Why happiness begins when letting go the thought of balance.

Trying to work your 9–5, start your business, go to school, clean your home, eat healthy, workout, be the perfect friend/siblings/child/spouse/parent, etc is just down right tiring.

You may have been trying to juggle all these different things and not realize it, just like me.

When I started my online business aka “side hustle”, I was still working while trying to maintain all of the things above. My mornings would started at 6:00 AM working on my business by sending emails, creating content for my blog and social media, and planning my to-do list for the next day.

I would work all day, rush home to prepare dinner, wash clothes, workout, and start back on the business until 3:00 or 4:00 AM only to wake at 6:00 AM to repeat the day again.

Mentally, I was “hustling” and “grinding” to reach that fulfillment of running my own business like I’ve always wanted. Physically, my body was shutting down. I suffered major breakouts, muscle pains, irritability, and random spells of crying but all I ever heard was “find your balance”.

It got to the point where my husband eventually said to me “what are you doing to yourself?”

My initial thought was “I’m doing what everyone else was doing but doing a horrible job at it”. Everyone on social media had a business, had a family, made time for spa days with their friends, wore the best clothes, had the perfect hair, all while have a beautiful home and living a life of no worries. Doing it all is balance, right?! So what was I doing wrong?

In that moment, I took a stepped back and realize that I was trying to have everything perfect in my life, just as I was told. I knew his words were 100 percent right and I was happy that he said it to me. I was trying to create balance (or what I thought was balance) in an unbalance life.

To be honest, I had no idea what I was doing in the moments. After all, I had no time to think or take any time for myself which is very ironic as I frequently spoke about putting yourself first in your life but what about me?

Too many times, we try to be everything for everyone whether it’s at work, at school, or at home and we forget about ourselves.

How many time have you fell victim to the thought that life must be balanced? That you are not allowed to shift your focus because you may let someone down?

What I learned is there’s no such things as “balance” in life and avoiding it is the only true way to happiness. What you must do is find what’s important to you and focus your attention there.

So here are five ways to help you avoid balance and find your happiness

1. List the things that you do in your life on a regular basis

Life can be so hectic that we tend to not notice what we really do each day. Somethings are way less important than things that really matter to us.

By listing out your daily routine, you get to see what needs to stay priority and what can go in the “if I have time” pile.

2. Cut out the urgent for what’s important

I’m completely guilty of this one. If someone contacts me about anything, I drop what I’m doing to make sure I can make it happen for them but didn’t do the same for myself.

Things that are “urgent” always seem to get in the way of the things more important. Realize how you are a victim of the urgent life and learn to say no or do it later.

3. Separate priorities by daily, weekly, and monthly

You may can relate to this if you find yourself washing clothes everyday, cleaning the same spots in the house daily, or grocery shopping daily. Do you really need to go back to the grocery store for a fifth time this week? Probably not.

Though it’s something so small, doing repetitive things such as this cuts into your time for more important things. Identify a schedule that will work for you that helps you stay focused and feel less overwhelmed.

4. Include at least one activity related to selfcare

While I’m on the subject of a schedule for daily, weekly, and monthly to-do lists, be sure to include self-care on this list. Find something you can do daily for selfcare such as a walk, ten minute meditation, or your favorite show to ensure you are not neglecting your own well-being.

Do this each day, week, and month. Once a week I like to visit my local park for a walk up the mountain and have a girl night once a month.

5. Create a “to-dont” list to help you stay focused on things to say NO to in order to achieve your priorities

Lastly, make a “to-don’t” list. This list is to remind you of things you promised yourself not to do such as put someone’s priorities before your own or try to respond to every single email as soon as they come through.

I understand that you have been told you really should live a “balance” life and wrapping your mind around avoiding it is a bit of a change but always remember, you can’t pour into someone’s cup if your cup is empty.

With the summer upon us, take time to relax, read a book, or whatever it is that you enjoy to fill your cup. This year, we let go of “balance” and find our happy place.


Originally published at medium.com