We hear the term balance a lot these days, but what does it really mean? Giving time and attention, in fairly equal measure, to our personal and professional lives is one way to look at balance. Business demands usually top everything else, especially for entrepreneurs who are trying to establish and expand their product or service. It can feel like you’re spinning with everything you need to get done in a day, and then exhausted, you go home to your family or partner and have little energy left to be fully present and engaged with your loved ones. I can relate. The last thing I want is someone else to want something from me after I took care of others all day long. Take heart, you are not alone as this excellent Fiscal Times article points out. http://goo.gl/9BJYE
Even with all of this, something important is often left out of the balance equation—you. Your dedication to your business and making things right with your immediate surroundings takes so much time that dedication to your wellbeing is often lost in the shuffle. Do you ever ask: What about me? When do you get to take care of yourself and do the things that make you feel good about yourself? The gym, a massage, a hike with friends, or how about just relaxing, reading a book or magazine? Impossible, you might say, there just isn’t enough time. And yet “you time” is crucial to maintaining balance. Think of balance as a three-legged stool, and if one leg gives way, be it career, family or YOU, the whole thing collapses eventually and you burn out.
You can avoid burn out by taking care of yourself—first. You are not helping anyone or your business if you can’t operate at your best. It’s okay to be selfish once in a while, to take time off, to ask for support, to do what gives you the greatest joy. Knowing what event/thing/activity creates that sense of wellbeing is a very important part of finding balance quickly, especially when things go out of whack. Your friends and family will adjust to the new you quickly because you will be happier!
You’ll know you are in balance when:
- You schedule time tor yourself. You realize the importance of taking care of who you are, whether it’s regular gym sessions or even a weekly movie night; you need to be a priority in your life, and your feeling balanced will show it.
- You exercise. You’re aware that to be of sound mind you need to be of sound body, and nothing makes you feel better, nothing makes you healthier, than a steady exercise regimen. You also eat well and even if you overindulge now and then, it’s no big deal: you take care of yourself.
- You have a strong body image. Nobody’s perfect, and you accept your flaws – but you don’t belittle yourself for being who you are.
- You’re in control. You’re not overwhelmed, you’re not overstressed, you take things as they come. Although you’re busy, it’s a good busy: you enjoy what you do and the demands are not so demanding that you lose sight of who you are and what your priorities are.
- You know how to relax. You realize that relaxation is just as important as work and exercise. It’s essential to a sound state of mind and a healthy outlook.