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6 Simple Ways to Stay Balanced No Matter How Busy You Are

6 Simple Ways to Stay Balanced No Matter How Busy You Are

Life gets so busy with work, family, and social engagements. It’s easy to let yourself get caught up in the grind and forget to take time for yourself, but if you start neglecting yourself, then all aspects of your life will suffer. It might seem hard to take time for yourself when everything else is demanding your attention, but you can start to stay balanced by taking these easy steps to manage your life.

1. Work out.

This might sound like more work for some of you—or is that just me? Trying to make time for the gym just isn’t something I get excited about, so it’s easy to push that to the bottom of my To Do list—and then never get to it. The sad thing is, I know once I go to the gym and get started on a workout, I’m going to feel great. Even walking or jogging around your neighborhood can make you feel better if hitting the gym isn’t your thing. Exercise gets your adrenaline going, gets your heart pumping, and helps circulate blood throughout your body. All of these things help your body and your mind feel invigorated.

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2. Rest.

Resting might sometimes seem difficult to make time for, but for the opposite reasons of working out! With exercising, you just don’t want to do it. With resting, you want to do it, but can’t because you have too much to do, or if you manage to close your eyes, a family member comes up and starts asking you questions. In reality, resting goes hand in hand with working out! Exercise gets your body going, but rest also helps re-invigorate your body and mind.

You don’t have to take an hour-long nap, or even close your eyes! Just take some time to recline however you feel most comfortable and forget about your responsibilities. We spend too much of our waking hours worrying about what we need to do, what we’ve done, what we should have done, and so on. Those thoughts have no room during your resting time. You don’t have to know how to meditate to relax without sleeping; just let your mind go blank, or if you’d rather go to your happy place, try to focus on that rather than any real life worries.

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3. Nourish your soul.

What makes you feel like you? You might be an accountant, but feel like your true self is an artist. Or maybe you love to knit just to knit, even if you don’t sell your goods online. Perhaps you consider yourself a writer, even if no one has ever read your words. Any creative outlet you have needs to be explored, regardless of whether you want to “become” something noteworthy or not. Exploring creative endeavors unrelated to your full-time job will help you nourish your soul. So much time is spent at work that it’s easy to get caught up in that mindset and spend too much of your off time thinking about work tasks. Forget all of that when you clock out, and dedicate time to things that make you feel happy, and make you feel in tune with your true self.

4. Make time for your loved ones.

It’s too easy to try to multitask by thinking about work or chores that need to be done when you’re with family. You might think that they’ll always be around so you can sit down and spend time with them later, but that’s often not true. Your family members all have their own lives, and though it may seem like you have to put yours on hold to spend time with them, take advantage of the opportunity and push the demands of life to the side. When you’re with your family, make sure you’re completely with them. If you keep worrying about what needs to be done next, you won’t enjoy your time with others. You need to have fun whatever you’re doing, whether it’s watching a movie, playing a game, making dinner, or spring cleaning the house. Your priority should be the people, not what you’re doing or what should come next.

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5. Maximize your output.

Multitasking is touted as being the way to get the most done, but that’s not true. Multitasking actually means you’re taking time and concentration away from one task and applying it to another, and when you try to go back to the first task, you have to take extra time to re-acquaint yourself with what needs to be done. Instead of trying to multitask and taking three times as long to finish three tasks, focus completely on one task at a time, and complete it before moving on. This will keep you feeling balanced instead of scattered. If you only have a certain amount of time for a task, whether you need to complete it before a deadline at work or before the kids get home from school, make the most of this time and do as much as you can instead of procrastinating. You’ll feel better once you finish your project, and you’ll get to relax when it’s over!

6. Don’t be afraid to say no.

Part of feeling frazzled and stretched too thin is saying yes to everything. Many people feel the need to never turn down a project, social engagement, or favor. This can be detrimental because you won’t have time to complete everything, so you’ll cut corners on some of your tasks. Or, even more negative, you’ll stress yourself out and lose sleep because you’re so busy with all of these other engagements! Don’t be afraid to say no to more responsibility at work if it will affect how well you do your job. Say no to baking enough cupcakes for your kid’s entire class the night before the party. Saying no won’t make people hate you, but saying yes and failing to deliver will make you look bad. Don’t give excuses when you say no, either—just say you’re not able to handle the task at this time, and make sure you stay focused on keeping your life balanced.

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Featured photo credit: peddhapati via flickr.com

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

1. Understand Yourself Better

Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

2. Keep Track of Small Changes

I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

3. Become Aware of What Matters

As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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4. Boost Creativity

The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

6. Process Life Experiences

When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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7. Stress Relief

In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

8. Provide Direction

Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

9. Solve Problems

Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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10. Find Relief From Fighting

Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

11. Find Meaning in Life

Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

12. Allow Yourself to Focus

Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

14. Let the Past Go

I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

15. Allow Freedom

Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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16. Enhance Your Career

Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

18. Catalog Your Life for Others

No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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