On Friday March 8th, 2019 the world commemorates International Women’s Day. This year’s theme, Balance For Better, encourages us to strive to build a gender-balanced world, from the corporate boardroom to news coverage of sporting events (we’re looking at you, U.S. Open).
For us here at Underpinnings, we chose to approach this year’s theme in a way that we think resonates with the day to day lives of so many women… how do we create balance in our lives when so many of us have multiple roles and responsibilities demanding our time, attention and energy? As a wife, mother, entrepreneur and full-time employee I can admit that there have been times when I have found myself overwhelmed. It is in those times that I have turned to the following practices to regain some control and restore equilibrium in my life:
Assess – Being constantly busy doesn’t allow for time for reflection, so every few months I purposely take some time to think about different aspects of my life as honestly as possible and, most importantly, make a plan to address the issues I identify. One such example is the realization that I was holding on to too much in both areas of my professional life. For Underpinnings the resolution was to hire another staff member which is allowing me to serve my clients more efficiently. In my corporate life the resolution is to delegate more to my team after ensuring they have the tools to succeed. Some questions that may help guide you in your self-assessment are: am I taking on too much? What are the impacts on areas of my life that I say are my priorities – my relationships, physical heath, career? What would it mean to my life if I did things differently or took a step back?
This is also a great opportunity to review the goals and intentions you have set for yourself and ensure that your actions are aligned with achieving these.
Rejuvenate – I do my best to listen to or read something positive every day. This could be a podcast, some music that I enjoy or a daily spiritual practice. I also include some simple self-care practices in my regular rotation. These are ways of recharging by doing little things just because they make me happy. It’s easy to tell when I’ve been neglecting these practices as symptoms such as low energy and a lack of patience are a sure sign that I need a little “me” time.
Say no appropriately – Every time you say “yes” to something such as taking on another task or project you are saying “no” to something else, so make sure the “no’s” you are saying are the ones you really want to say! It is ok to say no to requests from friends and family if you realise that the activity is taking, rather than giving value. To be in balance we seek the interests of our loved ones as well as our own interests. If we lean too far to any one side the scales will overturn.
We’d love to hear from you. Let us know in the comments if you already incorporate similar practices in your life or if not, what do you do to maintain or regain balance?