BY SAUNDRA DALTON-SMITH

HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE the quality of your life? Do words like peaceful and satisfied come to mind? Or do you identify more with words like ungratified and frustrated? If the latter is true, your life could use some balance. Balance is a feeling of emotional, physical, and spiritual harmony. It’s a steady state where all components of your life work together, and enhance your overall well-being. When one area is not cooperating, it can wreak chaos and produce stress. The fact is, you’re as strong as the weakest component in your life. For example, neglecting your health affects more than your body. It might contribute to fractured relationships, depression, financial stress, and a reduced quality of life. Likewise, you can have a thriving career, but at the expense of your physical health and personal relationships. Those are just a few examples of being out of balance.
Do a Little Math
Balance requires addition and subtraction. That means, you’ll need to add things that matter, and takeaway components that reduce your peace. Often, the problem can be found in our priorities. Begin by looking over your schedule. Do you allocate time to avoidable peace-stealers? Yes, that charity may be a worthy cause – but if you’re participating out of obligation, and not from a place of peace, it’s not a good use of your time. Many women struggle with balance because they believe in the “all or nothing” approach to life. (Either they drive themselves crazy trying to do it all, or they do nothing.) But itemizing your priorities will foster balance. If you determine that your family needs to be a priority, you don’t necessarily have to abandon your career. 

 

 

 

 

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Like many women, I came face-to-face with this dilemma. I work long hours as a medical doctor, and I have two small children. I enjoy my job, but my kids are one of my top priorities. So, I facilitated balance by incorporating “mommy days.” Even with my hectic schedule, “mommy days” allow me to spend meaningful time with my kids. We go to arcades, watch movies, play with Legos, feed ducks, or whatever reasonable request my children come up with. It’s important to note that the number of hours in my week did not increase. Instead, I found a way to better use my existing hours, because my family was a priority.

I must admit, staying in touch with friends is a challenge for me. Given my limited availability, scheduling phone calls and “get-togethers” can add unnecessary pressure to my life – and, thus, throw me out of balance. However, I’ve learned to utilize email and social networks to stay connected. How you balance your family, career, and friends might look completely different; but the result should be the same. Adding and subtracting should bring you balance. And that will increase your inner peace.

 



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