Originally posted on our Instagram account.
Beautiful things take time to bloom.
Back in January when I chose ‘bloom’ as my word of the year, I had no idea how much it would truly promote change in my everyday living. Having one specific word or phrase to focus on has reeled in areas of growth that I’m not sure I would have otherwise recognized without this mental prompt.
I shared recently about the guilt that I assume when I slow down my pace. I didn’t publicly voice this struggle expecting anyone else to relate, but a lot of you did. This connection has truly created a major turning point for me and a shift toward a more even keeled approach in establishing a work/life balance. A lot of your perspectives have shaped my own in such a positive way. I certainly don’t have it all figured out yet; it takes time to deconstruct a lifelong mindset, but I’m focused on getting there. I am taking conscious steps to live in the ‘now’ and thought I’d share a few of the changes I’ve made that are working.
Changes to Promote Balance
- I no longer apologize for trivial things. Okay, this is a stretch and a definite work in progress, but it’s a huge change for me. Dirty dishes in the sink when people stop by? Needs no explanation. Took a day (or a few weeks) off posting. Such is life. What I recognize now is that everyone has dirty dishes at some point and breaks from work are necessary. The dishes will eventually get done and when I get back to posting I’ll have better things to share.
What I have come to realize with this new, more relaxed approach to living is how much more free I feel. Not overthinking the state of my home or coming down hard on myself for easing up on work is actually liberating. I have consciously noted how much more inclined I am to want to invite people over and my creative juices have started flowing again! All without effort or stress.
- Patience. Patience toward myself, in everything. I am only one person and like everyone, can only do so much. I’m learning to not put any expectations on myself that I wouldn’t put on someone else. This has been an easy way to naturally gear down.
- Rest. Whether I’d like it to be the case or not, down time is refuelling and sometimes I need it. Instead of feeling frustrated when I’m tired and drained, I’m embracing this as a gift I’m giving myself. I’ve also started to view this as an important lesson I’m teaching my kids. I want them to see me embrace down time as an important part of self-care.
- Work hours. This is HUGE. I’m seemingly always available for clients and inquiries. For years this has impeded my ability to truly be present. I’ve also become increasingly aware of how much mindless scrolling I do on social media. While this isn’t work, it’s a time thief that I’m not willing to give into anymore. An easy solution to both, has been to put my phone out of sight for several hours. In doing so, I am much more productive, engaged and overall happier. I recognize these are the best years of my life and I’m not willing to look back on them with regret toward choosing work over making memories.
- Saying ‘No’. Saying no without a follow-up of an explanation/justification is a very foreign concept for me. Even when it would be deemed completely acceptable to say no to a work or social invite, I use to always feel immense guilt. Often in an effort to avoid feeling terrible for saying no, I would just say yes. I now recognize that I was doing a major disservice to myself. Saying yes when you really want and/or should say no, is dishonest and in my experience, only leads to more overwhelm. The truth is, we only mentally and physically have capacity to do so much. Overextending ourselves means something will inevitably be compromised. For me it has been family, work time and even just my sanity! So when saying yes feels like the wrong decision, I trust my gut and push through needing to justify. Saying no is enough!
- Slowing down. This might possibly be the biggest of all changes I’m working on. Slowing down physically, yes. But more so, mentally. I think it’s a natural tendency to want to look toward the future and this isn’t a bad thing; but when it compromises enjoying and appreciating the season you’re in now - that’s a dark, slippery slope. Yes I have ambitions and goals, but reaching them will come in time and until then, I’ll plant deep roots in the journey.
If you also struggle with creating balance, I hope these easy changes will help. If you care to share, I’m always keen to learn new tricks and tips on how to make it all work and would love your suggestions.