Truth! I think balance is BS!
This idea that we can perfectly balance out all of the things we have to do in life and they all get equal time and effort. I call BS. For me, this is impossible. For my life everything bleeds into everything else. I find a more logical implementation, rather than balance, to be healthy integration.
My work is often home based and there is no logical way for me to leave work at an “office” or specific location as it is everywhere! I work online and in office spaces and via technology all the time. Here is my outlook on why integration is a better goal for me than balance…if you find work you truly love and are truly happy doing then work is not a burden if is a part of your life. Yes- there are always aspects that are less interesting and tougher to tackle than others but striving to really get crystal clear on what you want to do and how you can do it in a way that you enjoy then work/home integration only makes sense.
I can’t separate my family from my work because they are my world. How can I just leave them out b/c “it is work time now”. Sure, I have to put my focus on clients and be mindful and present with and for them (and I love my client work!) but to “leave home at home and work at work” is not truly possible for me.
How do we allow this integration and make it work for us not against us. One of my fav ever books is “The Gifts of Therapy” by Irvin Yalom. I highly recommend it if you are a mental health professional or enjoy reading about it. In this book he tells you he believes a primary duty of a therapist is to remove obstacles for people so they can live more fully. I agree, I also think it is our own personal responsibility to move those obstacles and live joy.
You know why I am able some days to lay around, read, work out, spend time with my daughter and take a nap? I let it happen. This, in my mind, is a perfect day of self-care. The perfect kind you cannot get every day because of life happenings but you can create for yourself sometimes. You can integrate it into your life!
One of the reasons I am able to enjoy such delightful days sometimes is all in my control. My willingness to let go and accept help and relax. It is not that there are not things that I could be doing . Isn’t there always something that we could do? Notice my word- could rather than should- when we “should all over ourselves” we kill our own joy- we suck the life out of a beautiful self-care day. I spent years killing my own joy- don’t get me wrong- I still do it sometimes when I am not being mindful and aware.
Send your inner balance bully away!
Do you do this? Do you negative self-talk yourself out of a good day? A day you decide to spend doing what you want instead of all the stuff that “needs” to get done. That negative voice in our head will tell us “you are being lazy, you need to get up and do something”. It will bully you, “you can’t do this, there are too many things to do, who are you to spend the whole day doing what you want to”? My question is who are you not to spend your time the way you want to?
I invite you to create a beautiful and ideal self-care day- when would you wake up, who would be there (if anyone), what would you do? Take some of those ideas and fit one or two into each day. Make a plan for an entire self-care day in the future- schedule it- make you a priority. What are the obstacles to your joy that need to be removed to make it happen?
Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash