Kira here, interrupting Azra’s regularly scheduled blog posts. Don’t worry, he will be back next week. I wanted to take this time to pass along some words of hard won wisdom that I’ve stumbled across over the last few months.
Life balance is freaking hard and boundaries are incredibly necessary if you want to stay sane in this fast-paced world of ours.
Balance and boundaries have always been difficult to me. I am, at heart, a people pleaser. If someone asks me to help them out or if they need something, I will do it. I like to help friends and family and I am the sort that will give 100% to whatever I am doing. The problem with that mentality, though, is that it’s REALLY easy to allow other people’s needs to overwhelm you. The first instinct is to put aside what you need or want to help them. This is precisely how to get yourself out of balance and when boundaries are important. Although, when you have trouble telling people no, boundaries are super difficult to create.
These past few months have been tumultuous to say the least. When life is flying directly at you at the speed of light, it’s hard— hell, almost impossible— to maintain a decent balance between work, family, health, friends, and fun. Often times one or more of those things get sacrificed for time. It’s not good, but we all do it. This season, I’ve had my plate shatter from the amount of things on it. For better or worse, I’ve sacrificed many things to try and stay afloat with the chaos trying to drown me. I’ve put a pause on my health, my family, my friends, my writing, and a bit of my sanity as well. Too much going on and too little time has made this writer very unbalanced and lost. Burn out is a real thing and it’s dangerous to your wellbeing.
Before this blog gets too down in the dumps and whiney, I’m bringing up this topic is to highlight some things that help those like me regain balance and sanity. A PSA as it were to those who overwhelmed and not sure what to do to get back to good.
1. Boundaries: Saying no and holding your ground is crucial. Know your limits and, most importantly, make sure others understand your limits. Telling people no is not being mean. It is not a sign of weakness. It’s putting yourself first and keeping your boundaries strong. Remember, you are only responsible for you.
2. Self Care: It’s easy to let yourself slide when you have a mountain of things to do. Because it is so easy, this is probably the biggest mistake you could make. When there’s a million things happening and you are feeling more and more overwhelmed, it is crucial to stop and take time to care for yourself. If you skimp on things like eating healthy or exercising, or even taking mental breaks every so often, then burnout is imminent. A phrase comes to mind: “you can’t take care of anyone if you don’t take care of yourself”. It’s absolutely true, so be sure to make time to take care of yourself.
3. Prioritize: It’s easy to allow your mile long to-do list to get the better of you. This is where prioritizing can help put that into perspective. Focus only on the most important task at a time. Have patience with yourself. You will get to what you can when you can. Time management also falls into the prioritizing bucket. Be realistic about how much time things take and don’t beat yourself up about not getting to more.
4. Support System: My support system is my husband and my best friends. They keep me grounded and listen when I get overwhelmed. They remind me that I am only human and it’s alright not to complete every single item on the to-do list. I’m incredibly thankful for them and the reality checks they give. Having people there to back you up and remind you to take it easy on yourself is very important to balance.
Maintaining a life balance and solid boundaries is really hard. I’ve yet to perfect it myself, but with time and patience, I will get back to good. So will you.
Take care of yourself,