In her second post about looking after your wellbeing as a freelancer, Christina Cran offers three top steps for creating work / life balance.
Do you know anyone who has a good work / life balance?
No? Neither do I. Yet it’s something we aspire to.
Imagine gliding gracefully through your day’s work commitments, fitting in a nourishing walk, and enough time for play in your life. Instead, life rushes by, and if you have children, it speeds at an even faster pace. It’s hard to find that balance.
So, here are three steps to try to help you gain some equilibrium between work and life. After all, life is for living, isn’t it.
Yes, this is a buzzword. Yes, they are tricky to make. But what you might be missing is the why. Why are you are creating them? Very often we tend not to stick to things because we don’t have a clear idea of what we want or need. So, take a moment, find a piece of paper, and try this exercise.
Imagine if you could draw a line around something in your life, what would it be? You might default to your spouse, or your kids, or another loved one. Or you might say you want to create a boundary around work. But these won’t help you bring balance to your life.
What makes your heart soar? If you close your eyes, and breathe in and out, what rises up? What part of you is aching to be heard? Do you crave to create, run, walk 30 mins every day, draw, write, play music, learn a language?
It is in this that will bring balance. You will always find time for your family, or for your work. Finding space for the things that make us feel alive in ourselves will help bring you an evenness. Why? Because you will create space you didn’t have; the headspace you need to cope with all the busyness.
2. Ground yourself
Once you have identified what you crave, diary it into your week. Make space for it. Speak to your family, bargain with your spouse, do whatever you must to make space for the thing that makes your heart sing. Create your boundary. Create your space.
3. Be present
Meditation practice teaches us that we have only this moment…and this one…and this one. Being present in our chosen activity means we can help reduce stress through focus and flow.
So, with your chosen activity, try to bring your full attention to it. Try to forget the lists, and “must do” activities. Try to bring focus and flow. Within that you will find a lightness that you can bring back to your other daily activities.
If you are struggling, or find your mind wandering off, focus on your breath. With each thought, bring you attention back to your breath. Each time, no matter how many times. It takes practice to pay attention in our attention-starved world. So, find your breath and use it to ground you.
P.S. If you have children, I appreciate this is harder to do. Sometimes I practice quietly in the morning, but start too late, and spend the latter part of my meditation practice listening to everyone’s alarms going off. You can find space with your children though – sometimes spending calm, connected time with them is enough to bring space to your life. Often it’s better to work with what we have, than fight against it.
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