Are you always stressed about money, your job, your kids, or, well, your whole life?
And do you ever catch yourself saying, “All I want is more balance in my life!”
If you have, then you are not alone. In fact, I know way too many people who are over-scheduled, over-worked, and over-stressed.
If that is you, then read on. I have five tips to help you achieve more balance in life.
Ways To Keep Your Life Happy And Balanced
1. Just say “no”
Sounds easy enough, right?
Well, not for many people. There are a lot of people pleasers in the word. If you are one of them, then you need to practice saying no to others.
For example, my 11-year-old son loves to play basketball. When he went into the 3rd grade, he wanted to try out for a competitive traveling team. In other words, we would be on the road most weekends and spending a lot of time in hotel rooms. I told him ‘no.’
While that may make me a bad mother in a lot of people’s eyes, I don’t think that’s true. Does he still play basketball? Absolutely! And he plays baseball too.
But is our family stressed-out from constant traveling and spending tons of money unneccessarily on hotel rooms? No. We have family dinners. We spend quality time together and actually talk to one another.
So whether it’s saying ‘no’ to your kids or to being the president of the PTO (assuming you really don’t want to do it), just say no.
2. Don’t worry about what other people think
This is a difficult one for most people. We all want people to like, love, and respect us.
But in order to achieve that, you don’t have to behave in a way that will please them.
Going back to my president-of-the-PTO example, maybe you really have no time or desire to do that. However, a voice in the back of your head might be yelling, “Everyone will think I’m a bad parent if I don’t accept or volunteer for that position!”
Related: How To Overcome Insecurity
Why do you care what they think? Do they live your life? No! You do. Adding something to your plate just because you’re worried that people will think less of you will not make your life happier – or more balanced.
Instead, follow your own heart. Do what makes you happy. If people judge you for it, then so be it. It says more about who they are than who you are.
3. Pay attention to your intuition
When you say ‘yes’ to adding another activity to your life, ask yourself how it feels. Does it make you feel like someone punched you in the gut or is suffocating you?
If it does, don’t ignore those feelings! Your gut never lies, so pay attention to it. On the other hand, if it makes your body feel happy and light by adding something to your busy schedule, then do it.
Use your intuition to guide you. It won’t lead you astray. Unfortunately, too many people ignore it.
What are your values? What is most important to you in life? Family? Making money? Growing your career? Sports?
Whatever it is, make sure that your goals, values, and actions are in alignment.
That is why I said ‘no’ to my son and the traveling basketball team. I prioritize family, spending time with my kids, and building quality relationships with people.
If sports or making money is low on your priority list, then cut down on the activities that are pulling you way from your top priorities. You don’t have to do everything. It’s okay to say no (see #1).
Prioritizing your life is not selfish. It’s self-love. It means that you love yourself enough to stay true to your values.
5. Create, set, and enforce boundaries
Maybe you have a friend who sucks up your time. She calls every day and keeps you on the phone for over an hour. Well, that hour could be spent doing the laundry, reading a good book, or spending time with your family.
Because of that person, you have to get less sleep and suffer other consequences because the time you devote to that phone call every day.
Related: How To Sleep Better In 4 Steps
So you need to set boundaries. Maybe you could tell her that you love her, but you just can’t talk on the phone anymore. You will meet her for lunch a few times a month, but that’s all the time you can give.
Or maybe you are in the running for that big promotion. While it may sound great, it will lead to more time at the office. So maybe you need to set a boundary with yourself and say what you will and will not tolerate.
When we let people or other activities suck up our time, it makes us stressed out – and it takes time away from our other priorities.
Achieving balance in life is not easy. But it can be done. If you step back and look at your life objectively, you can probably use these five tips to help you de-stress and have a more calm and peaceful life. You deserve it!
Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University. She is also a motivational expert on the TV show ‘Living Dayton,’ the co-host of a popular radio show, video expert for eHow.com, frequent keynote speaker, and the author of several books.
Image by D. Menace