It seems that our society is constantly in a competition for who can be the most busy, and lately, I’ve been struggling to find balance.
Last night was the most overwhelmed I’ve felt in ages. It was a crazy day. I was on the run since 9am collecting donations for my recent clothing drive campaign, and then I had two back-to-back marketing meetings for Inspiration Indulgence. On my drive home, I stopped at my mom’s, and we briefly talked about wedding planning, and I was reminded how I need to check in with my cake lady, work on my guest list, pick out the tuxes, and narrow my floral budget. The wedding planning was not what I wanted to think about at the moment, because my mind was still spinning from the details of my PR meetings. Once I got home, I did 4 loads of laundry and checked my school email (big mistake) where I was reminded that classes & my internship starts in two weeks, and I still have to buy my textbooks. Ugh.
I was talking to my mom last night that if I can get through these next 4 months of my life, I can survive anything. The next 4 months will literally be the busiest four months of my life. I’m nearing the end of my Master’s program, and will be facing the toughest semester yet, balancing a full load of credits with a 20-hour a week unpaid internship. While finishing school, I’m running a side business with my blog, which entails so much more work than people understand; responding to sometimes over 50 emails a day, marketing/PR meetings & conference calls, styling shoots, writing posts, budgeting, record keeping, and of course, social media management. Let’s not forget that I’m also in the thick of wedding planning, a maid of honor for my friend’s wedding, AND we are getting a puppy in two weeks. (I know, I’m crazy).
First of all, I want to point out that although it may seem like it, I totally am not complaining, because I am responsible for bringing this chaos on. I chose this life.
So the question is, how do you balance it all? How do you take control of the chaos, so the chaos does not control you? If you’re struggling finding balance lately, I wrote down some of the tips that have helped me manage my stress levels.
Every time I feel my anxiety coming on, I tell myself to take a deep belly breath. In and out. I close my eyes, hold my breath in for 5 seconds, and release. It really does help in the moment.
2.) Remember the light at the end of the tunnel
There are days where I am so tempted to drop my Master’s program, and trust me, I’ve been close. There are days where I want to quit blogging. But then I remind myself why I am doing this; because I love both blogging and counseling. Because I want to be educated. Because I love being an entrepreneur. There is a quote that my team used to say when I played softball in high school, “Don’t trade the reward for what’s easy in the moment.” Hard work reaps rewards. Don’t forget there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.
3.) Don’t multitask
I’ve been finding that if I try to accomplish wedding planning, blogging, and school work all in the same day, my productivity is low. So I dedicated certain days for certain tasks. For example, this Sunday I completely dedicated my day to wedding planning. I didn’t touch my blog, or even check my Instagram. It was hard, but I knew that if I tried doing both at once, I would get stressed. Yesterday, although I really wanted to work on wedding planning stuff, I dedicated the day solely for blogging. Some people are great at multitasking, but for me, it makes me feel unbalanced, unorganized, and rushed. It might be best to dedicate your time to solely one task at a time, but then again, you have to find what works for you.
4.) Self Care
Seriously, give yourself a break. Because I felt so overwhelmed last night, I called quits on all things by 8pm and turned on Grey’s Anatomy. Even though my friend was messaging me about her bridesmaid dress, I put my phone in my room and snuggled next to my fiancé on the couch. People can wait. Take care of yourself when you really need it. Life goes on.
It’s SO important to make time for what’s most important. When our families and friends found out I was getting a puppy, I’m pretty sure they thought I was nuts. How are you going to balance all that? I tried to explain that even though I know adding a dog to the mix won’t be easy, we will make it work. It’s just like having children. The world doesn’t stop when you decide to have kids. You just make it work. So when you find yourself stressing out, do the things that are most important on the to-do list. Remind yourself what’s most important.
Finding balance isn’t easy, and I definitely am not a master at it, but I hope these tips help. Amidst the chaos, remember to be grateful. Although 2017 will be the busiest year of my life, it will bring so many blessings. Celebrating our marriage, finally being done with school, starting my career, watching my friends get married, bringing home a new member of our family. I encourage you all to find gratitude even in the darkest moments of stress and chaos.
Now it’s your turn- how do you find balance?
Photo by Capture Life Moments