Life can feel overwhelming sometimes. There is so much on our plates. It’s so hard to keep it all in balance. We want to be able to enjoy the moments in life but when you get hit with the tide of life it can all feel too much. Whether its family, work, friends, balance is something hard to keep. Especially now with our changing world with the coronavirus pandemic lack of balance is something many of us are feeling.
Life is feeling overwhelming to keep up with between family responsibilities, work pressure, kids needing you, and the list goes on. You are feeling that you can’t come up for air much of the time and a strong feeling of being drained. As a result you are not feeling good enough at most things. Not feeling good enough takes away from you being the parent, partner, and friend you want to be. You don’t even know what it feels like to take care of yourself anymore. Losing sight of you takes away from you being the person you want to be and living the life you want to live.
What is a balanced life? There is no real definition for this. The reality is that there will be times in your life where one area is more focused than others. For example, when you have your first child your focus tends to go there. Whereas if you move to a new state there will focus on getting settled and organized.
Balance to me means recognizing that there are many areas of your life and making it a point to attend to them all.
This doesn’t mean that it needs to all be even all the time. That sounds more stressful than helpful. More so that when you need to focus on your kids that you are not neglecting your marriage. Or vice versa.
When you overfocus on one area and neglect others (especially when you neglect yourself!) you tend to feel the consequences. This makes it really tough to enjoy the moments in life. However if we learn to slow things down in the moment and take hold of overwhelm we can fix this imbalance and enjoy the result.
When we learn to have balance in our lives it is entirely possible to feel more connected to others and ourselves and ultimately happy.
When you have more balance and take care of you- you recognize the impact in your life. You are now knowing that life can feel so much more enjoyable. Appreciating yourself much more these days and feeling grateful for the changes you made in your life. You recognize that you have much more patience with your children.
How to have more balance in your life (Here are 5 ways!)
How to One: Take time for yourself- You don’t know what YOU time is anymore
When you lose sight of taking care of you then life is sure to feel out of balance. Taking care of yourself is what helps you build the mental clarity you need to take on everything else. So many people are living under this philosophy of “I don’t have the time for me.” They may not expressly say this but they are living this way. The reality is that when you live with this message you also are someone that doesn’t have the emotional space to be present for the people you love. You are doing a huge disservice to the people you care about most. Take care of you and you take care of them.
What does self-care look like for you? There is no right way to take care of yourself. There are ways however that are more escape oriented and others that are more present oriented. Watching tv or electronics are more escape as you imagine. There is nothing wrong with this but it should not be the main or way you take care of you. You also want the self-care that is more present. This can be time with a friend, a massage, taking a bath, going for a walk, journaling etc. Try to mix it up and try new things!
In anxiety treatment in Simi Valley and Online Therapy in Ventura County we work with our clients on making sure to prioritize their self care. We know how it impacts all parts of your life and your balance when you don’t take care of you!
How to Two: Practice being your friend when you talk to yourself/ positive self talk- You are being a bully to yourself
Do you pay attention to that internal voice when you talk to yourself? Is it kind? Or is it mean? Your internal self talk is crucial when thinking about the balance you have in your life. When you are mean to you you are setting yourself up for feeling overwhelmed and “not good enough.” Many people don’t realize how hard they are on themselves. It’s become a habit or second nature. This is bad! We need to change that bully voice.
It is important that you first pay attention to what the voice says and then you make ACTIVE efforts to make a change. This can look like you writing down all the kind things you want to tell yourself. Know why you are making this change. “I want to be someone that is kind to me” or “I want to be able to teach my kids to love themselves so I need to love myself first.”
Our team of psychologists and therapists near Thousand Oaks, Ca work with you on attuning to your self talk and making the changes you need. We help you build the internal confidence so that you are your friend first and foremost. You deserve that. After all, why do you really deserve to be bullied?
How to Three: Practice mindfulness/being present- Your mind is racing
So many times our thoughts can race and take us for a ride. They cycle and we can get lost in the roller coaster cycle. Focus on the past and future causes anxiety, sadness and/or anger. Focus on the present is happiness. We all need to practice being more and more present. When we are present we typically feel that we have more control over our own lives (and mind).
There are many different ways to practice being present. Meditation is a big one. I hear all too often how meditation “doesn’t” work or “it’s not for me.” The reality is that meditation is not something you figure out right away. You need to practice and be patient with it. Another method is journaling. Letting all your thoughts out onto paper. This helps you be present in your thoughts and the moment. Breathing slowly (3 seconds in and 3 seconds out) is a simple strategy to help you attune to your breath and slow things down.
In online therapy in the LA area we work with our clients on learning to live a present life. We understand the importance of having balance and stability in your life. We want you to feel that internal peace you are seeking.
How to Four: Write down your vision for life and what you want it to be-
You are unsure what you want from your life
There is something so strong about allowing yourself to truly vision what it is you want for your life. So many times we get stuck in what’s not working and then lose sight of what it is we actually want things to be. Not in a judgmental way but in a kind way. In a beautiful way actually. What is the vision you have for your marriage? For your career? Let yourself go wild with these thoughts and get as DETAILED as you can.
How to Five: Get help. Schedule. Be kind and flexible. – You don’t know how to get balance. It all feels too messy
How many times have you left the “to do list” in your head? Well, that will create a lot of mental clutter. You will feel that things are messy that way and that you don’t have the ability to be present and let go. You will always feel active in your mind when there are unnecessary things swimming in there. Get out what needs to be done on paper (or electronically) but get it down! Don’t leave it in your head. Schedule the things that are important for you to do and follow through to teach yourself that YOU TRUST YOURSELF.
When things are out of balance and anxiety has bled in too much in our lives oftentimes the most helpful thing to do is to get help. When we get the help we need we are teaching yourself that we matter. That you will do what it takes to help you (and your family as a result). You are preparing yourself for going about things differently in your life since you know continuing to do the same isn’t working. Anxiety therapy with us at Simi Psychological Group will help you do just that!
Life can be overwhelming (maybe now more than ever…) and living a life out of balance has a detrimental effect on you. The good thing is that there are many things you can do to make a change in your life. Taking care of yourself, being kind to yourself through changing your self-talk, being mindful, visioning your ideal self and life, and getting the help you need are all ways to make a change in your life.
About the author,
I specialize in working with anxiety and in helping adolescents and their families, adults, and couples better their relationships and find direction. Rather than shy away from the tough stuff in life, I prefer to face it head-on, together. I believe that challenges are part of being human and that everyone has the potential to become their own life’s navigator. So they never have to feel out of control or at the mercy of their circumstances. Learn more