In the end, it’s all about finding balance. Nothing in excess, nothing in scarcity, everything in moderation.
I, recently, have been going through a rough time trying to find balance in my life. 24 hours?? Heavens I need more than just 24 hours a day! I have constantly found myself neglecting aspects of my life that matter to me. My friends. “We barely talk these days. You seem so busy … I just feel like I give back the same energy to people.” Slowly, I’ve been growing distant from friends that I used to frequently keep in touch with. My blog. “And by the way, blog! Blog! Blog! This November shall not pass without you writing a blog!” “…I’ve been waiting for that blog post.” I haven’t posted a blog in almost 5 months now.
Sometimes, yes, I find that I don’t have enough time to do certain things like getting the recommended eight hours of sleep, but most times, it’s more of not even having time to reply to a simple text, or to listen to a song that a friend just sent me. My responses to my friends’ requests to spend time or connect with me have become a monotonous “I can’t talk right now” or “I can’t do it. I have so much work. Have fun.” My attempts to balance my school life, work load, social life, and sleep have led me to severely neglect setting time for both myself and those who mean most to me, and this being something that I’ve been struggling with and trying to overcome, I thought it fitting to share with you a little of what I’ve learnt so far.
The minute I realized that I was completely out of balance, the first thing that I did was emailing a trusted adult to set up a meeting time. The first step, I’d say, is recognizing that you are in need of a newfound balance in your life. During the meeting with the trusted adult, she had me make a list of all the things that I do or rather, need to do, be it sleeping, homework, calling my parents, you name it. Next, she had me circle all that I absolutely could not do away with, what had to remain. There were two categories of things that I couldn’t do away with: those which I had no choice either way (ex. school work) and those which I personally find important in my life (ex. my friends). For those which I had no choice either way, we made a timetable, so from the perspective of a student, a timetable of all my school commitments and what times I would, for example, generally do my homework everyday, while still getting around 7 hours of sleep each night. I personally found that making a timetable and planning my day has helped me keep up with my homework and studies, get enough sleep, and thus, make a little more time for the other category of things that are important to me. (Tip: Keeping a planner is the best thing ever!) The rest that I didn’t consider a priority had to go.
However, as much as my school life feels a lot more organized, my personal life is still in need of a little more work. I’m getting there though. My key takeaway, then, would be to ask yourself this question when your life is feeling out of balance: what really matters? Not to your parents. Not to your friends. But to you. Only you can decide. Let go of that which doesn’t. Hold on to that which does. It may be that your school life matters more than anything else, or that hanging out with friends takes precedence. Get that done, then find time for the rest. This is especially hard for me, always trying to get everything done. But, you can never do everything. If anything, what is most important to you?
Be sure to check out my other blogs, and feel free to reach out to me about striving to find balance and we can share our struggles together, keeping a planner, or really just anything and everything here!
Remember, you can’t do everything. You can’t please everyone. Balance comes in the moments when you stand up for the life you truly want for yourself, by making choices that align with that.
Featured image: “Art of Balance” (2006) by Ilya Zombart.