How to Create a Work-Life Balance

Balance. Think about that word for a second. What does it mean to you? 

Do you think of trying to stand securely on one foot before falling over, ultimately loosing your balance? Maybe the thought of eating adequate amounts of healthy food but a generous amount of sweet treats is your personal definition. Or you might just view it in a simple, but oh so relatable way; saying that it means happiness.

There's no right or wrong answer to the question. Balance can mean so many things to all of us. It's something that we all need in our lives in a multitude of ways. The type of balance that we're focusing on today is a work-life balance. I think this one is really important because without it, you'll most likely find yourself not enjoying life to the best of your ability. When you take work home with you then you're never truly away from your job. You stop being present in your home life which can affect your relationships as well as your physical and mental health in negative ways. 

Those of us who struggle with this type of unbalanced life most likely don't want it to be the way it is. You crave that switch from work to personal life but can't find that sweet spot. It's tough, but not impossible and with a little effort you'll be able to capture that free time and sense of ease that you're looking for.

MEDIATION + YOGA + EXERCISE

Meditation. Yoga. Exercise. The magic three. I don't think you need to carve out three hours a day to get this all done. No way. You can easily fit all three of these into a 30-60 minute timeframe. Or you can pick and choose. It's up to you. But, mediation, yoga, and exercise can bring up your mood by releasing endorphins and give you a sense of calm before or after a stressful work day. 

Try taking 5 minutes in the morning for some yoga or meditation. You can find short yoga flows on YouTube and simply set a timer on your phone for a quick meditation. If you'd rather, try a 10 minute walk outside before work without your phone to center yourself and go into your day with a clear head.

ROMANTICIZE DAILY ROUTINES

What's your favorite part of the day? For me, it's the morning. I make a delicious breakfast and eat it out of my favorite bowl while I read a book. The sun streams through my window and the birds chirp outside which reminds me that the world is waking up right with me. I love that part of the day and I make sure to make it special. If your favorite part of the day is drinking tea before bed then make that the best you can possibly make it. Buy a fancy tea that you enjoy. Use a mug you really love and drink the tea in a spot that is close to your heart. Maybe you can listen to some music or a podcast. You might even revel in the silence, appreciating it for what it is. Make these small moments special. They matter and they're important.

SCHEDULE TIME OFF

Each day schedule some time off from work to introduce the fact that you don't always have to be in work mode. Show your mind that it's okay to relax for a bit. Start with an hour of just stepping away from work emails and thoughts by doing something else that you enjoy. One day it could be going for a bike ride and another day it could be watching something on Netflix or reading a book. The activities can change as time passes. But the one thing that we don't want to change is giving ourselves permission to take some time off each day to do something for ourselves without work in our minds.

WELCOME FLEXIBILITY AND CHANGES

Be open and accepting to the changes and space that's being created in your life. Also, be patient as the changes happen. Trust and dive into the process. Letting go of the feeling as if you're in control by being "on" all the time opens up a world of possibilities. You'll have more time and space to do things that you've worked towards. Having the extra time and space can be scary at first. Welcome the feelings and the flexibility of it all. It's all normal. It's all okay. Let it be an experience.

Put in the work and you'll see the results. Treat it as an important task in your life and be consistent. The benefits will appear over time and you'll feel great as you look back and see how much you've grown. Share your journey with me and let me know how it's going along the way. Much love. xx

How to Have a Healthy Relationship With Exercise

Exercising has almost always come easy to me. I enjoy it. Yeah. It's something I like to do. I know that many people out there feel the same way, but many people feel the complete opposite way, too. Regardless of which side of the spectrum you're on I think that it's easy to fall into an unhealthy place with your relationship with exercise.

The relationship that you have with yourself is the most important relationship in your life. If you don't have a good relationship with yourself then there's a good chance that the rest of your relationships will suffer. Taking care of yourself, talking to, and treating yourself like you would your best friend, dog, partner, etc. is so important and key to blossoming that relationship. Fitness and exercise is just an extension of that.

I've been lifting consistently since November of last year but in May I started lifting 5 days a week. I'd get up at 5 a.m. everyday and hit the gym. I was consistent. I'm a very determined person when it comes to my workouts. So I'd go. Everyday. At that point it wasn't an issue. I was loving it. But as summer ramped up and I started biking, practicing yoga, and just being outside more in general I started to get tired. Trying to fit in all of my lifting, biking, yoga, and regular life plans was getting to be too much.

