Early Monday morning, I stopped at Kroger on my way home from taking the girls to school.
Starting on Saturday, I’d had a scratchy throat. On Monday, I felt pretty congested and pretty worn down.
What I wanted to do: crawl back into bed. What I did instead: take Zicam at 3 hour intervals while working at my desk, Puffs Plus (with lotion) nearby.
I never succumbed to being fully sick; the Zicam kept my cold at bay. I am not yet 100%, but I feel generally fine now.
In the process of stopping to buy Zicam and powering through a busy week, I realized how often out of balance my life is.
I spend a lot of energy taking care of my professional life, but spend less effort taking care of my personal life.
I nurture my intellectual life, but I’ve been neglecting my physical life (confession: it’s been nearly two week since I stepped on the treadmill.)
At times, my attention to my spiritual life is half-hearted at best, going through the motions of church on Sunday, bedtime prayers and Bible stories with my daughters.
I am full-speed ahead. I check things off my list, then add more. I push myself really hard.
My idea of refreshment is a mid-morning soda, accompanied by wheat crackers and a string cheese. At my desk.
I keep my social life going by calling a friend while I wash the dishes.
I am realizing that I need to take better care of myself.
I need to nourish my professional life AND my personal life.
I need to pay attention to the spiritual, physical, and emotional sides of my life.
I want to make more time for friendships face-t0-face.
How about you? Are you taking care of yourself in these 7 important ways?
How are you nourishing your professional life?
What are you doing to pay attention to your personal life?
What do you do to develop your:
- emotional life
- spiritual life
- physical life
- intellectual life
- social life
I’d love to hear how you take care of yourself. What parts of your life are you most likely to neglect? What are you doing to help you keep these important parts of your life in balance?
I am the founder/CEO of the Weaving Influence team, the author of Reach: Creating the Biggest Possible Audience for Your Message, Book, or Cause, and the host of the Book Marketing Action Podcast. I’m a wife and mom of three kids, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, coffee, and dark chocolate.
Great post Becky. I have been taking Zicam for about a week. I have for a couple of years when ever I feel a cold coming on. While skeptical at first, I definitely am a believer. I am still able to exercise and function almost totally normally. Because I am a guy, I am a real baby when I get sick, but not with Zicam. What a great lead in for the remainder of your post. We really have to focus on taking care of our balanced life. Great post!
For starters, when you retire to sleep tonight set your clocks an hour back. This will give you an extra hour of sleep (Note: Only do this once each year for it to work effectively)
As for balance, I try to do the Roles of the 7 Habits/First Things First works of Covey. From a solopreneur/free agent perspective, things get rolled up into a life/work stew when working as such, hmm?
If I worked on the clock (as in days of old), maybe it wouldn’t be so combined and folded in to each other (though it might – it’s just me)
First Things First. Just gotta decide what comes first. Enjoy the extra hour of (whatever you decide comes first:-))
Kudos Becky. This topic is always fresh and never boring. Even the most disciplined person can get work/life out of balance.
Here’s a few tips that I refresh for myself to stay in balance:
a)Speak your needs — it’s OK to ask for help and also to say no. It done with a sense of caring, all benefit.
b)Inspirational reading/DVD – I have found 2 from Walkthetalk.com that keep me in focus. (Each DVD is only 2-3 min).
c)Drink lots of water. Sounds silly yet when we get busy we put our bodies in a draught and it drains the body, mind, and spirit.
d)Find small bits of fun. E.G. After a long day on Halloween, I had to go to the mall for something. I was tired and exhausted yet I went. When I got there, the mall was full of little kids dressed in costume trick or treating. I stepped back, watched, and let the smile and happiness fill my body. Changed my mood completely.
I luv your post and will share with others. Thanks!!
Becky, great topic and frankly one that frequently gets pushed to the back burner for us busy professionals. As they say, I got a “big whack upside the head” on the issue of work / life balance earlier this year when my wife suddenly passed.
I’ve become much more focused on taking care of myself since that reminder that we don’t always get notice that the end is coming for us. I signed up with a personal trainer in order to force myself to be more disciplined about taking care of my physical health and I’m trying to eat healthier. I bought season tickets for the Wings, to ensure that I don’t isolate myself in my apartment when I’m not at work. I’ve pretty much turned the TV off to keep my mind from going to mush and I try to spend time visiting friends and family when I’m not on the road. Everyone’s needs are different, but we all need to focus on balance. What is balance will be different for all of us, but we all need to make time for each of the areas of our lives that you pointed out.
You have to tune out, so silence is a big one for me as I have my pockets of space all over the show (home, on my way to work my car is my favourite and just before the office, there is a spot that I stop at and aimlessly look at the water). A sneak preview of the waterfront spot I sit at “Doing Nothing” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLKteFF9kOA
Having been in a place close to that you describe, a couple of years ago, I chose to embrace the wisdom of Cheryl Richardson in her fabulous book, The Art of Extreme Self Care. In addition to reading the book, I participated in Cheryl’s year long teleclass so that her wisdom would really, really sink in.
Most of us know how to take better care of ourselves. What we need is to embrace the notion that we deserve to give ourselves the gift of Extreme Self Care.
Becky, best wishes for a speedy recovery from your current malaise. And, thanks for the reminder to all of us of the importance of self care.
Only a true social media addict would turn an ailment into a great blog post:)
Hope you recover fully and quickly.
Thank you for all the encouragement and thoughtful responses. Dave, I’ll check out your book recommendation. Thabo, same for your video. Kate, I very much appreciate your wise suggestions. Seems like those could be a blog post of their own.
I am honored that you choose to read my thoughts and share your perspectives here. What an amazing community! Thank you!
Becky, Hope you are feeling better! It is so challenging to balance all 5 of those “lives” but it is essential to try. At times, it seems the certain areas receive more focus than others and then it moves around. As long as all keep advancing, we may still be on the right track. If one falls off completely, then there problems will arise and, potentially, crater the other areas along with it.
We need to keep the focus and the effort to nourish each area appropriately.