May 15, 2021 – 2 Week Check-In – Let’s Talk about Balance!
I Let me start by saying…you do not need to be going through IVF (or have any interest in the subject) for this post to be relevant! If you want to skip the IVF info – just scroll right to How We Find Balance.
The 2-Week Recap….
The big-guns have not been pulled out yet, but I am feeling pulled down by the pressure of it all already. The first week has been a whirlwind of information and the second week has been a whirlwind of phone calls, dates and locking in appointments (as best we can) and adjusting to high-dose Estrogen tablets!
The last half of the second week had me feeling everything but calm, cool & collected. If anyone asked me how I was feeling, I would have said I felt like medusa with all those snakes on her head – all fighting for the attention! The fact that Medusa represents philosophy, beauty and art is truly NOT how I was feeling. Never-the-less, I just had to keep going. I had to keep pushing through with the things I needed to do, the things I love to do, and the nitty-gritty day-to-day tasks. I still felt like I was in the dark about the whole IVF process and I really lost my balance within myself. I felt like all my energy was being drawn into this worry – this left no room for my family, my husband, my pups or my job. You can read in another blog about “the things I wish I knew before starting”.
I have spend the weekend leading into our 3rd week figuring out this Work-Life-IVF Balance and really trying to apply it. One of the only things that really kept me balanced were numerous cups of herbal tea and my fitness classes. This is only the beginning of the soul-searching but there are some VERY GOOD life lessons here.
How we find Balance.
My Disclaimer: if the list is over-whelming, read it once, then read it again – and pick JUST ONE. In another blog I summarised Gretchen Rubin’s book about creating habits (an EXCELLENT read)
Play to your strengths. We can’t be all things to all people.
We can not be all things to all people, instead we need to remind ourselves of exactly what we are good at and tell ourselves daily. Let’s focus on your strengths and outsource the others. I love planning a good event – but I realised just how long this takes me….I have learned to let go of the reins and outsource this to people to can do this well & quickly!
We must prioritise our time.
Most of us have a to-do list with many tasks on it, so we need to look at reprioritising these tasks into four categories.They are:
- Urgent and important
- Important but not urgent
- Urgent but not important
- Neither urgent nor important
If a task does not fit into one of these categories – than outsource it or let it go. This means the task can wait and will get done when it is important enough to make the Urgent & Important list.
Recognise the peaks and troughs.
This is the big question “How are we feeling?”. We do this by observing (and taking an honest reflection) of what we say, and how we behave, including our body language. Research suggests that more than 80% of communication is non-verbal, meaning that it comes from body language and facial expression. Many of us don’t like to talk about our emotions, however, these are so important in knowing what makes us happy – or make us spiral. I recommend using a journal, a notebook or your phone….a quiet reflection could be 10-15 minutes at the end of the day and will make the world of difference to how we see how we are feeling.
Personal time is crucial.
When personal issues arise or feel totally overwhelming, it can be tempting to bury yourself in your work and hobbies. Don’t do it!!! If you don’t make time for your personal life – your “me” time, including your family and your health – you won’t have a business (or job) to go back to. This could be 30 minutes at the very end of the day where you ask everyone to leave you alone, it could be 10 minutes in the morning before everyone else wakes up. Once you pick a time – commit to this time..do not let anyone (or anything sway you). If you start little you can build from there.
Set your work hours – and stick to them.
Set work hours for yourself and do everything in your power to stick to them. Otherwise, before you know it, you’ll be working until midnight every night.
Manage your time, regularly!
This does not need to be set permanently – but I do recommend creating a timeline of your activities. What are those things you do everyday/week/month/year? There are a world of apps and written journals…..personally, I use The Time Creator daytimer for all my day/week/month/year needs. There are many specific computer programs if you are technology – savy that can help with this, or you can customize your own Excel spreadsheet or Word table.Put dates across the top and activities down the side. Break each task into components. These events include family commitments – such as holidays, birthday parties, etc. – so you don’t forget that you are unavailable for work on those days.
Make exercise a MUST-DO, not a SHOULD-DO!
It’s easy to cancel your pilates/barre/yoga classes, cancellations happen because the evening runs on, school sessions run late or you think it is something you could do later. Instead, ensure exercise is given as much priority as your work, sleep and downtime. A healthy body means a fresh mind, which means you will function better and complete tasks in less time.
Bringing back our balance involves:
- working with the body
- working with the mind
- increasing our energy (the good kind)
- balancing our nutrition
I can honestly say that maintaining my fitness schedule, getting in a early morning walk with the pups with a beach sunrise has really helped keep me feeling on-track, motivated and healthy. Throw in a few extra cups of tea, a lot of meditation on the BREATHE APP and a few extra stretch sessions and I am learning to find my mojo.
Happy Tuesday and Happy Breathing