We were sitting round the table with our sons this week and we started to talk about animals that hibernate. I mentioned how nice that would be to be buried in a hole and go into hibernation. They all paused and looked at me strangely. Don’t you get that feeling sometimes, when you just want to step off the train, have some serious time out, catch up some sleep, or just pause to re-group?
I have been chasing the “work / life balance” for years. Surely it is out there and I can do it, I would tell myself. No matter how hard I tried to find balance, I never could and still can’t. The word balance means equilibrium, evenness, and I found it takes an enormous amount of energy, discipline and disappointments to chase this elusive state of being, to still feel disheartened. One day, in a sort of ‘light bulb’ moment, I decided work / life balance is BS. Just like that. I laughed and felt released from the pressure.
So, now I call it the seesaw of life. Sometimes you are high, sometimes low, in-between, sometimes you’re having fun, sometimes you want to jump off. There is a season to work your bum off to achieve a vision and there is time to take the foot off the accelerator. There are times for focus, blood, sweat, tears, sleepless nights, early morning and much sacrifice. There is also time for extended rest and nurturing.
The key is in and amongst the seesaw of life, is to find quality moments to re-charge, so you can keep pushing through, if taking a nice long holiday is out of the question right now. If you are someone feeling like you need to step off the train, or hibernate, take a thought as to what quality, deep and sincere nurturing you need right now. It can be a tiny percentage of your time, but make it worth it.
Here are some thoughts:
Fill Up Your Tank
Find the time to recharge and refuel and be very intentional, which could mean siphoning money away so you can do something that replenishes you regularly. Massage, Day Spa, Yoga, Dancing, Art Class, weekend away with friends. Walk in nature, knitting, reading a good book. Do that thing that makes you feel full and recharged. No guilt allowed, simply enjoy and book it in.
Don’t forget to eat well. Whether you are on the go, or not, your body needs quality nutritious food. This time of year, there is an abundance of leafy greens, citrus fruit and root veggies, which are all packed with the vitamins and minerals your body needs. Forget doing a Masterchef meal, just keep it simple and healthy, easy to prepare and make enough for leftovers. Oh, and drink lots of clean water!
When you have a good bedtime routine, you sleep more soundly and your body gets into the rhythm of drifting off easily and waking up feeling rested and ready for the day. Meditation before bed can really help clear your mind, relax your body and get you ready to sleep. Avoiding caffeine, alcohol and screens before bed is a good habit too.
Learn to say No
Say hello to no! The bad boy word that we have trouble articulating. I love saying yes and it’s so hard to learn to say no, so I have practiced this question “Is what I am about to do, helping me achieve the vision for my life right now”. Since asking that question, I am less inclined to sign up for stuff, go out too late, fill the diary, agree to things or watch that new Netflix series.