Recently, I attempted to make a connection with another therapist by email. She replied that essentially she would love to get together, but she is “swamped” and “busy”. I couldn’t help myself from immediately thinking “Wow, I’m not that busy. Is there something wrong with me? I need to be ‘busy’. She must be important to be that busy”. I looked at my life and then said “Wait a moment! I don’t like being that busy. I want to always make time for people. I want to be available to others in a timely fashion. I like the pace that I set for myself now”.
In our daily lives, we frequently hear how “busy” others are. We can’t help but compare our schedules, at least mentally, to see if another person is truly “busier”. The “I’m busy” statement also indicates that “I’m so important. I don’t have time to schedule another thing”. While it could be true, that someone may not have the time and is completely booked with scheduled activities. I, however, counter that many of us value wanting to have new people and new opportunities enter our lives and we have to find ways to make this happen. Saying “I’m so busy” contradicts the value of wanting new opportunities and people.
While I continued to ponder someone saying “I’m busy”, I had a big “Ah Hah” moment. I started to think, how come people aren’t practicing having a balanced life. When I have a full schedule, somehow I have always found time to connect with people. Maybe not this week, but I always found a date and time. Granted I didn’t have a lot of time, but I did want to give a person my full “now in the moment” attention, because I valued exploring new opportunities.
It is important to take time to build relationships, get quiet time, read, and to work towards life balance if anything for our physical, mental and emotion health. If we are “too busy” we probably aren’t having a lot of fun and our bodies of feeling the stressors. Our bodies and our brains need time to breathe or to have a break. A balanced life can help for when you are “too busy” to remember to get “unbusy”. A balanced life can improve your sense of well being and allow you to prioritize your life. “Busy” may also mean another area of your life is potentially getting neglected. It could be the family, friendships, health, personal growth, or home.
Sometimes it is important to have a visual demonstration of how our lives are balanced. Complete the following “Wheel of Life” exercise:
Assign a number from 1 to 10 for each category. Number “1” is closest to the center and represents the least amount of satisfaction and number “10,” the last line in the circle, represents the greatest amount of satisfaction.
- If you choose a 5 for a category, color in from 5 to 0. Do this for each category. You will start to see how balanced your life is.
Here is an example of a complete “Wheel of life” circle:
This is a visual for you to see your life satisfaction and to give you an idea of where you may want to pay more attention in you life. Do you find your life is in balance? Are there any areas that you want to increase your satisfaction? Ask yourself, what needs to change in your life for you to become more balanced. If your wheel is not balanced, you are essentially running your life on a flat tire. A car with a flat tire doesn’t work very well, which means that a “flat tired” life balance won’t work well either.
Take time to slow your life down and begin with a balance of work, family, and fun. Our lives are moving too fast and we aren’t paying attention. We are missing out on the journey of life. If we don’t take the time to enjoy the journey we are missing precious moments in nature, with our children, spouses, friends, and ourselves.
If you find that your life is unbalanced and you want to get more “balanced”, ask yourself what areas do I need to spend more time and energy? Do I need to set up a lunch date with a friend? Does the family need to eat dinner together tonight? Do I need to make a doctor’s appointment or go to the gym? What do you need to do in order to get your life back into balance?
If you need help exploring solutions to finding a more balanced life, I am available for consultations. Together we can explore the changes that need to be made for a balanced and enjoyable life. Call 360-301-6318.