It has been almost a year since my last blog post. The reason for my hiatus is that I became a mom last April, and trying to set aside time to write has been a challenge. Writing is important to me, but it has also been difficult balancing my new list of priorities.
So I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to talk about the importance of finding our emotional balance and how to tend to it as our lives naturally change.
Emotional balance is when our mind and body are in a place of wellbeing as we move through life’s challenges and changes. At times this can feel pretty hard to hold onto!
We all have different values, priorities, and responsibilities in our lives. Sometimes things we have to do override things we want to do. When this happens too often, we can start to feel stress. That’s because we’ve either eliminated or started doing a lot less of the things we want.
In moving through my new life transition as a mom, it took me almost a year to realize that I was not feeling a good balance with my work and felt more like I was flying by the seat of my pants. Finally a light bulb went off. I was trying to get back to work, be a mom, have some semblance of a social life, and be a present partner. But I was doing a lot more of what I thought I needed to do and a lot less of what I wanted to do. Needless to say, I didn’t exactly nail any of these areas in my life, but everyone is still alive and breathing, so that’s something!
Acknowledging a lack of emotional balance is an opportunity to step back and ask yourself what is missing in your life. Do you need to put more in or take some things out? Is everything you think you need to do really needed, or are you putting too much pressure on yourself? Is anything you need to do also something you want to do, and can you look at it differently?
Emotional balance is not something that can be fully perfected. Our lives are constantly changing and priorities shifting, which means our balance in life will need to adapt as well. But we can get better at recognizing imbalances and head in the right direction.
In my case, I noticed that when my life changed, something I enjoyed about my work had come to a halt. I wanted to start writing again, but I felt overwhelmed even thinking about how I was going to add one more thing in, even though I knew it was something I wanted. Yes, even experts in the field of stress and anxiety can get stuck in their own way!
So I decided to practice what I preach. And here I am!
There are several ways to work on and gain emotional balance. Here are three easy steps you can take to start moving toward a place of feeling better.
1) Start by making a list of the responsibilities you have to do and the things you want to do. I recommend separating them into columns so you can see both sides.
Now ask yourself what are the top three to five things you need to have in your life and the top three to five things you want to have in your life? Are they already in place? If so, are you feeling a good balance, or do you want to add in more? When we see things written down, it can help reduce feelings of stress. It’s a good way to declutter our minds and refocus on what we feel is important to us.
2) The next step is getting as concrete as you can with how much or how often you need or would like to have these priorities in your life. For example, if it’s seeing friends more often, what does that mean? One or two times a week? Once a month?
If it is being more prompt with emails or calls at work, maybe you decide to carve out specific times in your schedule when you can focus on these tasks.
3) The final step is getting creative with how you want to implement your list into your life. I typically suggest a calendar or some visual method, which I find helps increase the likelihood of remembering to do the things most important to you. I wrote something on my work calendar in bold blue letters: BLOG. Pretty simple, but it did keep that priority on my radar, and I was able to easily move it around on days I was not able to get to it. Others find phone reminders or good old-fashioned post-it notes helpful.
Finding our emotional balance is very possible, but is does need to be regularly reevaluated and tended to in order to maintain our wellbeing.
As always, I’m sending good energy your way! Spring is in the air!