My favorite quote says, “You can have it all, but not all at the same time.” As a mom, wife and a business owner, I can tell you, the juggle is real! I’m constantly evaluating (and reevaluating) and adjusting my schedule and commitments to find some kind of seemingly elusive balance. And whether it ends up a fine-tuned machined or not, one thing I know for sure is that if I don’t take care of myself I’m no good to anyone else. Being the best me helps me deliver my best. It sounds simple to say, but I have learned a few tricks through the years to help me be intentional about creating time for me.
1. The Mental & Spiritual Side
Taking care of my mental and spiritual health is essential to my balanced lifestyle. It’s easy to feel pulled in many directions – as a wife and mom I’m constantly taking care of everyone in my family, and as a business owner I take care of my clients at work. Instead of drowning in responsibility, I realized that sparing time to take care of how I’m feeling let me fill back up spiritually. As a result, I have the mental space to take care of others and keep what’s most important top of mind. I do this a few different ways: I attend a women’s bible study at my church where I enjoy soaking up the wisdom of different generations of women; I use both the Write the Word Journal – and the Hope Planner to write my prayer requests, read and write scripture, and journal what’s on my heart so that I can reflect back on my journey and better plan for the future.
2.The Physical Side
Let’s get real: I’ve been that woman that is run down, exhausted and not feeling so great about myself. But what I’ve learned is that it’s essential – especially as I’ve gotten older – to make my physical health a priority. The hardest part? There are no easy fixes! I had to find a routine that worked for me, motivated me and was something I could (and would!) stick to! Right now, I wake up at 5:30 a.m. three days a week to attend a group fitness class of strength training and cardio. I never thought I could be one of those people that get up so early just to workout, but it’s the only way to make sure I get my workout in before the demands of the day start to take higher priority. I leave the house before my family is awake, and when I get back home around 7:30 a.m., I’m feeling good, refreshed and ready to start the day with them. After they get off to school, I shower and start my own day. I also mix fitness with family time at a dance cardio class with my 14-year-old daughter.
I don’t believe in dieting as a long-term solution. Instead, I strive to have a balanced diet that I can maintain with an on-the-go career and family. That means I try to limit the amount of carbs, sugar and alcohol I eat during the week, and don’t sweat it when I want to splurge a little on the weekends. As a result, I have more energy during the week and don’t waste productivity time feeling sluggish after a big, rich meal. This also comes in handy when the weekends bring cravings for Mexican and margaritas – after a week of balanced eating, I don’t feel guilty at all!
3. The Me Side
With a busy schedule, I hate how easily I let go of my own wants and needs to take care of others. The simple question, “What do you want to eat?” usually gets a response from me like, “Oh, whatever you want.” I don’t want to wake up in a few years and find that I have no clue about what I want or – worse, yet – who I am. Instead, I focus on finding time, no matter how rare, to spend by myself doing whatever I want. Without my husband or my kids, or any clients, I can capitalize on time to stay fresh, creative and in check with how I’m doing and what I want in life. Sometimes, it’s doing the things no one wants to do with me like seeing a romantic movie or walking through a museum, or a luxurious mani/pedi. The main thing is, I’m doing whatever I want!
These tips are just a few of the things that help me feel whole, so that I can take care of my family, run my business and feel productive. I hope they are helpful to you. And if you have any to share, I would love to hear what you do to live a balanced lifestyle. Enjoy your “me time!”