“I’m so burnt out.”
“I’m just so tired, I don’t know why.”
“I’m struggling with work-life balance.”
“This just threw me off balance.”
If you’ve ever said any of those statements or something similar, keep reading.
Our society is constantly on the move- even during these odd times with everyone stuck at home! I’ve found myself in the same conversations with different clients, friends, family members, and even myself still saying that we don’t have time for certain tasks, mostly self-care activities like meditation, reading, etc.
So how is it that at seemingly the best and most important time of our lives to be practicing self-care, we still find it elusive?
Enter, the fundamental flaw of balance.
Self-care is dominated by the idea of finding balance, like there’s a perfect formula we need to find in order to live stress-free. But as we know, life is constantly changing allowing the delicate balance we’ve created to be offset and slipping back into old habits leading to burnout and chronic stress. However, by shifting our perspective of balance from looking like a weighted scale to being a pool of energy, we can ditch the stress that comes from finding balance and discover the calm of flowing in harmony.
Harmony is born out of the idea of multiple moving parts working together to create a sense of pleasure. Think of a barbershop quartet, there’s 4 people singing different parts that individually are valuable, but when put together it can be magical. However, if one person unintentionally overpowers the others, the harmonious effect is jeopardized. But, if a solo is intentional, the effect can be amplified when the other 3 singers support the soloist, knowing they will be equalized once the solo part passes.
We are often times pulled in different directions by different aspects in life, making us feel like our work, relationships, or personal needs are dominating in an unwelcome manner. However, if we are intentional about the direction we allow ourselves to be pulled, we can create harmony in our lives.
Here are some tips on how you can discover harmony now:
Look for signs.
How is everything around you being affected? Are you getting enough quality sleep? Are you moody or emotionally eating? Has your partner or roommate told you, you’re acting differently? Do you feel drained mid-day? Paying attention to your body and the thoughts coming will help you build the mind-body connection you need to lean into your intuition.
Cluster your challenges.
You’ll notice that your current challenges follow into the same or a group of topics. For example, fighting with your partner, feeling dishonest with yourself, feeling distant from your friends, and getting easily drained from work may indicate that you’re being pulled into work too much and need to lean into your relationships more.
Choose the dominant domain.
Based on your challenge clusters, choose the one most dominant to be your focus for the day, week, or even month depending on your situation. These could be friendships, career, finances, education, spirituality, self-care, physical health, etc. Knowing your focus will help you adjust the other aspects of your life around the main purpose for that time period.
Accept the changes.
Ever hear that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it? Navigating change can always lead to uncomfortable feelings and new flurries of emotions. Do the best you can do as a human being to hold your situation non-judgmentally and give yourself as much self-compassion as possible.
Intentionally create action.
No need to box yourself into your new action plan, remember harmony isn’t about having a specific formula for productivity or peak happiness. Rather, harmony is about being to adjust well to what our bodies, minds, and lives need.
By allowing harmony to enter our lives, and adapt to the ebbs and flows, we will be able to build intuition, awareness, and trust in ourselves. When we do so, we better see and more willingly accept the changes of focus to reduce stress and increase joy.
Jen Cui is a holistic health coach, certified personal trainer, and authenticity advocate helping busy individuals create sustainable self-care routines to reconnect with their bodies and minds. She is the founder of Jen Cui Health and has helped hundreds of women and men reclaim their lives and bodies through her invigorating live workouts and her signature “Find Your Freedom” mindfulness-based coaching program. You can find her on Instagram @jencuihealth or on LinkedIn.