One of my favorite quotes ever is from the fabulous Marcus Buckingham, who says that you should not think of balance as the midpoint between work and personal life. It would mean that if we reach balance, we would be at a standstill, trying not to let either side sway up or down. Instead, he suggests, we should think of “balance” in terms of fullness. We are balanced when we have reached a level at which our cup is full.
“You don’t have five different selves that you can keep separate. You have one life. One mind. One heart. One cup, if you will. Your challenge is not to separate one cup from another, erect boundaries between each, and then somehow balance them all. Your challenge is to move your life, tilt your life, intentionally imbalance your life toward those few specific moments that will fill your one cup.”
This way of looking at things takes the pressure off this notion that we must get to the midpoint between work and personal life, and instead focus on our happiness as a whole. We all share the common bond of trying to juggle all of our personal responsibilities, our work related responsibilities, and our parenting responsibilities. Yet we also have to carve out time for activities beyond the realm of responsibilities that make us happy.
Recently, the folks at Stayfree® pads recently asked a few wellness influencers about how we stay balanced. For me it is really quite simple:
I am most easily thrown off balance when my list of obligations gets too long and overwhelming. so lists are vital for me. On Sunday I make a list of what absolutely must get done each day of the coming week. This includes business and personal items for myself, and the kids’ activities too. It can include a conference call with a client, or a workout. I refer to that list several times throughout the day, to make sure that I am getting done what absolutely must be done.
Be on the List
As moms we all know how easily our needs can be put last. We know how suddenly a whole day or afternoon can be thrown off track. When my kids were young I discovered that when I did not put myself on the list, my cup always seemed to overflow. When I made room for me, it magically seemed to stay full without spilling or tipping over.
Keeping me on the list includes writing, healthy eating, regular exercise, and time with friends. It does not matter the time of the year, the day of the week, the time of the day, or the day of the month. (You see where I went with that since this was a question from Stayfree® pads, right??) Those are the items that keep me personally fulfilled every day, and without them, my cup would surely runneth over. Putting them on the list helps me to remain balanced and fulfilled.
In addition to spin class and running, this year I would love to take more yoga classes. The appeal of adding a workout that provides tranquility while focusing on flexibility becomes more and more desirable to me every month. By the way, you can get FREE yoga classes online with a 30-day membership to My Yoga on Gaiam TV when you purchase any Stayfree® product either online or in-store between January 12-March 8, 2015! Visit stayfree.com/myyoga to learn more.
Organization and preparation go hand in hand. My cup tends to tip over when I am not prepared, sending me into a bit of overwhelm. That is why my purse, my gym bag, and even my car contain emergency supplies. Whether I might need tissues, a pen, a bandage, or (you guessed it) Stayfree® Ultra Thin® pads, it helps me stay on track when I am prepared.
My gym bag, for example, always contains a glass water bottle, a sweat towel, headphones, hair bands, and my spin shoes. Those items are fairly typical. Since I often head to class on an empty stomach (and have been known to faint), I always carry a bar or two for nutrition. I keep mints (in case I head to class after my morning coffee), tissues, and period essentials for emergencies. Purification essential oil for cuts and scrapes (and for smelly gyms and gym bags) is a must, as well as PanAway essential oil in case of sore muscles.
Be Kind to Yourself
Recently I attended an event where they mentioned that just 14% of people feel balanced. Perhaps this number is so low because of the immense amount of pressure we put on ourselves to get it all done. If we continue to be so hard on ourselves, how can we ever feel balanced? As I get older I have learned to be just a little kinder to myself, because that small change has made a world of difference. So if you are one of those people who demands perfection, give yourself a break. I promise that you will not regret it.
Thank you to Stayfree® pads for sponsoring this post on behalf of SocialStars. Stayfree® pads strives to gives great protection so you can focus on what matters most in your life. #StayfreeSisters