The Key is Balance
In living such a busy life, I have had to learn to be very in-tune with the needs of my mind and body. The key is balance, and ensuring I take care of myself before the burnout happens; I must look after me. I think of it like a car needing an oil change: without the new oil, the car cannot work at its best. We do the oil changes to prevent issues and to keep the car in top shape. I do my ‘oil changes’ regularly as this is what my body needs to feel refueled. To ensure that I can keep up with the kids and all their activities, my activities and my busy business, I do one of three things: I go for a walk in the bush with my dog, I have a hot bubble bath with a glass of wine and a book, or I go to bed early.
I have always loved to work hard and be busy, but I have learned the tough lessons of burnout more than once. I have found that the only way to prevent stress is to be proactive. Being outdoors is my favorite place. The fresh air, the wild animals, the quiet, and beautiful scenery, make me feel so alive – it’s rejuvenating. To add to it, I bring my golden retriever Torque with me. He is a young dog and full of energy. As I watch him running, playing and enjoying every minute, he reminds me that life is meant to be treasured. At that moment, it is easy to let go of whatever is bothering me. Dogs take away stress for me like no other; they know how to live life stress free and we can learn a lot from them.
I am very active every day, and a hot bath is a wonderful way to wind down – along with a good book, Epsom salts, and essential oils. A little hot water is soothing for my soul; I feel like a new woman after a hot bubble bath.
My job and the kids activities are weighted heavily in particular seasons; I need more energy at certain times of the year. I use the time in the off season to recover – I no longer feel badly if the house isn’t perfectly clean or if the laundry isn’t done. I go to bed early whenever I can, because I need to be up by six a.m. every day of the year to get all the chores done on time. If I need to go to bed at 8 p.m. for a whole month then I do. After all, I can’t expect to work busy-season hours every day of the year. My body tells me and I listen.
These three things give me the time to stop and listen to what my body, mind and soul need to move forward in a successful way.