I was desperate to create more space in my life but I didn't want to give up the things that I loved. I took some time to think things through and realized that cutting back on lifting made the most sense. So that's what I did.

I'm now lifting 3 days a week. I'm so much happier with my decision. It's motivated me to push harder than ever before and has given me the chance to do more biking and yoga. Now I'm able to do it all in a reasonable manner which motivates me more and decreases my risk of overtraining and injury.

It's just what I need for this season of my life.

I truly believe that everyone should get out and move their bodies. Walking, biking, running, swimming, skiing, dancing, hiking, canoeing, etc. There are so many options and there's definitely something out there for everyone. 

It's so easy to get caught up in the pressures that are all around us involving exercise. Having the perspective of it being a positive influence in our life and doing it out of love for ourselves - not hate - can shine a light on the good that it can bring. Anything can be seen as bad if we let it and sure, it's easy to slip into an unhealthy place with our workouts. But, when we're able to recognize the problem and flip it into a new experience it has the chance to give us a new outlook on the relationship that we have with it.

I want to encourage you to take a look at your relationship with exercise. Is it one that stems from a place of love or hate? Do you truly enjoy the activities that you're doing each day? Are you willing to try something new?

Answering questions like this and really diving into why we do the things we do can increase our mindset, actions, and life in so many ways. It'll challenge us and help us grow in ways that we didn't know we needed to grow in. And it's all a beautiful, exciting thing.

Ask the questions. Take the chance. Learn. Experience. Have fun. And grow.

Simple Tips to Live a Productive Life

We all want to be productive. Life is short and there's a lot of stuff that we want/need to get accomplished to make awesome stuff happen. A lot of us struggle with that though. There are a ton of things that can pull us off of our productive path and sway us towards other paths.

Procrastination. Laziness. Confusion. Stress. Etc.

Once you get onto one of those not so great paths it becomes harder to find your way back to the path of productivity. That is until you realize that it doesn't have to be that way. You can be productive while those little distractions are trying to pull you off of your path. But the great thing is that it won't work. You'll keep walking that path of rewards and value.

Productivity is different for everyone. It has a different meaning and works differently for different types of people. I have come to find a way that helps me be productive each day while not feeling to stressed or overwhelmed with the tasks at hand. I simply write things down. I make a visible to-do list that I split up into 3 categories.

To-do today.
To-do this week.
To-do in the future.

I write literally everything down on the today list. Meditating. Yoga. Working out. Reading. Etc. Crossing each thing off, even something as little as oil pulling in the morning is so gratifying. I find myself wanting to do more and more things so that I can cross them off of the list.

The list for this week consists of things that I want to do this week and need to write down so that I don't forget. This works well when I'm scheduling posts to share, when I have an appointment, or something along those lines. Each day whenever I'm writing out my today list I am then able to look at the list for the whole week and add what I need to at the time.

In the future is mainly ideas that I have for recipes and stuff like that. Things that I don't want to forget, but things that I don't want to put my energy into right now. Writing these things down allows me to let go of those thoughts that I fear losing and clear my mind to focus on the tasks that I currently am working on. 

This method has worked so well for me the past few months. I genuinely find myself wanting to accomplish everything on the list and am having fun doing so. I always make sure to write down some things that I can do each day to relax a bit. Somedays that's reading a book, other days it's writing, painting, watching Netflix, etc. By scheduling in some relax time I am able to look at my list for each day as simply tasks that I want and need to get done so that I can erase a complete board full of productivity before I go to sleep.

I know that this method wouldn't work for everyone but it works for me. That's why I'm sharing. I know some people who would get overwhelmed by seeing everything they need to do each day sitting in front of them and stress out about doing it all. It's not like that for me though. I take a very relaxed approach towards it. I genuinely want to accomplish everything I write down and if I don't get to a few of the things, that's okay. I just leave them there for tomorrow or I write them down to do later in the week. 

Taking an easy approach towards my goals gives me the chance to get things done but not overwork myself and get burnt out in the process. It's a cheap and simple way to stop the procrastination and work towards your goals.

So what are you waiting for?! Get out there and be productive.

Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.
— Stephen King