Wow! I'm just coming off a 60-hour work week between my "day" job, part-time job and my new and growing business. Added to that I went from school to school and extra cirricular activities during honor roll week, to end the busy week with young ladies sleep over (I have 3 daughters who had their friends over). It's super easy to rack up those hours of busyness (or insanity, whichever word works for you), but it felt good to be productive and to make life better for those around me. It's easy, however, to set myself aside in all that busyness, but there are two things I know for sure about myself: 1. I need to exercise to relieve the stress and 2. if I don't prayer/meditate I become overwhelmed. For the sake of my sanity and the sanity of those around me, I didn't give up the essentials.
Sometimes life has to be out of balance for a while so that in the long run it can stay more in balance. It's not easy to remember to take care of yourself during these times, so here are 5 tips to help:
1. Set your time limit: If you can, set a time limit on a how long you're going to give. I made a decision, in order to get my projects caught up at work and have that awesome feeling that I am not always behind, I would only work overtime for 5 weeks. At the end of 5 weeks, what was done was done and what wasn't had to be worked into a normal work week schedule.
2. Remember your core needs: It's great to be able to give of yourself for a cause, but remember what activities keep you calm and relaxed during a stressful time. It could be reading every night for 10 minutes or dancing to 80's music (a personal favorite). Whatever it is; do it! Of course, it won't rid you of all your stress during this time, but it will help you relax, keep your prespective and not feel completely overwhelmed.
3. Know your purpose: Knowing why you're giving so much extra time in an area of your life will help sustain you during the most stressful times. I saw this a lot when I was a care giver. Family members would remember their love for their loved one when the aging parent or sick child got worse, and that would help sustain them longer. It is never easy, but it helps.
4. Enlist help: During these time of intense work, what can you delegate? Or can you get someone to sit next to you to listen or advise? Can you ask a family member? I have asked my daughters to cook one meal a week. It helps all of us. They learn about cooking, serving and being part of a team and I didn't have to think about a meal for one night. Asking for help does a service for everyone involved. Note: also be aware of the deepen relationship when you ask a person for help.
5. Plan your rest: Schedule your down time before you take on any more obligations. Maybe you need a rest every night for an hour or maybe your the type that canplow through a week to take off a full day. Whether it's a vacation or a weekend in the house or an afternoon walk with a friend, or a combination, find what is best for you. It's up to you and your body. It's your celebration, your reflection, your rest time. Make it count! You deserve it and from this place of caring for yourself you can take better care of your obiligations, as well as relieve stress.
Life isn't going to be perfectly balanced 100% of the time. We aren't the rocks that balance on each other as seen in the photo. Rocks never change. Their weight doesn't change. They don't get sick parents or have demanding jobs. Life does tip for us; it does change and sometimes for months or years, but these five keys are a way to balance your life, your inner peace and your emotions, keeping you less stressed and energized for the work ahead.