A couple of weeks ago, we talked about balance and sanity, and I gave you five tips on how to keep that balance and sanity. I that five isn’t enough, so this week we have five more for you because it’s just not quite that simple.
Our first tip is really with respect to simplicity. There is no magic solution, and as much as you’re about to get 10 tips in total for keeping balance and sanity, there are still more things that we need to do.
The first tip today is to stop looking for that magic pill. There is no magic pill to getting rid of your stress. There is no magic calmness elixir that will take you to that bliss place in life. It is up to you to do what is required. It’s about your control. If you go through life trying to find a quick fix, you’ll soon realize that there is no quick fix to life. There definitely is no quick fix with your balance and sanity either.
One of the things that we need to do so that we can keep that control is to work on our sleep. Now that I’m in my 50s I’ve learned that once you when you get to a certain age, the ability to sleep doesn’t come easily. When I had small children, I could sleep much more than I can now. Now that I’m older, I recognized that I was getting more stressed and more frazzled because I wasn’t sleeping, and I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t sleeping. So, I got a Fitbit, which is good for exercise, but I also do keep track of my sleep. I’m recognizing some sleeping patterns that I’m experiencing.
I’m not here to sell you a Fitbit; I’m here to tell you to pay attention to your sleeping patterns. I’ve discovered that I need about nine hours in bed for me to get the sleep that I need. I’m not getting nine hours of sleep. I wish I could tell you I was getting nine hours of sleep. Sleep experts tell us that we need seven hours of sleep, yet I do not get seven. I realize that everyone is different, there is a little bit different, but for me to get through the proper sleep cycles, I do need that nine hours, and I don’t get it all the time.
Once I recognized that when I’m not getting enough sleep, it shows up in my stress level. I feel out of control. When that happens to me one of the best things for is going to bed early. We know how essential sleep is for us, so make time to get sleep in your life.
In addition to sleep, make time and schedule time, for fun and relaxation. I like to golf. My husband and I, Warren, we love to golf, and so if I could, I’d golf every day. I can’t. I’ve got a job like everyone else, but we do schedule that golf into our life because fun and relaxation are important. Add to that; it is also exercise which is good.
You also need to make sure that you schedule time for your social life with your friends and with your family. Your spiritual life, your personal life, mental health, and anything else that is important to you. If you put everything into your schedule, you quickly realize you won’t have time to work! Schedule your life the best was you can, but make sure you do schedule the things that are important for your own balance and sanity.
Yes, you need to work, you need to do all the things that you need to do to keep your responsibilities. You do need to make sure that you build some time in for you and your priorities. My priorities are not your priorities, so you may have cringed when I said golf. That’s okay. Building the time that’s important for you, so that you create some balance.
When I have crazy, busy work weeks where I’m traveling a lot, and I’m not at home, the joke at home is I leave my picture on the fridge, so the family knows what I look like. Sometimes it feels that it isn’t a joke because there are times it feels like I’m gone too much. That means that when my schedule is a little softer, without a lot of travel, I’ll say to Warren, “Let’s celebrate that I’m home. Let’s go out to dinner, or let’s order pizza, or let’s turn on Netflix for the night.” That’s our relaxation time. We have to schedule it; otherwise, I could easily spend the time cleaning up the house, getting stuff caught up in my office, or even calling my mom, all of which are important and a priority, but I need some downtime too. Schedule some downtime in your life.
In that scheduling of the downtime, you also need to let go of the need for perfectionism. You may be a working professional, you may be self-employed and working at the same time, you may be a parent, you may be a spouse, you may be a sister or brother, a mother, a father, whatever it happens to be; you don’t have to be perfect. The need to be perfect, first of all, is an illusion and will create insanity and absolutely no balance. Ask yourself what your priorities are. Is perfectionism a priority? I’m not sure that it is.
We do need to deal with the stress that naturally occurs, so our final tip deals with exercise and meditation, whatever meditation looks like for you. We know we need to exercise, that isn’t new. Using my Fitbit and the community that goes with it, we have frequent challenges where we try to get our 10,000 steps. I’m not running those 10,000 steps, sometimes I’m walking those 10,000, but it still gets me moving. Exercise might be joining a gym which may be your relaxation time too. I do love to run, and when I am running, I take a lot of time just to think. Running alone is also my meditation time. I’m getting exercise, I’m getting my alone and thinking time, and I’m getting my meditation time.
Meditation time for you might be formal meditation, or it could be prayer. It might be time sitting in the bathtub. It is time where you are simply reflecting on your words, actions, choices, and life. All of that will give you back the control that you need. We want to be as in balance as much as we possibly can. In order to be practicing both sanity and balance, I need to take control of where I’m spending my time and putting in my effort to where my priorities are.
I hope your priorities are on you. I hope your priorities are on your success, personally and professionally. And I hope that you implement these tips this week and really get a sense of calm so that you can stay on the right track.
(This is a transcript from the above video. Please excuse any grammatical or structure issues).
Article by, Rhonda Scharf