Life, part of it, is about finding a balance between obligations, responsibilities, self-care, time with family/friends/significant others, and self-care days.
A complete seven day week sometimes includes me spending a weekend in Maryland with my partner, working at Baltimore Playhouse, attending MAsT Towson Meeting, going back home to Delaware, grocery shopping, doing laundry, putting away weekend clothes and equipment, spending time with friends in Delaware, fixing meals, checking emails, viewing social media updates, helping family in New Jersey, writing and posting articles for my website, and scheduling uploads for my YouTube channel all while managing chronic joint pain and mild sleep deprivation.
How do I manage?
- By prioritizing. I think about what I’ve obligated myself to, what can wait and not have a negative impact on other items, and what’s simply listed for my personal enjoyment.
- By asking for help with lifting heavy items, cleaning my apartment, bringing groceries, taking out recyclables and regular trash.
- Engaging in self-care. I pace my time and days. I listen to my body. I pay attention to my limitations. If I need to take a break or rest, I do so. I also share my emotional and physical feelings with my support system.
How do I balance things out?
By mentally preparing myself. I plan ahead so I’ll know what to expect. For example, when I go to Maryland to work at Baltimore Playhouse, I know I won’t get enough sleep and I may develop migraines from sleep deprivation. I’ll be more physically active than usual, which causes my joint and back pain to spike. I make sure to pack enough pain and migraine medication, and I don’t plan anything for my first two days back home so I can rest and allow my body to recuperate.
If you have limitations and challenges or are simply super busy, here’s some suggestions to help you balance things out:
- Acknowledge your limitations.
- Confide in your support system.
- Learn your psychological patterns as well as emotional and physical triggers.
- Develop a self-care plan.
- Receive encouragement from your support network.
- Seek professional help.
- Realize you don’t need to feel ashamed or embarrassed by your feelings or limitations.
- Accept yourself and know you are loved.
I’d love to hear how you balance your life and what you do to ensure you stay in good physical and mental health.
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