How to Create a Balanced Life When You Are Struggling

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Truthfully, I don’t know how to create a balanced life. As I write this, my mindset feels anything but gorgeous. And I think that is okay to admit. I am a serial over-committer, and it is catching up to me. Right here, right now. Even writing this post on balance is adding to my stress.

You see, I pitched the idea for this post thinking that maybe if I had balance on my mind, I would work towards it. Maybe, if I was lucky, I would even achieve it. Instead, I find myself crying as I pile my sheets into the washing machine because that is easier to process than the looming deadlines I have to address next.

Learning how to balance your life, even when you are struggling, is different for everyone. What works for you one week, may not work for you the next. Here are a few tips that tend to help me the most.

If you are reading this, you’ve already committed to making your mindset a little more gorgeous. Maybe you too are searching for balance and you stumbled upon this post. Whatever your reason for being here, I need to tell you I don’t have the answer, but I hope we can figure it out together.

Balance is different for everyone. This is not a one-size-fits-all self-help post. Honestly, you probably won’t ever find one of those. No matter what the gurus tell you. I have meditated twice today, and I don’t feel balanced. A little less crazy? Sure. But not balanced.

What works for some people won’t work for others, and what works for you today may not work for you tomorrow. The trick is finding strategies that work for you (at least some of the time) and staying in tune with how you’re feeling. Focus on learning your habits, triggers for overwhelm, and perhaps that pesky inability to say “no” when you really mean “HECK NO.”

So what does work for people?

We’ve all seen those fabulous women who seem to do it all with their impeccable wardrobes, thriving careers, and overflowing social calendars. But how do they really do it? Because girl, I’m tired just watching all that madness. I can hardly handle my own quiet little life. Let alone all that.

Here are 5 Ways to Create a Balanced Life When You Are Struggling

1. I say this as lovingly as possible. BITCH, SAY NO.

You truly have to. This is something I majorly need to work on. There is no “no” quota. Recently I’ve fallen into this pattern where I will say no once and get really proud of how assertive and super womanly I am, and then I feel like I can’t say no again for like a week.

This happens to me a lot at work, and I imagine it does to many other women as well. Your boss asks you to do some impossible task, and maybe the deadline doesn’t work or it will interfere with your other projects, so you say no. But then when they come back with another request, you feel like you can’t hit them with the double no.

(Here are 35 Ways to Say No!)

NEWSFLASH: You can!!! And you should! Especially if the second request is even worse than the first. Obviously ladies, please do your jobs well. But don’t get suckered into doing things no one else will do and no one else should have to do because you can’t summon the backbone to “no” it up. “No” it all over town!!

Don’t be a yes man. Be a no woman.

Bonus! Look out for those sneaky “no” moments when the request isn’t framed like a question. Just because someone tells you something, rather than asking politely, does not mean your “no” abilities are dismantled.

2. Figure out what balance means to you.

Then set out to achieve it. If I had a dollar for every time someone told me to quit doing something I loved because it was adding too much to my plate, I’d be writing this post from my own private island. No one else can determine what your balance looks like. You have to find it on your own.

For me, in this chapter of life, it means avoiding this feeling of panicked overwhelm, staying engaged with people I love, and setting aside time for self-care and goal-chasing. Does that sound like a tall order? Yes, frankly it does. But there are people out there doing it, so I can too.

3. Break it down, girlfriend.

You may be the world’s best multitasker, but when it comes down to it, it’s almost always best to tackle one thing at a time. Plan your week ahead. Set goals and limits for yourself. Breathe in between tasks. Just keep putting it one foot in front of the other. Sometimes, it’s the only way to press on.

Don’t forget to stay plugged into your battery level. You will need to recharge. No matter how much you want to, or how much you think it’s expected of you, you canNOT do everything. And those people who seem like they are doing everything? They really aren’t. They have help.

Read This Next: 4 Ways to Find More Time in Your Day

4. Ask for help!

We are all in this together (cue High School Musical soundtrack). You are not alone in this. Stay on your Gorgeous Mindset level and browse our amazing personal growth or health and wellness content. Call a friend. Talk to your mom. Listen to an inspiring podcast. Ask an online forum. Hire a nanny. Whatever it is you need, ask for it.

You don’t have to do this all yourself. It doesn’t make you a bad wife or mom or employee or daughter or friend or partner or woman or entrepreneur or anything to ask for help. In fact, I think asking for help and lifting each other up makes us all better. No matter who we are.

5. Sleep!

Please, this is so important. Sleep right now if you can.

6. Trust the process.

The secret is out. The truth is we are all out here doing the best we can. Even the people who seem to have it completely figured out have bad days. Here you are showing up, trying to do better for yourself. That, my friend, is half the battle.

So be intentional, plan ahead, take a minute to breathe, go to yoga, do a quick meditation, schedule alone time or friend time or goal-chasing time. Do whatever you need to do to move closer to your ideal balanced life, and trust that for today that is enough. The more little things you do, the sooner that big-picture balance will come into view.

Read This Next: How to Make Meditation a Daily Habit

Today, I cried a lot. I said no to a show I had previously committed to perform in. I did less than I told my boss I would get done. It wasn’t my best work. It felt low.

But you know what? I took a walk. Meditated. Wrote this raw (hopefully helpful) post to share my journey to balance with you all, and now here I am at the end of it. I did what I had to do to get through today, and that’s all we can ever ask of ourselves.

Be easy with yourself. Your balance will come.

About the author
Ariana is a writer and comedian based in Indianapolis, Indiana. She is passionate about fostering community through storytelling. Always inspired by strong women, she believes in caring for ourselves, each other, and Mama Earth.

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