Do you ever forget to take care of yourself? We often spend too much time busying ourselves with daily chores or jobs, forgetting to give some time to ourselves. Yet, at the same time, you don’t want to forget your responsibilities. The question is, how do you strike up a balance between responsibilities and personal time?
Last September, I decided to run my first marathon. I feel like I’d been preparing for this for years, but I still had a lot to learn. And I was shocked at how much I learned as I trained for the 18 weeks leading up to race day. One of the lessons I took from it was: it’s okay–and even a good thing–to take some time for yourself.
TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF
As a mother, I struggled giving any kind of priority to myself. Obviously, parenting comes with a whole set of responsibilities that pull your focus toward your children. But then, I started running as a hobby. For 30 minutes a day, I got the chance to “free myself.” I’d come back feeling like I could better face my reality. In this mental clarity, I began to realize the importance of taking care of myself, which made me better able to take care of others. In this way, it’s okay to take some time for yourself. In fact, it’s necessary.
Taking care of yourself comes with a caveat, however. If you spend so much time for yourself that you neglect your loved ones and responsibilities, your life goes off-balance. I started becoming obsessed with running and something positive such as physical activity became an addiction. As time passed and I began seeing improvements in my abilities. I become so excited to run every day that I started neglecting other, important things in favor of running, and I got blinded to what it was costing my family. My responsibilities began to slip, and it wasn’t until after the marathon that I started seeing things more clearly again. I realized how much time I’d put into preparation that I’d taken from my family.
There’s a balance between self-love and outward responsibilities that you have to learn in order to lead a joyful life.
APPLYING THIS TO LIFE
I learned so many things through running, but the most important was to keep my life in balance. This isn’t easy, and I am still learning, but it is possible! You can’t forget to take time for yourself… only, not too much. Stop and reflect, take the time to put your priorities where your desires are. Give time to the things that are most important to you, which should include yourself and your loved ones.
Keeping it in balance with my responsibilities, running has helped me live the life I most desire.
In order to keep life in balance it’s important to remember to evaluate and reflect on the following areas of your life:
These areas of your life can be compared to the various lines in a parachute. If any area is not attended to, it will eventually pull and cause tension on the other areas we are already doing well in. Just like the lines of a parachute work together to give the rider a safe and secure landing, keeping the lines of our life parachute in balance will keep us feeling peace in our life.
We invite you to take intentional time this week to reflect on these areas of your life and see if there are improvements that you can make. Remember that you can choose to improve your life no matter the circumstance. As the poet, William Ernest Henley so eloquently said:
“I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.”