Job. Family. Kids. Stress. Life.
How in the world can a counselor even begin to balance all of these responsibilities and pressures and still remain focused when working with students?
The issue of a “life-balance” has been a hot topic for many years. We’re all really good at talking about balancing life; for the most part we know what we should do differently but nothing ever changes. Why? Because life gets in the way! Here are some simple and practical ideas you can implement immediately to create a little more breathing room in your life.
Learn To Say “No”
The fact is we all have a capacity and there’s only so much available time. As a result, we have to learn to create boundaries and margin in our lives. The challenge is that most of us are people pleasers; we want people to like us. We hate letting others down as if it’s in our DNA. But if you’re going to maintain any sense of sanity in your life, you’ve got to learn to say “no”. Unfortunately in doing so, you’re going to disappoint people. That’s life. We teach students “you can’t make everybody happy all the time.” We’re no different! What do you need to say “no” to today?
You're a human being. Think about your car for a second. When you drive down the road, there’s that gauge on your dashboard that goes from an “F” to an “E”. When you keep driving, that gauge keeps dropping. If you don’t do anything about it, you better hope you have AAA! Why do we think we’re any different as people? We would never admit it but we’re so good at going, doing, accomplishing, producing and creating that we sometimes fail to remember we’re not machines. We’re human beings not human doings. Schedule a day off and protect that “appointment” with yourself. When is your next day off?
Have An Outlet
Have you ever seen how a teenager reacts when their cell phone is about to die? They are on the verge of a minor anxiety attack as if their world is about to collapse. At that moment, their sole purpose in life is to find an electrical outlet. We know that once we get to an outlet, it refuels your gadget. It gives it the energy to continue on.
When's the last time you had fun? Think of it this way…what do you like to do for fun? What is the thing you do on a regular basis that gives you life and feeds your soul? Here’s a tougher question: When was the last time you did that activity? If your answer was 1994, we have a problem! Maybe it’s writing, drawing, exercising, listening to music, watching sports, going for a walk, reading, doing a puzzle or simply sitting outside and watching the grass grow.
We all need an escape. All of those ideas sound really nice don’t they? But let’s be honest, most of us won’t do anything differently. We’re content with our busy lives. Sure our lives are hectic, but we’ve convinced ourselves that’s the way it has to be. Or does it? I triple-dog dare you (I think that’s the highest level) to try these ideas and get back to enjoying life, rather than just existing.
Grant Baldwin is a national speaker and author of Reality Check. Contact him through www.GrantBaldwin.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org