I’m the queen of busy and it’s definitely not something I’m proud of! Owning your own business, managing staff, coaching, cooking, being a good partner and friend and trying to make ‘me’ time… it can all get a bit overwhelming sometimes. Finding balance can be very hard.
I’ve had months on end where I have worked seven days a week, and my mind has jumped into about forty different roles within the one day. As the owner of a health business I am telling you now, this is not healthy!
From a physiological point of view, being too frantic or too busy a lot of the time causes our bodies to be in a constant world of stress – we are hyped up on adrenaline and cortisol and our bodies go into over drive. High stress hormones can lead to a whole host of complications within our bodies including headaches, fatigue, insomnia, digestive problems, hormonal disruption, mood swings, high blood pressure, and over the long term prolonged stress can increase risk of and/or decrease healing time of serious illnesses and diseases such as cancer, heart disease, coeliac disease, and many other inflammatory conditions.
So what we DON’T want to do – is run our lives off stressful energy. With that in mind, here’s my top 5 tips on trying to achieve a better balance in your life.
- Delegate – Finding balance can be difficult, especially if you’re so used to doing everything on your own or with little help. Asking for help or delegating certain tasks to others can feel a bit like you saying to yourself that you’re not capable. Please don’t be hard on yourself. It’s not that you’re not capable; it’s just that your plate is already full and now you need someone to share the load. There is nothing wrong with a little vulnerability and you will be surprised at just how many people are more than willing to help you out if you only ask.
- Learn to say ‘No’ – Some people find it really hard to say no. To turn down invitations or opportunities. Learning to say no can be a lifesaver when your day/week/month is feeling overwhelmingly full. Don’t feel obliged to attend every single event or function.
- Write it down – ‘To Do Lists’ should be your best friend. Whether you use a diary or your phone, write it allllll down. All of the things, and write them in order from most important to least important. Try your hardest to work from the top down. And believe me, there is nothing more satisfying then looking at a list with all your daily tasks crossed off (even the tasks you hate doing!). Go you!
- Schedule in your down time – It can be easy to feel like a mouse on a wheel, you feel like you just have to keep going and going and going. But with that mentality, you will reach burn out and as counter productive as it may sound, having down time actually increases how productive you are. So schedule it in, just like you would any other meeting or appointment. I always battle with having true down time where I do nothing related to work, because I feel like there is always SOMETHING I need to be doing. It’s not until I force myself to have a sleep in or not look at my phone for half a day, or go away on a holiday, that I realise just how rejuvenated and productive I am afterwards.
- Implement tools & techniques for the busy days – Let’s face it, some weeks it’s going to be damn hard to find balance and that’s perfectly okay. We’re not always going to be riding a rainbow of tranquility and there will be times where your work demands are higher than usual, or your children are sick, or you have a big event coming up, or the launch of a new product or a massive deadline to meet. So when times get stressful, the best thing to do is to have a toolkit full of relaxation techniques to simply help you get through the day without pulling your hair out.
- Breathe – Such a simple thing yet so many people fail to do it properly. When we are stressed, our breath automatically gets shorter and sharper meaning we aren’t getting enough oxygen into our brain and blood. So try to take five really deep belly breaths whenever you can remember, especially if small things start getting your anxious such as bad drivers, red traffic lights, or a parking ticket.
- Use Essential Oils – Keeping my favourite balancing and calming oils on hand really help me get through as stressful day. I use DoTerra oils and always have Ylang Ylang, Frankincense, Lavender & Balance on hand with me. Typically I will combine one or two of them with fractionated coconut oil as my morning body lotion, or pick the one that I am most drawn to that day and place a couple drops on my wrists and temples. If you have a big deadline to meet, then diffusing a combination of basil and grapefruit in your office can really help to stimulate the mind.
- Eat Well! – How many of us rush out the door and forget to eat?? All of a sudden our blood sugar levels are rock bottom, we are hungry, AND stressed and irritable. Definitely don’t leave the house without a good balanced breakfast in your stomach to start a busy day. Ensure it has plenty of good fats and a little protein to keep you satiated for a long time and ensure your body is ready for a big week. When we are stressed or busy, we can be tempted to reach for sweet or salty foods and often don’t eat as well as when we are balanced and calm. Try to keep the healthy eating habits up so that your body is getting re-fueled with the good stuff (and not toxins which will only add to the stress).
- Avoid Stimulants – if you’re feeling a bit stressed out, or if you’ve had a poor night’s sleep or are feeling generally run down, the last thing you need (even though your body might crave it), is stimulants. So during busy periods, try and lay low on the coffee, alcohol, sugar and/or energy drinks. They will only enhance the yo-yo high’s and lows of your body’s stress response.
- Wind Down – Try to have a solid sleep routine every night so that your body can truly relax. No phones or computers after 5pm, a nice nourishing dinner at least two hours before bed, and good down time, whether it be a few pages of a book, or a nice aromatic bath. Even if it’s only a couple hours of down time, make it really special.
- Get outside & Into Nature – it’s amazing what being out of an office or your usual environment, can do for your overall state of relaxation. Whether you go for a brisk walk, or a half an hour run… get out into nature. Sit in the park for 20 minutes and just chill. A little time on our own, away from the noise can be all one needs to reset.
Now you’ve read my techniques for finding balance, see how you can apply them to your own life, and adapt them for yourself.