Between the demands of parenthood, maintaining relationships, career obligations and chores, we can feel so consumed by life that we forget our own needs. This is when we start to feel like the world is caving in on us. Or we notice the anxiety building in our chest. We find it impossible to focus. We freak out because nothing is getting done (or the right things aren’t getting done). And we feel impossibly behind.
In moments like these, it’s important for us to take a step back and get quiet for a moment — to slow down the frenetic pace of our lives and consider how to get back to that state of delicious equilibrium. One of the best ways we can do this is to know what exactly helps us get to this blissfully balanced state. The below exercise will help you identify the top three areas in your life that need regular attention so you can find balance and feel happy.
Consider the things you love to do for a moment. These areas might include personal goals, pursuing your career, relationships with your children, relationships with your spouse or partner, spending time with friends, hobbies, self-care, etc. Jot down as many things as you can but aim for at least fifteen. Just make sure they are authentic to you…. Not things that you think you should like or should be doing.
Next, see if there are areas that fit a specific theme. For example, you may have written exercise, meditation, journaling, or getting a massage. All of these would fall into a theme of self-care. Spending time with friends and family might fall into a theme of relationships or socializing.
Next, narrow down your list until you have identified three specific themes or three high priority items. Once you have those three focus points, dig deep and ask yourself, “Are these things essential to my fulfillment? If I couldn’t devote time to these areas consistently during the week, how would I feel?” If the answer is, “awful,” then you know they are essential to your sense of balance.
Now that you are aware of the three areas that are most important to your well-being, it is essential that you devote time to them on a consistent basis. If you’re unable to do that, you will continue to feel off kilter. Remember these areas when life throws you a curve-ball. The next time your child is sick and you spend days playing nurse or some other life emergency pops up, know that the best way to combat that creeping sense of overwhelm and anxiety is to cultivate the three areas that bring you joy as soon as possible. Even if it means you can only devote a small amount of time to them until the crisis passes.
Mamas, what areas do you need to give consistent attention to in order to find balance? Do these focus areas change or have they stayed consistent over the years? Do you tend to have three areas that need focused attention or fewer? Let us know in the comments.
Wishing you peace and fulfillment in motherhood and life,