Having balance in your life is so important for your health. Up until the pandemic hit, and we were required to stay home, most of us spent our lives being so overly busy and stressed out. We have our jobs, families, friends, activities, appointments, and homes that we are trying to take care of with only 24 hours a day. Not to mention that we also need to try and sleep during some of that time. How are we supposed to take care of all these responsibilities and still have a healthy balance in our lives?
Several years ago, my husband and I found ourselves in a place of constant stress. We were both working full time, running a business, in ministry, and just trying to survive. I remember always thinking “this is just a season”, but the season turned into years of constant busyness. Our house was a mess, we were frustrated with each other and it was not a healthy place for us. We decided to sit down and make a list of what was important. We had to prioritize what we absolutely needed to keep doing and what could we get rid of.
Be Organized and Efficient
Being organized brings me joy. I know, probably strange to some, but I truly love it and do not function well without it. When you are trying to find a healthy balance in your life you need to figure out where your time is being spent. By maintaining a calendar, you will be able to schedule a time for everything that you have decided is a priority for you. I have a good old-fashioned paper day timer that my friends may laugh at when I pull it out of my purse…but it works. You can use your phone, but I love books and paper and writing things down and having it look all organized…it’s beautiful! Anyway, you may also need to work at being efficient in some of your tasks. My husband used to go to the gym after work every day. He realized that by the time he got home, cleaned up, and had dinner, it was time for bed. We barely had a chance to check in with each other. He decided that he would change his schedule and start working out during his lunch hour. That meant he had to be efficient with his time. He no longer was at the gym to socialize and needed to focus on his workout. But he got his workout in which was important and we ended up having more time together.
I have never had a problem with sleeping. It truly is one of my favorite things to do. I love to go to bed early. I remember being in High School and my girlfriend came over on a Friday night and pulled me out of bed. She said, “You are not going to sleep before the street lights even come on…we are going out!”
Sleep is so important to our overall health. You should be getting 7-9 hours of sleep a night. A lot of people think they can accomplish more by just sleeping less. Unfortunately, you probably will accomplish less because you will find yourself lagging, not thinking clearly, more emotional and it can weaken your immune system making you sick.
It is best to come up with some sort of night ritual so your body begins to rest and unwind before you go to sleep. Turn off your phone and other devices, take a bath, read, meditate or pray. If you wake up in the middle of the night thinking about work or other problems, try renewing your mind and telling yourself you can take care of it in the morning.
Most of us spend so much of our time taking care of others that we tend to neglect ourselves. Self-care is so important in your overall health. Make sure you put yourself on your list of priorities. Self-care is anything you can do to take care of yourself so you can stay physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy. This can include exercise, eating nutritious foods, time alone, or taking up a hobby. Take the time to rejuvenate your body and refresh your soul. When you are filled up with the things that bring you joy it will give you the energy to be able to give back to others.
It is ok to say no! So many of us have a really hard time doing that. There are so many amazing things we could be doing and it can be hard to say no to something so great. There are also times people can make us feel guilty if we don’t say yes to whatever it is they asked us to do. We need to get over this. You need to go back to your list of priorities, look at the calendar and be wise before you say yes. I have actually lost friends over this one. I had said no to too many invitations and their feelings were hurt, but I had to do what was right for me and my family.
Even though the pandemic was hard on so many people, there were also things that could be considered blessings. One being we had a chance to slow down. Now that things are starting to open up again, we can eventually find ourselves back in that place of being overwhelmed and over-busy. Try coming up with your plan now on how you will be able to prioritize and implement the things that truly matter to you…and have that healthy balance in your life that we all need.