There's no doubt that life is full of curve balls. And 2020 has brought plenty of those, with it being harder and harder to achieve life balance.
With all the sudden changes and upheavals we've had to face due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the wave of repercussions it's caused in many spheres of life, it's time to reconsider our life balance, take a few deep breaths, take a step back and consider the way forward. Because it's how we respond to these events that shape our present and our future. We can only move forward in life- and to do that well, we need to be a little selfish first with ourselves and our time first.
Life balance means considering your needs
As women living in the 21st Century, our roles and responsibilities span across many spheres including raising a family, creating a home, being fit and healthy, maintaining relationships with friends, partners and kids, and then often juggling full or part-time careers on top of it all.
If you're feeling low, consider doing a little bit of re-building from the inside – think self-love, self-adoration and self-nurture. This is actually the best way for you to be better for yourself and others, absolutely guilt-free.
And, rather than comparing yourself to others, and reaching for unattainable goals, put your energy into visualising what you want your own life to look like, while being grateful for what you already have, and managed to achieve thus far.
Then set achievable, sustainable goals that help you to live a healthy, balanced life - mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. You can only give out if you ensure your empty cup is constantly filled too.
Because the truth is, if you're always so busy fulfilling duties for others, you tend towards self-neglect in the process. In these instances there's no time for exercise, healthy eating becomes a luxury rather than a necessity and personal appearance is forgotten.
Even worse, personal interests can be all but non-existent and your identity can be buried underneath a never-ending to-do list. The issue here is not that you shouldn't take responsibility for your home, life and the people in it, it's that you need to do it from the right place- and this is where self-love and self-care comes in first.
Your life wheel as a pie
I love a good analogy, so let's use a pie as a representation of the life wheel, that represents different facets of your life - and the life balance you should be striving to achieve. The idea is that if you keep each piece of your pie filled, you have more to share! And so in life, if you nourish the many parts of yourself that needs attention, you can be of better service to others.
Here are the 8 pie pieces I believe you should focus on, to find that sweet spot in life- which means a healthy balance:
This is about claiming your originality. Don’t lose your identity in your service to others. Be realistic about your capacity – what you can, can’t and won’t do, and stand by it. Similarly, you need to set your non-negotiables. Identify and remember your sources of happiness and personal wants to help create your purpose, and set aside time each day or week to dedicate to these things. It could be as simple as cooking and sitting down to family meals around the table.
This piece is about letting go. You need to be honest with yourself about beliefs that don’t serve you, and work at letting them go. Change is good! An important part of the purging process is also saying goodbye to perfection. This is an impossible standard that serves no one – nor does the guilt and resentment that accompanies your quest for it. I love the saying "Hold yourself to a standard of grace, not perfection" - it's a more realistic goal to strive for.
Whatever your beliefs, spend time developing your spirituality. Time alone, where you have the chance to practice mindulness and meditation is a powerful means to delve into your authentic thoughts. And in addition to outward beliefs, you need to reaffirm your self-belief as well. Setting personal goals and creating daily affirmations builds your faith in yourself. And you alone – not outside forces – determine your mindset.
This is where the hard work comes. Nothing worth having ever comes easy. But the truth is, working hard and achieving the results you're after is worth it. Prioritise essential habits that serve you, and stick to the plan. Identify and work at changing unproductive behaviour, and get serious about time management. Planning and preparation is key.
Real change and growth happens when you step outside your comfort zone. It’s hard to know what you want and love until you’ve had a piece of it, so start experimenting. Embrace the new! This means people, places, events, every experience possible. Human life is enhanced with our 5 senses, so start stimulating them.
Be a ‘wellness hacker’. In terms of fitness and health, this means taking the reins and empowering yourself. Know more about your health and embrace the technological support we available to help you do this. Let wellness apps, DNA tests and fitness trackers serve your wellness, and get proactive about becoming fitter and healthier in the ways that best serve your life. Your body is the only vehicle you get to travel in through life – don’t neglect it!
ALSO SEE: 8 reasons why you should take a DNA test
This is a big one. Most women are used to taking care of others - all the time, but you need support as well. I love the expression "Don’t be an island’. It is important to build a community of mutual support. Communicate with loved ones, friends and genuine supporters, for your benefit and for theirs. Embrace supportive platforms around you, you will have more to offer because of it.
- Filling your plate with a variety of healthy foods
- Moving your body most days with activities you enjoy
- Getting as much good-quality sleep as you can
- Drinking plenty of water and nourishing liquids
- Giving your liver a break sometimes with a healthy cleanse
- Daily journal writing and mindful meditation where you get to set goals and practice gratitude.
The message with my pie analogy is to focus on holistic living and see your mental, physical, spiritual and emotional health as equally important. Also remember that it's not selfish to focus on yourself first. You need to be in the position to give out from a full cup.