Between work, family, friends, and community obligations, life can often seem more like an endless to-do list than an actual life. Finding a balance in life begins with finding your own autonomy, and structuring your life in a way that brings you daily joy in order to incrementally reach your goals. Here are a few ways to manage stress and bring a balance into your day-to-day functions.
1. Manage Your Time Efficiently
Time management is not a one-time goal. Ask yourself if you are accomplishing things in quantity or quality, and adjust accordingly. Utilize a calendar or day planner to ensure that you do not miss important appointments or events. Procrastinating will increase stress and inflammation, and can add strain in your relationships. Finding the discipline to stick to a schedule can be difficult, but it will allow you more time to pursue hobbies or to simply relax.
2. Do Not Commit to Obligations Until 24 Hours have Passed
We have all been in the position. A PTA member you have never spoken to needs a huge favor on your day off. What do you do? Is making cookies for the bake sale more important than spending time helping your kids with homework or relaxing doing an activity you enjoy?
While it is important to partake in the various organizations you are affiliated with, it is also important to put yourself and your family first. Before committing to obligations, (i.e.; anything other than a fun social event) give yourself time to determine whether you can comfortably commit without feeling irritable, resentful, or angry.
When asked “Can you….?” always respond with “I’ll get back to you tomorrow or in the next couple of days.”
Your body and mind will thank you.
3. Reflect Weekly
It is healthy to realize that you cannot do everything. You can, however, do what is important. Finding a balance is all about reflecting on what areas of life you feel competent and accomplished in, and what areas you could work on.
Reflect weekly through meditation, exercise, or doing a quiet activity that helps you feel present and calm. We spend so much time looking into the future, that looking back and finding behavioral patterns and problem solving strategies can be very beneficial.
4. Focus on Improving One Area of Your Life at a Time
It is when we try to do everything at once that important events, relationships, or goals fall through the cracks. Try focusing on one or a few aspects of your life at a time, and remember that some are better than others.
For example, the holidays are a great chance to get in touch with old friends and distant family members. Use this time to get closer to the important people in your life. By spending a few weeks or months focusing on family, and then career, and then friendships, and then organization, etc. you can make positive change without overwhelming yourself.
For more information or to speak to one of our staff, please contact us at (818) 758-9450 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
West Valley Counseling Center is located at 19634 Ventura Blvd. Suite 212 Tarzana, CA 91356