A couple of weeks ago, I was celebrating the end of another school year and the start of our summer break. Now, here we are in mid-June and again, I have a reason to celebrate. This week, all three of my kids are attending day camps. Yeah! See? That’s what I mean when I wrote to you about my perspective on balance.
I was very excited when my kids got out of school, and now I’m very excited to get some work done this week while they’re all at summer camp (taekwondo, dance, and taekwondo, in case you were curious). My intention is to maximize this uninterrupted work week and return refreshed and ready to be mommy-cat again for a couple more weeks.
I realize some parts of the country (and the world) are only just now breaking for the summer. Whether you’re a couple weeks into your break or just ramping up (and even if the summer is no big deal for you, for example if you work year-round), here are a few quick tips to get balanced:
– plan regular check-ins with yourself. Every Wednesday, I have a reminder on my schedule that says “What do I need to add or subtract to feel balanced?” Sometimes, the answer is “Nothing, I feel great!” But most of the time, I have a tweak (or seven) to implement so that I can restore balance.
– plan regular “me-time” with yourself. This could be an artist’s date (a la Julia Cameron) for crafting or painting or creating something, or it might be a shopping date, a lunch date, a movie date, a spa date, or a lay around the house and read and relax date. Catch up on magazines date. Pretend you’re totally into yoga date. Fro-yo date. Watching the entire Star Wars trilogy date (naturally, I’m referring to 4, 5, and 6). Dancing in the living room for a whole hour date. Walking in the park date. Taking a cooking class date. The point of me time is NOT to be productive (sorry, but Cleaning up the Garage Date is not a thing), the point is to spend time doing what you love to do. Yes, it’s indulgent. And you deserve it. And it is essential for your sense of balance. How often? That’s up to you. Once a week would be ideal if you’re not working. If you work a lot, once a month will do you good. Once a quarter won’t cut it, unless we’re talking about a 3-day away vacation each time.
– plan a small amount of time each week (maybe 30 mins or even a whole hour) to handle irritations. Stuff that pisses you off gets handled during this time. The squeaky door that needs oil, the paint touch-ups on the bathroom wall, the burned-out light bulb you’ve been ignoring, the thank-you note you’ve neglected. Handling these issues frees up space in your mind and eliminates a lot of “should” self-talk.
If you start to incorporate these three simple tips into your life, you will quickly begin to feel more balanced and centered. And let me know how it goes!
Go for it.