Busy to Balanced Part 3
“Nobody can give you wiser advice than yourself”.
Marcus Tullius Cicero
Let’s focus on the most important person in your life.
I know I mentioned it in my first article but I’d like to say it again – this part of the new definition of BUSY is quite easily the most important part of the whole BUSY to Balanced approach. It can be the last thing on your mind with all the juggling you do on a daily basis, but I promise, if you start to put yourself first you will see huge changes in the balance in your life as well as your relationship with yourself, your spirit, your partner and your family.
Busy women are often overrun with things to do. Yes, there are things they need to do for themselves, but chances are a lot of things on your to-do list are for other people as well. And you know what? That’s OK. Most busy women love doing things for their partner, family, friends and work, and they often get a lot of enjoyment out of helping others.
But by helping others you might forget to give to the most important person in your life.
It would be completely wrong of me to say that I haven’t fallen into this trap, because I have … many times. What I find is that when I’m constantly giving to other people, whether that’s my clients, family or friends, I get tired, overwhelmed, and off track. I feel like I’m not in flow, like everyone else’s needs are more important than my own, and my ability to focus on what I need to fill my own tank slips away.
What fills up my tank will, most likely, be completely different to what fills up your tank. I love meditating, reading, yoga, pilates, wandering the shops and art galleries, playing with the dog, watering the garden, sitting by the Buddha statue in my backyard and just breathing in the energy of this beautiful space.
And you know what brings me even more joy? If I can do these things on my own! Of course I love hanging out with my family and friends, but doing things on my own gives me permission to go at my own pace, in my own time, filling my tank slowly but surely. This is the best way I know to connect with me.
This go-slow approach might sound much too boring to you. You might prefer to fill up your tank with Latin dancing twice a week, spending every chance you get at the beach or singing karaoke at the top of your lungs every Friday night. This is why this new definition of BUSY is so important, because only you know what will work for you. And because of that, you need to work out what it is you really need to live the life you deserve.
Take some time to ask yourself:
- Do you spend an equal amount of time focusing on you as well as the other people in your life?
- What me treats do you give yourself daily? (hint: two minutes of me treats ten times a day is twenty minutes. You don’t need an hour massage to treat yourself!)
Let’s move on now to look in greater detail at the two traits that sit underneath the concept of Y = You. The first is Time for Family and Relationships; the second is Me Time.
Time for Family and Relationships
“A dream you dream alone is only a dream.
A dream you dream together is reality”.
We all know it’s important to take time out with our family and friends. The problem is that life can get in the way, and before we know it we haven’t had quality time with the people we love in a very long time.
But did you know, that studies show that we are much happier if we spend time with family and friends? This quality time, hanging out and having fun with the people we love, increases our happiness levels which, I’m sure you can see, makes a big difference to how we feel.
So, why don’t we make more time in our day and week to spend with our family and friends? This is where that whole concept of busy comes in again. We are all busy and need to focus on the daily basics, like work, keeping our house running smoothly, and, if you have children, getting them to where they need to be. We truly need to make a concerted effort to schedule in time with the people who lift us up, help us feel in flow and less stressed.
I know that you spend time with your immediate family (your partner and children) or those you live with every day, but if we were to break it down, would you say you spent quality time with them, or just a lot of time (aka quantity)? I could spend a whole day with you, but would the quality of that time be ideal? It could be, of course, but then it may not be, if we are doing mundane tasks that don’t connect us at a heart level.
Take some time to ask yourself:
- Do you connect with the people you love on a regular basis?
- What do you love to do with your family and friends but haven’t done for quite some time?
- How can you connect on a small basis each day with those you love?
“We run away all the time to avoid coming face to face with ourselves”.
When was the last time you did something just for you? This morning? Yesterday? Last week? Last month? Can’t remember?
If you’re like a lot of busy women, the idea of me time may seem like a pipe dream, something you wish for but never quite get the time to make happen. But what would happen if you were able to give yourself some me time, no matter how big or small that time frame was? How would it make you feel?
When I think of my me time I think of self-care. You know, that stuff you do just for you, to help fill your bucket so you can keep going for others? I am a complete fan of self-care. It is the one and only thing I turn toward when I am overwhelmed, exhausted, or feeling overloaded. Slipping into self-care mode is what saves me each and every time.
I know this might sound counter intuitive. How can I possible have a soak in the bathtub or sit on the back deck with a book or keep up my regular exercise routine, when chaos is reigning at home and work?
Because it’s important, that’s why.
Finding me time all comes down to valuing yourself and giving yourself time to connect with the things you love. No one else has to love it – only you! Who cares if no one else understands your fascination with sewing, or how you love to soak up cookbooks and try out new recipes every weekend, or how you’d rather go bike riding through a forest in the rain than sit inside and watch a movie.
This thing you love? This me treat? It’s all for you, and just you!
And man you need to guard it with your life!!
Take some time to ask yourself:
- What me time do you already have?
- What me time would you like to add to your schedule?
- What activities do you love to do?
- What activities have dropped out of your life that you’d love to reconnect with again?
In my next article in this series I’ll be sharing the next part of the BUSY to Balanced approach – S = Sustainable – and the two traits that sit underneath it.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this approach so far. Please share them in the comments below.
To read Helen’s previous articles in this series click on the links below: