Although women are master multitaskers, there are always those moments when they feel pulled in 40 directions at once. With an endless list of things to do, places to go and people to see, even Wonder Woman herself would feel a little overwhelmed at the prospect of trying to be all things to all people. When the demands on our time exceed what can reasonably be accomplished in a day, experts say it’s time to rethink our priorities, rediscover what’s really important and readjust the scales of balance in our lives.
Stacie A. Kreiger of CCCC Counseling says women are constantly trying to be the perfect wife/partner, mother, employee, hostess and friend but so often they lose themselves in the process. With a ‘to do’ list that grows by leaps and bounds on a daily basis, she feels that they have to take a time out and decide what is really important and then act with intention.
“I am a firm believer that our priorities should be God, family and then career,” she said. “If we get any of that out of order, our whole life goes haywire.”
Although there are always tasks that need to be accomplished, it is important for women to set reasonable goals, stay flexible and realize that not everything will get done. You may be able to pay the bills and go to the supermarket before noon on Saturday, but chances are you can’t get the bedroom painted as well. Don’t beat yourself up over the things that cannot be accomplished and celebrate those that can. As Scarlett O’Hara said, “Tomorrow is another day.”
It’s also vital for women to learn how to say ‘no’ to commitments that drain them of their time and energy, and to let go of the guilty feelings that follow. This isn’t always easy, especially if it is your boss asking you to work overtime and the extra money may make the difference between making it to the end of the month and not. However, Janet Eggiman RN, MS, LMFT says women must learn to start placing boundaries on their time so that they have the chance to rest and regroup.
“I am amazed at the number of people who no longer take their vacation time,” she said. “When you don’t build in any downtime into your life, it destroys the family unit, your happiness, leads to depression and anxiety and can have an impact on your overall health.”
It’s no secret that when we have too much on our plates, something will suffer. It’s not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’ and nine times out of 10, it will be health related. Women must make a point of eating right, getting enough sleep and building in some exercise in order to stay healthy and keep their lives balanced.
“Exercise is a great stress reliever and a terrific way to take a break from the myriad of tasks staring you down,” Kreiger said. “Go for a brisk walk or a short run and get your heart rate up for 20 minutes because if you don’t take care of yourself, you will find yourself facing health issues earlier in life than necessary. Make dinner with your kids, eat as a family, and get enough sleep so that you can regroup and re-energize for the next day. If we don’t take care of ourselves, we won’t be able to take care of anyone else.”
Top 10 tips to regain balance in your life
- Prioritize tasks
- Set reasonable goals
- Learn to say no
- Let go of the guilt
- Nurture relationships
- Eat healthy
- Build in some downtime
- Get enough sleep
- Avoid unhealthy habits (smoking, drinking, etc…)