This article is part of The Workbook Project’s Dream Building Series, a 7-day event where I asked blog contributors what dream building means to them. Whether it’s creating a daily life that you’re madly in love with, building a business or a little of both, this dream building theme aims to teach readers how to build a brand and life of their dreams.
There are tons of self help books and time management programs out there that aim to help you achieve balance in all areas of your life. These “proven” systems look at all the different aspects of your life such as work, relationships, family, friends, health, hobbies, etc. and find a perfectly balanced way to schedule them all out equally…right.
I get where the idea of balance is appealing. Most of us function at a high stress level frantically trying to fit in family time with a hectic work schedule. I’m sure we would all love to have a productive work day where we still had time to exercise, bond with our loved ones, cook a healthy meal, carve out a few moments for ourselves, and have a great chat on the phone with a friend. Is it possible to have a day like that? Sure. But every day? Not likely.
For a long time I strived to achieve that type of balance, but it seemed that one area of my life would always overshadow the rest. Sometimes I would sit down and spend a few hours just trying to create a balanced schedule for myself in an attempt to figure out how I was going to fit everything in. I tried coming up with strict routines to follow, but something would always come up to throw me off. It seemed that in the process of trying to achieve a balanced life, I just became more stressed out. That is when I decided to give up on balance.
As soon as I gave up on this notion that every day had to be balanced, I found that life has a natural way of creating balance if you follow it’s lead. I now find myself going through phases. I may be in a hustle phase for weeks where I am hyper focused on a project in my business and will work extra long hours for days on end. Then I find that I do a complete 180 and go into my Netflix and chill phase for a short period of time. I used to feel guilty about my lazy phase until I realized that it was life’s way of naturally creating balance in my life. Those periods of rest in between the hustle give me more time with my loved ones and more self care. Plus they helped me gear up for my next phase where I pour myself back into work.
The key with this method is to fully embrace whatever phase you are in without guilt. There will be times in your life where you have to hustle, and yes you’ll probably neglect your personal life and your sleep during this time. But it’s necessary and important, so you do it. There will also be times where you are swept off your feet and you’ll drop everything to spend more time with your partner. This is also necessary and important, so don’t feel guilty about spending the weekend in bed.
Let yourself flow through the different phases in your life, knowing that your focus will always be shifting. Follow where you are called to put your energy. If work is inspiring to you right now, then work. If love is lighting you up right now, then love. If you are tired and you just want a break, take a break. Put your planner away and let life naturally balance out your schedule for you. Remember that you can be and do everything, just not all at once.
Lauren Grace is a Holistic Doctor, Acupuncturist, and owner of the wellness center, Sarasota Integrative Health. As a practitioner she addresses both ones physical health and emotional well being, through diet, lifestyle, and stress management. Lauren is passionate about helping people become the healthiest and happiest versions of themselves. For more information on Lauren or her practice visit www.SarasotaIntegrativeHealth.