Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Is There Such A Thing As Work/Life Balance - Day #56 On My Journey To Wellness





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In the past I wondered about whether or not I could ever achieve work/life balance.  Is there such a thing as achieving work/life balance?  I heard a term the other day that was new to me.  Holistic Work/Life Balance. What is Holistic Work/LifeBalance?  Well, it is definitely an approach to increasing the quality of our lives whose time has come.  The holistic approach to life; really involves taking into consideration all the aspects of our lives that make us who we are.  We are not just a body, nor are we just our mind.  We are made up of the mind, body, spirit connection and each of those components work together to define who we are.  Anytime we are off in any area of the mind, body, spirit connection then we need to make an adjustment.  Achieving wellness through the mind, body, spirit connection is a continuous journey that really never ends during the course of our lives.  It is during this journey that we actually find a sense of joy, peace and wellness.   It truly is not about the destination; for the key learning comes along the actual journey.  That is why it is important to approach the idea of work life balance from a holistic stand point. 
 


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Whenever I hear about someone striving to achieve work life balance I immediately think about someone trying to achieve perfection.   The word perfection can be dangerous; it almost always sets us up for disappointment.  The phrase “work-life balance” is very similar in that it sets an almost impossible expectation that we are able to keep every component in our lives in alignment and balance.  I have yet to meet anyone who has achieved this unrealistic approach to life for an extended time.
 Instead of beating ourselves up for not being perfect in the areas of balancing all the components of our lives,  taking a more holistic approach that coaches us to maintain an overall wellness in our day to day lives; is definitely doable and more realistic. 



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Here are five actionable suggestions  that move you to a more holistic balance in your work and your life. 
  •  Stay Present – it so important in the course of our lives to learn to stay present. We spend many hours “multitasking and thinking” basically thinking about what has happened in the past and what might happen in the future.  Very rarely do we think about embracing what is going on in the present. For example, how many times have you been in the car heading toward a destination and next thing you know you have arrived?  It is almost like your car drove itself. We are driving the car and thinking about everything but driving.   While this example may seem an extreme this is how we are during most of our day.  Thinking about everything accept what is going on in our present moment. Learn to embrace what you are doing right now and be fully present.   Enjoy the moment you are in. Take all the details in, observe what is going on around you, take joy in just being alive and present in that moment.  Learn to find the positive in whatever the present situation is.  You will see over time that staying present helps you to keep things in perspective and keeps you from feeling overwhelmed when it comes to achieving balance in your life.
  •  Simplify, Simplify – one of my favorite quotes is by Henry David Thoreau “Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!  I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand...”    In other words, look for opportunities to simplify your life.  Everyone has a different definition of what a simple life is.  Here are a few suggestions that I have found can really help you to keep things in perspective and also help you to simplify the day to day activities in your life.
  1. Simplify meals and grocery shopping
  2. Clear clutter in your home
  1. Review your time commitments and eliminate those that are not truly important
  2. Review your daily to do list  (if  one of your task is on your list for longer than a week  perhaps it isn’t really that  important??)
  3. Reduce your number of goals in your life (you don’t have to have 10 goals for your life what about just 2??)
  4. Simplify your wardrobe ( try that rule of thumb if you haven’t worn it in a year…and do you really need five black scarves???)
  1. Don’t say “yes” to something unless you get rid of another commitment in your life (this is my biggest challenge but I am working on it!)
  2. Review the things that take up the most time in your life that you don’t enjoy doing; eliminate at least one
  3. Run errands only once a week

  •  Embrace The “Crazy” In Your Life – let’s face it, life is messy.  Life is sometimes crazy and makes no sense.  Life can sometimes feel overwhelming and out of control.  This is a reality about life we have to admit exists. So therefore rather than spending a lot of time lamenting and trying to change  “crazy overwhelming, out of control” part of  life, try embracing it!  Acknowledge the fact that things will fall through the cracks, our days are never long enough to get things done and perfectionism is a myth; so is the idea of balancing everything in your life. Make it a practice to say to yourself,  “This to shall pass, nothing last forever, I have made it through other challenges in my life and I will make it through this one” Embrace the idea while life is “crazy” it’s okay!  You will make it. Always doing the best you can. Acknowledge that doing best can is enough.
  •  The Done List – It is important to have a sense of completion.  Sometimes our to do list is so long that we never feel that we have completed anything. But the truth is that we complete things every day.  Therefore why not acknowledge what you get done by creating a Done List.   Try writing down what you get done during the course of the day, or write it down at the end of the day. To start your list, ask yourself these questions:
What did I make progress on today?
What impacted my progress?
What stood out today and how did that make me feel?
What did I do today that I especially want to remember in the future?
What are three good things about today? What am I most thankful for?

According to Janet Choi Chief Creative Officer of IDoneThis  “The simple act of pausing to reflect and acknowledge your efforts provides valuable boosts of motivation, focus, and insight that would otherwise be lost amidst your busy day. Your done list acts as a signpost, a manifestation of all that day’s hard work.

To find out more about holistic work/life balance - click here. 

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