Here at Wright Wellness Center, balance is something that we struggle with often. Not as a business, but as the people behind the business. Kyle and I are so passionate about our work that sometimes we’ll end up leaving our “work hats” on for too long. Perhaps you can relate to this. You may have your “home-maker,” “student,” “mom,” or “dad” hat on through one part of the day and then you have to switch to another for a different part of the day. I remember at one time in my life; I was changing hats 5-6 times a day: student, intern, server, partner, teacher… not to mention a daughter, sister, granddaughter. These hats are all positive identities, but a lot to wear on a daily basis nonetheless!
I’ve found through my own experiences, mistakes, wins, readings, and education that there are a few things to do to help with “switching hats,” or balancing responsibilities.
Prioritizing your hats can lead to eliminating tasks. And, eliminating your tasks gives you more balance.
Here is an activity. Sit down with a piece of paper and write down all of the hats that you wear. Maybe you identify with some of the hats I listed above from one point in my life. Perhaps you wear completely different hats than I do. Regardless of their differentiation, they are still hats. And, when we have a lot of them to balance, it can feel overwhelming.
Once you look at your list of roles, or hats that you wear in this world – I want you to prioritize them. BUT FIRST, if “self” is not a hat on the list, and I have a feeling it may not be… ADD THAT ON, AND THAT IS PRIORITY NUMBER ONE.
Now that you have your rightful place at the top of your priority list think about what comes next, then third, fourth, and so on and so on. Once you have your priorities in order, it’s easier to figure out which hats can go in storage downstairs and which ones need to hang right by the door for frequent usage.
Asking for Help // Delegating
Once you have your priority list, see what you’re going to need help with and ASK FOR HELP. Asking for help is something that I’m getting better at doing. However, asking for help can be extremely difficult, especially for us recovering perfectionists. A great example would be if you need chores done around the house so that you can finish your paper for school. You can ask your partner, roommate, or kids to do the chores or perhaps hire someone to do them.
Delegating a task doesn’t mean that you’re a failure – it means that you’re smart enough to know that you can’t do everything. But, that you want to be responsible and get all of the tasks done that come with the hats that you’ve taken responsibility for.
Ugh, I even dislike that I’m writing this. If you know me personally, you will know that I do not love to exercise. I like yoga, walking, class stuff….. and that’s about it. However, exercising will release so many natural endorphins that it will give you extra energy to keep those hats switching hands! Additionally, exercise is really important for long-term stress management. When you exercise, it helps decrease the amount of cortisol in your body (cortisol being the stress hormone). This will help you transition ‘hats’ more easily. Our ability to adapt to change or new situations is much easier when our cortisol levels are lower.
Writing Shit Down
Write it on a piece of paper, your phone, or your calendar. If things are written down, you don’t have to hold them in your head! I know, so simple, right? If things are on your calendar or a to-do list, you no longer have to remember them. Not sure where to start? Kyle and I use Trello, Notes, Acuity, and our iCal to write shit down. I also still have a handwritten notebook that I write in and then will sometimes scan in a page to digitize it. I’m old school in that way – when I take a class, I like to handwrite my notes. It’s weird our kids won’t even learn cursive.. anyway, I digress.
Scheduling Daily Self-Care
Yes, I said DAILY self-care. Now, self-care can be 5 minutes or 5 hours. Don’t sit there and tell me that you don’t have 5 minutes for something. You can even add 5 minutes on to your toilet time. Whether it’s a five-minute meditation, watching your favorite TV show, taking a bath, or taking the whole day off to do whatever you want to do, it’s self-care! Self-care is a topic we talk about a lot here at WWC.
Here are some other blogs on self-care: How To Stop Feeling Guilty When Taking Care of Yourself aka Self-Care, How Nutrition and Self-Care Can Improve Your Life, 7 Simple and Practical Self-Care Techniques, and Self-Care 101: What Makes You Happy? Plus, this podcast episode: Ep006: The Truth About Our Marriage + Self-Care & Nutrition Tips
Building a Support Network
Ya know the old saying, “it takes a village,”?! Well, it does! We have created one for you online, which you can check out by clicking here. But, it’s also important to have people locally around you. Websites like Nextdoor and Meetup are great places to check for local events. Also, check out your local TV station websites – they have great community calendars too. At many of these events, you may meet people who can become part of your village/support network. What qualities in a friend do you want? Have you thought about what you get from your friends? What do you give to your friends?
Just click the image below to join our
therapeutic online community!
Remember, finding balance is a journey and not something that we find. I mean, if you do – please come teach me your secrets. 🙂