A Balanced Life

Tue, 12/12/2017 - 14:09

How do you balance it all? Honest answer: badly. Yup. I said it. But it doesn’t have to be a “bad” thing. Hear me out…

So many of us are pulled in a million directions between work and family that we end up feeling frayed and depleted and in some cases, no matter how hard we work, balls drop. 

There are ways however to have it all and actually enjoy it, but first you need an attitude shift. Maria Shriver once said, “You have it all, just not at the same time.” I say, you can have it all, but you have to be okay with imperfection. Seriously.

And while I get that we have to put our kids first, for those of us who are parents, because they can’t put themselves first – that doesn’t mean we give our kids 100% and martyr ourselves. Which leads us to the even bigger question: What does putting our kids first really mean?

Do you think that you being exhausted, unhappy, with no patience left from being spread so thin is really what’s best for the kids? Do you think that sets a good example of self-care for them later in life? Of course not.

So, then what does the balancing act look like? I have something that works for me that I call “The 12 Hour Rule”, which literally means I dedicate 12 waking hours to my self-care every week. Think about it. If you sleep 8 hours a night that would leave you with 112 waking hours per week. If you work for 50 of them and you spend 50 of them with your kids that leaves you with 12 hours for yourself. And 12 hours is enough to get 4 half hour workouts in (at home if you want to save drive time to and from gym – did I mention my app is perfect for this?). It’s enough to have a date night for a couple hours. It’s enough to have brunch with a friend or a girls’ night out. It’s enough to squeeze in some routine self-care like a haircut, manicure, and a doctor’s appointment if need be. Over the course of the month, this 12 hours a week equals 48.  And that 48 is enough to keep you healthy and sane.

You won’t be able to go to every soccer game, and you won’t be able to take the 90 minute yoga class, and you won’t be able to take on 1000 projects at work, but you will be able to have a rich family life, work life, and personal life, that, while not perfect, is rewarding, fulfilling, and good enough.