“This holiday week-end has had too many commitments for me, ” I told my husband as we were walking into a church service Sunday evening that required another piano commitment on my part. I usually enjoy the extra music that goes along with 4th of July festivities but since I have taken on the additional role of a piano accompanist at a second church, the demands get overwhelming at times.
And then throw in a 5K event in our hometown my husband was in charge of, out of town company, two separate firework events we attended, and a slew of teen-agers at our house every time I turned around looking for food and a place to sleep, and you find me completely exhausted at the end of it.
I have found my life out of balance on several occasions. When you live life as a blended family (and have a bunch of kids like we do), you can easily end up with too many obligations on your plate. So, here are a few suggestions to help create a balanced schedule:
1. Say NO unless it is important to you or your family and provides meaning for you. There are a lot of great activities we can be involved in but if we want to simplify our schedule, we must learn to say no. We will have plenty of time to enjoy other activities when our kids are grown.
2. Eat right and include regular exercise in your routine. Most of us know how to eat and are well aware of the need to exercise, but just don’t do it. However, when we take care of ourselves physically, we are more likely to make good choices with our priorities and have more energy to take care of our commitments.
3. Get adequate rest. Don’t skimp on your sleep. That is usually the first thing to go when life gets hectic, but it will create problems in other areas of life. Recent studies have shown that lack of sleep can negatively affect the hormones that regulate our appetite, leading to weight gain. Adequate sleep results in clearer thinking and sharper judgment.
4. Maintain a spiritual journey to bring wholeness and harmony to your being. Find an active Bible study group, attend church regularly, join a prayer group, or use personal study time to grow spiritually. Walking a spiritual road can have a significant effect on our well-being at every level.
5. Include leisure time in your schedule. Coffee with a girlfriend, date night with our husband, or simply a walk around the block can create the perfect environment to recharge our batteries when we began to head toward overload.
We have to be intentional with our time and responsibilities if we want to maintain balance. Life is too short to fall victim to busyness. We all have the same number of hours in a day but how we choose to spend them is our choice.
Do you feel out of balance? What healthy choices will you make to put your schedule in balance?