, but so are we.
How do you find your balance? Which area do you struggle with the most? Let me know and share any tips you’ve found along the way.