Have you ever looked up the definition of balance? Yes, I’m that girl with an English degree. Considering I didn’t until writing today’s post, I’m going to guess no. There are surprisingly quite a few definitions. You could consider balance as both a noun or a verb. But my favorite by far of the nouns says: a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.
Balance looks a bit different for everyone. What might feel balanced for you may look like chaos on the outside to someone else. Yet it’s something we all need. And learning to get the different elements of our lives in the correct proportions can take a bit of time. So today I thought I’d share what balance looks like in my life and hopefully what I’ve learned along the way will help you on your journey.
What does balance look like for me?
When I think about balance, it’s typically with the idea of something being opposite. If all the elements in my life are equal, then I don’t feel stressed, overwhelmed or behind. Rather I’m content, enjoying each moment and where I want to be. I feel comfortable in the choices I’m making while still pushing myself to grow. And I feel like I’m able to equally give myself to the things I love without feeling deprived of any one area. But getting to this place meant I had to learn a few things first.
LEARNING HOW TO SAY NO
There are a lot of times in life I want to say yes. When it comes to coffee, french fries and going to the movies, I love to say yes! But over the last few months, I’ve learned that saying no is just as important. And saying no doesn’t always come in the same context every time. Sometimes I need to say no to pushing through when I really need a 20 minute break. Other times saying no means not taking on things in my calendar that I know will consume too much time. I’ve always valued being someone who actually does something when they say they will. And I’m working on that daily. So I’ve had to learn to say no for the good of myself and my mental health.
Learning How To Turn It Off
I think anyone who works for themselves will tell you there are advantages and disadvantages. Yes, I can work from bed, stay in my pjs all day or grocery shop when no one else is out. I’ve been known to do all of the above. But along with those joys is a different set of challenges. I’m a creator who pulls ideas from every day life and conversations. And learning how to turn off that part of my brain has taken me time. Sometimes I just need to step away from the laptop and stop trying to problem solve or create. So I’ll spend an afternoon cooking, catching up on tv or getting lost in a book. I try to choose the things that let me turn off and don’t require me to think more creatively. It’s definitely taken me time but I know that value of my off time is just as important as when I’m on.
Learning To Look Ahead
When I set out to do Everyday May, I sat down with my calendar to get organized. I also used this as the time to be real with myself. Creating a new video everyday, launching the new brand, traveling every other week and maintaining the blog’s 3 posts a week was going to be a new challenge. And I very quickly realized something was going to have to give. So I made it a point to wipe my plate of any other obligations I could for May. If I wanted to be able to be balanced, I knew I need to build in that extra time to turn off. And taking the time to see ahead helped me to understand that it might not seem bad now but 3 weeks in would be a different story.
GIVING MYSELF PERMISSION TO HAVE TUNNEL VISION
As much as I love social media, I know how easy it is to play the comparison game. And I’ve found myself sucked into it one too many times. I know that over the last few months more and more people have made an effort to pull back the curtain. It’s not all champagne and press trips all the time. Working yourself to the bone has its limits. And eventually, we all need to get a load of sleep. But giving myself permission to just focus on me, what I’m doing & What Savvy Said has been my key for balance. Yes, I have goals and dreams for where I want this and us to be some day. However, I also realize that God has me exactly where He needs and wants me right now. So if I need log out and keep my head down for a bit, I will and I know I’ll be better for it.
Learning How To Make My Schedule Work For Me
Personally, I’ve spent far too much of my life letting everyone’s else’s opinions and the fear of them dictate my life. I am not someone else and my life doesn’t look like theirs. So at the end of the day, I have to make my schedule and my life work for me. Sometimes that means my “weekend” ends up being in the middle of the week and I’m working on Saturday & Sunday. Other times it means I work straight for 8 days so I can take care of other things for a few. But along with the tunnel vision, I’ve had to learn to make my schedule work for me and my life. And that may not look like everyone else but as long as I’m doing what I need to do it’s all that matters.
REALIZING THE VALUE OF TIME
Before a long weekend trip without wifi last month, I spent several days in a work hole. I had a todo list a mile long and no option but to get it done. There was a point the Friday before I left where I had to acknowledge I could either shower or do my makeup. But I did not have time for both. It was that moment that truly showed me how important valuing my time is in consideration of maintaining balance. And until I’m able to borrow Hermione Granger’s time turner*, I’m stuck with what I have right now. So for now I have to prioritize and make room for the things that matter. For me balance doesn’t mean doing all the things at once. It means I’m able to prioritize and make time for the things that are most important. Time is an expensive luxury no one can afford.
So wherever you’re at in your journey, I hope you’re on the road to finding balance in your life. Unfortunately, it may mean making sacrifices at some point. But in the end, we make room in our lives for the things we truly care about. Finding that balance may just take a bit of time and honesty. My hope is that journey can help you along the way with yours.
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