It’s something that we all try to achieve. Balance in work, family, nutrition, relationships, fitness, and all of the other parts of our lives. As I’m sure you know, balance is important not only for our physical health, but for emotional and psychological health too. Like me, you’ve probably had those days where you feel like work is taking over, or that all of your efforts are going into looking after your family. Or maybe your time is so consumed by preparing clean-food meals that you don’t have the time or energy to exercise or see your friends. Maybe you’ve been working out so hard that you are too exhausted to do anything but flop down on the couch after work at the end of the day.
Maintaining balance sounds simple, right? All we should have to do to achieve it is spend about the same amount of time and effort on the various components of our lives. But is it that easy? Clearly not, because if it were, we’d all be perfectly happy and the self-help industry wouldn’t be worth billions and billions of dollars as it is today.
Multitasking, Competing, and Perfection
I’ll be the first to admit that I exhibit several type-A behaviours. More often than not, I’m multitasking. While this can be a great skill (especially when your to-do list is huge and you cross a ton of items off in one day – wahooo!), it’s also got its disadvantages. Sometimes we take on too much at once and before we know it, the day is gone and we haven’t even had a chance to take a breath. (Not literally of course, but I’m sure you know the feeling.)
Another type-A trait is competitiveness, and again, it’s got its good and bad sides. While a little competition can be good, too much can lead to a constant desire to out-do an opponent, or yourself. While I wouldn’t say I’m super competitive when it comes to comparisons with other people, I definitely compete with myself on a regular basis.
Then there’s that whole over-achiever, slightly perfectionist tendency that people with varying degrees of type-A personalities have. This can be great if what you’re doing requires a lot of attention to detail, like in certain job settings for example. Aiming for the top and setting high standards is what helps to keep us moving forward and becoming better people. Having said that, striving to be as close to perfect as possible (whatever we consider that to be), or achieving the highest levels possible requires a lot of time and energy. Just look at the Olympians that we saw competing in London. They’ve dedicated years of their lives to compete there, all while bettering their times, strengthening their bodies, fine-tuning their nutrition, and perfecting their technique. This is fantastic – not to mention incredibly impressive and motivational – but it comes at the expense of letting other parts of life slide by.
So what happens when you combine lots of multitasking with lots of self-competition and perfectionism?
Stress (or at least that’s how our minds interpret it.)
Yep, I know – no surprises there. And if there’s too much stress, say hello to burnout. In my opinion, it doesn’t matter if you’re doing what you love day in and day out – if it’s all coming at you too fast and too soon, something’s going to crack. If my life were flattened out into a puzzle, there would be a piece for each component – my friends, family, work, fitness, spirituality, traveling, relaxation, blogging, cooking, and photography, and other hobbies are just a few. Recently, a couple of these areas have been incredibly neglected.. or I guess if we’re talking in puzzle piece terms, dropped under the table.
Eat Spin Run Repeat is a part of my life that receives a LOT of attention, and that’s because I love it. As I’ve said before, I never imagined upon starting my blog that I’d still be doing it 2+ years later, and looking back, I can’t believe how much I’ve grown as a person. It’s my creative outlet (and boy, do I need one!) and I absolutely love sharing my passions with you. But all of this focus has come with a bit of a downside. A little while ago, I wrote “Death by Desk Chair“, a post about the studies that are being done around the long-term impacts of sitting for hours on end. While I’m all about incorporating movement into my work day, the truth is, I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to after-work activity. I’m very particular about what this blog looks like, so posts that shouldn’t take very long to write often end up taking forever. As a result, I’m sitting at my desk not only at work, but when I get home too.
So here comes my announcement.
In order to achieve better balance in my life, I’m going to drop down to blogging three times per week. This post has been writing itself in my mind over the past couple of weeks and I feel quite relieved to finally be hitting the ‘Publish’ button. I know it might not seem like a huge deal to many of you, and I know that the world isn’t going to come to an end because of this decision, but if you’re a blogger, you’ll probably agree that when you post daily, it becomes a routine and breaking it feels weird. I’m a big routine-loving gal, but I’ve decided that I need to do a better job of balancing blogging with other things. Don’t get me wrong – I still love everything about blogging – the writing, the recipe sharing, the community (that’s YOU!), and all opportunities that continue to come my way. I won’t be stopping any time soon, but over the last little while, I’ve felt like I need to come up for air. I want to spend more time with real people and less time with my computer screen.
My plan right now is to post on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and maybe the occasional extra one if I have something mind-blowingly exciting to share with you – perhaps a giveaway, an epic restaurant experience, a ridiculously awesome song or workout, or a sudden burst of genius in the kitchen. Rather than 5 OK-posts each week, I want to be sure that I give you 3 really great ones.
I hope this doesn’t disappoint too many of you. As I said above, I know you might be thinking “why is she making such a huge deal out of this??” but when publishing posts becomes as regular an activity as getting dressed in the morning, I know I’m going to feel the difference!
In order to let new opportunities into our lives, we have to make room for them to enter. To take advantage of these opportunities, we need to be in the right state of mind. My message in this month’s Health Coaching Newsletter was all about being good to ourselves and practicing extreme self care wherever possible. Deciding to reduce to 3 posts per week is my way of walking the talk, and I hope you’ll do something nice for yourself today too.