The start of September usually signals a hurricane of activity. The days are crisper and there’s an innate urge to brush off that summer sloth and get back at it. It’s the turning of a new page in more respects than the weather. Kids go back to school and adults go back to work; even the news cycle doubles down. In many ways it’s the real ‘new year’.
While September can be invigorating and full of fresh starts, it can also be an exhausting avalanche of e-mails, new schedules, and a feeling that everything on that to-do list needs to get done yesterday. After crawling into bed several nights in a row in a worn out heap this week, I’ve been reflecting on the fact that a) I really should know better, b) I need to go back to the principles of finding balance.
If you’re feeling strung out and are running in horror from your full-to-the-brim inbox, try these tips to bring a little Zen back into your zone.
Rome Wasn’t Built In a Day. Lose ten pounds, write a novel, pack awesome lunches, have a rewarding profession, take up canning, help with homework, rule the world… sound familiar? Choose one of your goals for this fall and focus on that. One thing at a time.
Forget the Superwoman Syndrome. See above. There is no such thing as a sane woman who works full time, looks like a million bucks, has excellent kids, runs a charity in her spare time, and hosts a totally awesome Pinterest board of all the home projects she has underway. No such thing. Choose one (or two) and run with it.
No Guilt. See 2 and 3, above. Whatever you choose to cut out of your busy schedule to achieve balance - because you will have to cut something out, and you know it - harbour no guilt whatsoever about your choices. None.
Don’t be a Martyr. Often we’re our own worst enemies. Others don’t judge us nearly as harshly as we judge ourselves. Give yourself a break, and most of all, don’t ever, ever take the weight of the world on your shoulders and tell yourself it’s normal. It’s not.
Give Yourself the Gift of Time. Once a week, carve out time that is yours alone. A massage, a trip to the bookstore, a class, whatever will fill your cup.
Take Care of Yourself First. Just like the oxygen mask demonstration on planes, it’s important to take care of your own needs before diving in to help everyone else. You'll be a better mother/ friend/ partner/ person if you're feeling strong and replenished.
Plan for Balance. You know yourself best. Write a list of all the things you’d like to do this fall and block off a realistic amount of time for each. It helps to think of it as a pie - how much free time do you really have and how do you want to spend it?
We all need a little reminder not to spread ourselves too thin. Follow these simple rules and you'll have a fabulous, rocking, never-been-better return to reality!