IT'S NOT WHAT I THOUGHT
I see you thinking, "Here's another post about someone preaching about this unreachable goal of balance." This post is not about that. It is about discovering our ebb and flow.
What balance is, to me, is so VERY different from what I thought. Originally, I pictured mastering all every 24 hours, but it ended up being like squeezing into the clothes I wore before I had a child - there's too much to fit in.
Then I started tracking my energy, making notations on the MONTH's energy levels, and then narrowing it down to each day of the week.
In doing so, I was able to give myself much more grace and understanding.
On my high-energy months (like January and September)- GOING FULL SPEED AHEAD! Thriving in that drive, motivation, and that intense accomplishment that comes with it.
On the lower energy months (like June and November) - I take a step back, spend more time with family, preschedule my social media posts to limit the time I spend on my phone, and do (frankly) the bare minimum - now, that bare minimum is done very well, but I do less overall.
And in times of burnout, which happens to all of us, I discovered that when I allow myself that rest instead of trying to "push through it," after two weeks, my energy is back, and I am raring to go. We each have our timeframe. For me, after 11 days of rest, I am ready to get back to work, yet I've learned if I hold back and wait the full 14 days, I am EXCITED to get back to work, and that's a big difference.
I also have a weekly balance. For example Monday, I am FULL of drive, constant thoughts and ideas, crossing things off lists, and never making it to bed on time. Wednesdays, it's gone, and I take more space for quiet moments to rebuild my energy and do something for myself, like go to the gym.
Balance looks NOTHING like I imagined it would. It's not the perfect individual day, it means periods of intense motivation and drive and weeks of stepping back and enjoying the quieter things of life. It means going with the slow season and running with the high.
I urge you to pay attention, keep track, and note
- what days are your high energy days, and which are your low? How can you arrange those days to serve you versus cause a struggle?
Then build further
- what months are your high and low seasons, and how can you arrange your schedule better?
-When you need real rest, how much time do you need before you're ready to go again and HONOR your body's needs?
We are not robots or machines; like the waves of an ocean ebb and flow, so do our energy levels. We don't get mad at the ocean, instead, we listen to the sound of the waves and walk according to the water level.