6 Tips for Balanced Living
Lately my life has been more hectic than I could have imagined. Our baby is due in just over 14 days. I’m preparing for maternity leave, cooking extra meals so our freezer is well-stocked, organizing the baby’s room, have weekly doctor’s appointments, and am trying to tie up any loose ends before the big day gets here.
I’m striving for balance in the middle of what could be a really stressful time. I don’t want to feel pressure. I want to savor every moment. Though I won’t claim perfection, I can honestly say I’ve managed to do pretty darn well.
What have I been doing to stay balanced more of the time than not?
1. Every appointment and commitment goes into one calendar.
One central calendar lets me see everything going on in my life at a glance. Using more than one calendar is a sure recipe for disaster.
I use the iCal on my Mac which is set up to automatically sync with my iPhone and iPad. Each morning I review my daily calendar so I’m prepared for the day. I also set alarms with important appointments to help me remember commitments.
2. Plan meals.
This ends the dreaded question, “What’s for dinner?” It removes stress, ensures you’re eating nutritious meals, and helps to avoid last minute runs to the grocery store.
The other benefit of planning meals is that I can cook a double or triple recipe and freeze the leftovers. This has helped make stocking up for the weeks after our baby arrives simple. I suggest doing this on a regular basis to make meals on busy nights a breeze.
Check out my series, Meal Planning Made Simple. You’ll see how I plan meals and get free printables to help make it simple for you.
3. Be flexible!
This isn’t something I’m good at. I like to plan my day and execute it accordingly. Pregnancy has thrown me a few curve balls. I’ve learned to be flexible. I work when I’m able, sleep when I need to, and let go of things that aren’t important.
4. Get regular exercise.
Many people let exercise go when life gets hectic. At 38 weeks pregnant, I’ve got a good excuse to not get out and walk or practice yoga. I’m committed to making exercise a priority, though. It helps keep my body in balance, reduces stress, and boosts energy.
5. Ask for help.
I’ve always been one of those “do-it-myself-ers.” Pregnancy has taught me to ask for help. I don’t think twice about asking Joe to fold laundry while he’s watching TV or to take the dogs to the groomer. I even ask him to make dinner some nights. In a nutshell, I no longer try to do it all. I love it!
6. Take time for me.
When I look back over the most stressful times in my life, I see a pattern. I let self-care go and push myself to my limit. It doesn’t work. So, instead of burning myself out I take time every day to do something that feeds my soul. It might be reading a good book, having dinner with girlfriends, or just sitting quietly, resting, and breathing.
How do you balance your life?
Amy Green is a co-founder of The Balanced Platter and the author of Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free where she shares simple-to-make, gluten-free, refined sugar-free recipes along with tips for living well. She also authored the book Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free: 180 Easy and Delicious Recipes You Can Make in 20 Minutes or Less. Amy has been maintaining a 60+ pound weight loss due to the elimination of wheat and refined sugars.