By Stephenie Craig, LCSW
Last Spring brought a slower pace, uncertainty, space, and more time at home. This Spring has brought the return to many things that have been on indefinite pause including back to the office, back to the school building, back to sports, back to in person church. And while it was strange figuring out how to navigate the slower pandemic pace of life, it’s also strange suddenly finding yourself busy, wishing for more down time, and emotionally fatigued from adjusting back to significantly more in person interactions.
When you were stuck at home, all you wanted was to get out and about. And perhaps now that life is returning to a busy pace, you may find yourself wishing for some relaxing time at home. It’s easy to feel enslaved to your circumstances, wishing things could be different but feeling out of control of how you live out your time and priorities. What if there was a way to take the lessons from the slower pace of life and apply them to create a more balanced life now? What can you do to find the balance you’re looking for?
5 Ways to Create Intentional Life Balance:
- Notice and name stressors: Notice tension or upset in your body. This could be muscle soreness, headaches, stomachaches, tight chest, fatigue, irritability. Slow down and identify the source of tension. Your body is trying to communicate with you. Are you over scheduled? Are you isolated? Are you making decisions out of either fear or rebellion? Are you at odds in your important relationships? Are you saying yes when you want to say no? Are you making decisions to please others? Are you doing too much of something or not enough of another?
- Give yourself permission to evaluate: What did you love about having to slow down during the pandemic? What did you find relaxing and life-giving? What did you miss? What were the top priority activities you returned to as soon as possible? What were the very last things you returned to and why?
- Sort your yes and your no: As you reflect on your stress patterns and what was life-giving to you at a slower pace of life, sort your current life priorities/activities into yes and no categories. Remember that sometimes you may believe everything has to be a yes because people are counting on you. However, you will be more likely to show up as a better, more present, enjoyable version of yourself if you limit your life commitments to things that are most important to you.
- Create space for feelings and honesty: Letting go of some activities can feel hard and sad. It’s ok to grieve the reality that you aren’t superhuman and have time and energy limits. Try reminding yourself that everyone has limits and a lower stress life brings goodness to your physical/emotional health, your relationships, and your overall enjoyment of life.
- Live out your yes and no: As you step back from excessive activity/obligations and begin to say no, give yourself time and freedom to live into the space you’ve created. Slow down, relax, breathe deeply, and be present in the moment. Detoxing from busyness might be uncomfortable at first, but your life will thank you.
Try to suspend judgment and offer yourself grace as you decide what pace of life feels best to you in the coming weeks and months. And, remember that what works for someone else may not be the path that works for you. You can connect with us at journeybravely.com as you move along your journey.
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