Balance

Why do we beat ourselves up so much?  And worry.  We worry SO much.  For what?  Sometimes I think it’s good to beat ourselves up, to worry.  It keeps us humble and makes us work hard.  But there is a line.

I’m an anxious personality so that line it’s often way behind me.  I’ve been told, I’ve read studies, learned in psychology courses in college- that anxious personalities often thrive in the workplace.  When I first learned this I thought, “Well great, I’m gonna be awesome!”  So what happens when this starts to translate into your whole life?  Your anxiety starts to spin it’s web around all the parts of your life and you don’t even realize that you’re just trying to break free.  It’s exhausting, that struggle.  After awhile it’s hard to remember what you’re even struggling for.  And the worst part is that often times you realize you’re struggling for nothing.

There is this thing, it’s a radical idea I know, and some call it balance.  One more time… balance.  About a year ago I decided I needed balance.  So what did I do?  I drove myself nuts trying to find balance.  I made everything I did intentional, even alone time became a time slot in my planner.  It took me some time, but I eventually realized I’d become even more anxious and overwhelmed then before I set out on the path to find balance.  My path to balance looked like this: I would go a solid few weeks carrying out what I thought to be a balanced schedule; working, going to the gym, seeing friends, having me time, eating healthy, sleeping, and so on.

Inevitably I would always end up completely crashing and burning.  At first I couldn’t make sense of it but I mean c’mon of course I was going to burn out trying to schedule every part of my life. I mean every part of it, even me time, became a task.  So I’d get burnt out, frustrated and throw all the planning out the window.  And sure enough chaos would creep back in and I’d be pissed at myself for allowing it to.  Thus, my schedule would come back into play with a vengeance.

So what’s the key to balance?  STOP TRYING SO HARD.  Pay yourself first.  Take care of yourself.  Eat well.  Get enough sleep.  Go for a run or a walk or a bike ride.  Sometimes, sit your ass on the couch and watch the worst movie ever with a glass of wine.  Make a mistake.  Feel bad about the mistake.  Then remember that mistakes make you stronger and so move on.  Beyond that, figure it out.  Because the only certainty is this; if you don’t take care of yourself nothing else will be taken care of.

Food for thought: Sometimes the best way to find balance is to tip the scale.

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