Commentary by Kristen Boice
Do you feel out of balance with your life? Do you feel overwhelmed with trying to work, manage family life and volunteering? Do you feel like you are just going through the motions and not really living in the present moment because you are thinking about your to do list? You are not alone.
We now live in a world where we’re plugged in twenty-four hours a day, making it more challenging to unplug from the stress of everyday life. Sometimes we feel like a gerbil on a wheel – going non-stop. Sometimes we feel so overwhelmed that we don’t even know where to begin. And, we simply feel stuck, as if we’re spinning our wheels in the mud.
Below are a few steps to begin creating more balance and less stress in your life. It begins by empowering yourself to make some choices and focus on what you need.
1. Take deep breathes. Research indicates that the calmest people take the most deep breathes throughout the day. It helps them feel centered and more peaceful. It helps to regulate the nervous system and calm down the body. Practice. It starts to become a healthy coping strategy when feeling stressed.
2. Set clear boundaries. Sometimes we need to say “no” to things and people. Do you have some toxic people in your life that take time and energy away from what really matters? It’s healthy and important part of creating more balance. Setting boundaries can be hard for people pleasers. If someone gets upset, it is their issue. You are modeling what it looks like to focus on what matters.
3. Understand yourself. There is no better way to empower yourself than to know yourself. Do you understand why you have certain triggers? Do you know why you respond the others the way you do? Take time to begin to understand you.
4. Build a strong support network. This helps us not hold in or carry the stress. We need healthy people to share how we feel and support us in the process. If you don’t feel like you have anyone to turn to, it may be connecting to a support group, joining a church, taking a class with people that have similar interests or reaching out for help.
5. Set it in motion. We need to take action in order to feel better and make positive changes in our lives. Cut out things that aren’t working for you. Make it a priority today!