A friend of mine recently suggested that I write a post on the topic of finding balance. I have always considered this friend to be the epitome of a multitasker. She has a prestigious career, a vibrant social life and is in a long term romantic relationship. Not only does she seem to manage all these aspects from her plate, but she also seems to make it to the gym, find time for proper meals, visit her family in the suburbs and look for a new apartment. When my friend suggested that I write about finding balance my first thought was, “WHAT? She is the definition of balance! If she hasn’t found it yet no one will!”.
While thinking about her suggestion further, I reflected on an earlier blog post where I wrote about the topic of self care. In that post I talked about how we cannot expect ourselves to focus on all of our priorities each day, but rather choose 1 to 3 priorities to focus on and rotate daily.
In my life, finding balance also encompases not striving for perfection, and being self compassionate when navigating this daily balancing act. To me, balance means not looking at others and what they are doing, but rather checking in with myself and what I need or would feel is needed to focus on that day. Balance also requires that we evaluate our priorities and see if those need to be changed. For many young adults the focus is on professional and romantic lives, and for many parents that priority is on meeting their children’s needs. It is different for everyone, and that is ok.
The most important thing that comes to my mind when assessing this balance is not imposing guilt on ourselves for our choices. On instagram we can feel trapped by shame, thinking that we are not doing enough because we do not have what a particular influencer appears to have. I too need to remind myself to not compare my pursuit of balance with that of my amazing friend mentioned above.
We can also cast judgement on our loved ones too and how they chose to pursue balance. It may seem crazy not to nudge your partner to focus more on health in their daily balance, or judge a friend for not pushing themselves professionally enough. But no one likes being judged for their choices and told what to do, even if it is out of wanting what is best for that loved one. There is a delicate line between suggestion and judgment and I can recognize that I may overstep that line more often than I intend to. Yes, we all have jobs, family, friends and health to balance but that does not mean that our lives are identical. Everyone has different needs that change weekly or even daily, and that is something that is better to accept than guilt ourselves for.
So next time you wonder about how you are going to get everything done, stop looking around you thinking everyone else has figured it out perfectly. Then, try to apply that same acceptance to those who are close to us, recognizing that everyone’s approach to balance is unique and that the obtainment of balance is a journey that changes for all of us over time.
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Jessica is a member of the clinical wellness and learning support team at FLEX Psychology. Jessica started Wellness Wednesday out of a desire to provide further opportunities for her clients to extend their wellness journey to all avenues of their life. You can learn more about Jessica by clicking here or by learning more about her and the clinical team at FLEX Psychology by clicking here.