The roles and responsibilities we hold can sometimes be overwhelming: partner, student, employee, housemate, friend, and more.
To truly strike a balance in life, you have to understand that balance doesn’t stand still.
Balance In Action
Nothing in life is stationary; to maintain balance you’ve got to be flexible.
Take action to counter what life throws at you!
Action #1: (Re)Focus
When juggling all your roles and responsibilities, identify which of those “balls” are glass or rubber. What are the highest priorities, and what can you afford to let go of?
If you stumble along the way, focus on what you can control, and get moving again.
Parker started a new job and feels like they’re falling behind in their other responsibilities. Which of these tasks can Parker let go of to find more balance?
Takeout order for dinner with roommates
New hire paperwork
Study for an upcoming exam
None of these
Action #2: Just Say No
Saying “no” isn’t always easy, but it’s important to set healthy boundaries.
Evaluate those activities that produce minimal personal or professional value. If you can, consider dropping those altogether or delegating to others.
Parker's classmates have suggested Parker take office in a new volunteer group. Parker is not interested and wants to decline. How should Parker reply?
Let me give it some thought
Another time might work
Sounds great, but I can't commit
Action #3: Get Moving!
It can be hard to prioritize exercise when you’ve got a lot on your plate. But some deep breathing or a little sweat can help bring clarity of mind.
Vigorous dance breaks count.
Action #4: Plan Ahead For Stressful Tasks
If you're feeling overwhelmed by your responsibilities, take a moment to reflect on how you arrived at that place - were there certain activities that felt more difficult or draining for you?
Identify those difficult activities to better plan and prep for them the next time you face stress.
Parker has an important report due soon. They recall how stressful past reports have been. How can Parker manage the coming stress?
Take a deep breath
Block out dedicated time for the report
Plan a fun, post-deadline movie night
All of these
Action #5: Treat Yo' Self!
Build in downtime to recharge and relax. Seek out activities that make you feel good, rather than drained.
Action #6: Be Gentle With Yourself
If you stumble along the way, refrain from negative self talk and give yourself some grace.
Sometimes the most important act of self care is to seek help. If your physical or mental health is slipping, seek assistance from a medical provider or from those you trust most.
Even if you feel you’ve got a good handle of things right now, you can’t always anticipate what life will throw at you next.
Finding and maintaining balance requires us to be nimble and flexible for whatever comes our way.
The next time life feels a little stressful and unbalanced, try to:
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