Organizing Coach, Sue West and I recently teamed up together to give a talk about Living your Best Life. During our workshop, she shared her thoughts about creating balance in life. I’ve asked her to write a guest post to help PCOS Divas learn how to bring more balance into life. I believe balance is a key piece of the healing puzzle. We need to take time out for ourselves in order to help our bodies and hormones come back into balance. Read below for some ideas on how you can stay balanced.
Keeping in Balance
To me, life seems to get more complex – and more interesting perhaps! – as we move through the years. We have stages, or chapters of life we move through. We have more change in life. And so our balance becomes more delicate. These are ideas for you to try out; some will resonate for you and some won’t. That’s the beauty; we are all so different that balance and harmony have a uniquely personal meaning.
Typically, what keeps you “on your game” or in balance?
When we are feeling out of balance, we often start with negative self-talk. Focus instead on what’s to be appreciated, what’s working, what you know for sure (or almost sure, if you’re feeling like a perfectionist). Use strategies which you know have worked for you in the past.
Think “chapters” of time.
When overwhelm sets in, practice thinking about “chapters” of time. Say you’re starting a new business. This change affects your finances, sleep, exercise, nutrition, time for other interests, and more. Brainstorm with yourself or a friend or coach, and get it all out of your head. On a second pass, break up your list by chapters in time. Tackle one round of changes at a time. A chapter could be when you start up your business, but still have a full-time job. A next chapter is when you decrease your full time hours, and so on, through chapters.
“What’s giving me energy … and what’s depleting it?”
Hit the “pause” button for a few minutes daily and ask these questions. You’ll gain perspective and be better able to change your situation.
Clear a physical space
It may be as simple as clearing a desk, a shelf, a drawer or one small corner of a table. Clearing the visual horizon clears your mind, is cathartic and energizing. People regain clarity and balance as they go through their things, and think about what’s causing the imbalance.
If you’re in a chapter with a fair amount of change and stress happening, more now than ever, rely heavily on your calendars or lists – however it is you organize life. With life changes, there’s normally some mental or emotional fog. To mitigate its impact, take extra care to keep up your to do list and calendar. It is empowering in a time of change.
Are you spending enough time on your own hobbies or volunteer interests?
Return to hobbies and volunteer interests from earlier in your life; it’s a comfortable place to start.Have a regular date with your friends – or yourself! Ask friends what they do to keep up with their interests and join in – just once, to try it. Who do you know who is good at planning things to do?
What you might want in your next chapter? Ways to discover this include: journaling, talking to friends, meditating, yoga class, or exercise. Appreciate spending time on your needs and wants. Remember what you stand for, what hobbies you love, what work fuels you, and where you’d like to change. To be in balance, you need to know what that means for you.
Create time for reflection.
Grounding yourself will help to move forward. Write in a gratitude journal daily and flex your appreciation muscles. Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, suggests we write “morning pages.” In the morning, first thing, write three pages of stream of consciousness writing. Always write three at least. And don’t worry about it being “writing;” just write to release whatever is blocking you.
Notice I did not say “Ask for help.” “Help” sounds to some like you don’t know how to do something, when in fact you may. So “inviting support” either gives you back time or invites expertise you may not have. Who is on your team?
Say ‘no.’ Forge ahead by letting go.
Let go of things, of time commitments, old attitudes or beliefs about yourself that no longer serve you. Reorganize your time and your things. If you tend towards perfectionism, try this question to yourself: What’s the simplest way I can solve this problem, answer this question, or redo this system. Start simple and build from there.
Do your surroundings inspire you or do they bring you down?
Clutter tolerance is a personal feeling and can’t be dictated by someone else’s standards. Your tolerance declines as you move through the years and time becomes more important, too, so notice this.
If you feel frozen from overwhelm, ask yourself: What’s one small step I could take? And if that feels too big, make it smaller.
Create touchstones throughout your day.
Who or what can help keep you in balance during your day? This can be: Making your bed daily. Using a screensaver of flowers (or buying them often for yourself!). Talking to a particular friend. Taking two minutes of quiet time a few times a day. Practicing mindfulness throughout the day. Paying it forward once daily. Reading a short article several times daily. Keeping your book at hand as you wait for appointments.
Do you have enough time for you? Enough time for what’s becomingmore important to you? Sue’s clients are and because she’s an organizing coach, her approach is practical. Her specialties are organizing through change, ADHD and time management. Her clients have called her: insightful, wise, inspiring, filled with hope, gentle yet productive. Sue works privately, by phone or in person and is also the author of Organize for A Fresh Start: Embrace Your Next Chapter in Life, a book about reorganizing your stuff, your home and your time to move onto your next chapter in life. Get to know Sue by signing up for her blog, visiting her on Facebook, or signing up for her newsletter.