Why is it so hard to answer “happy” when asked by others how you are? It is human nature to look for things to complain about or find imperfections with because the state of happiness we read or hear about seems unattainable.
When others are portrayed as “happy” what is the immediate reaction you feel? If we were to be honest I would venture to say most would find something about that happy person annoying or assume the person’s happiness is not authentic.
Why is it so difficult to believe someone can truly be happy? I believe happiness is such a phenomenon because it is rare to obtain or hold on to. There are so many modern day stressors that we are hardwired to believe happiness is only attainable through wealth and ideal attractiveness.
We are always reaching for the unattainable end goal of getting to that magic weight, making the last credit card payment, receiving that promotion or finding the perfect partner/home/job. I say unattainable because once we reach one of these goals, we seem to make more for ourselves with the notion that once reached we will truly be “happy”.
How do we get to a place of contentment and finally own this coveted state of happiness? I believe it is as simple as one word, b a l a n c e. If you take your life and segment it into the parts that make up your existence, you will begin to see what you are trying to balance in the first place.
For instance, my segments (in no particular order) are 1. Daughter 1a. in law 2. Sister 2a. in law 3. Wife 4. Mom (to puppy Finley) 5. Friend 6. Co-worker 7. Employee 8. Woman. When you begin to dissect who you are as a person to others, it will begin to make sense why you may have a difficult time maintaining balance.
When I first did this, I was astonished by how many balls I had in the air, and by how much I actually cared about each segment or how I was portrayed in that role.
Now that you have the segments of what make you YOU it is time to set realistic expectations for yourself in each of these roles. This may all seem unimportant at first, but taking the time to truly understand YOU and what you ask of yourself is the most important step into a life of happy and finding the balance that will keep you there.
I had to take a deep look into what roles were really important to me and why. I decided I was able to fully commit myself to two roles at a time, even though I consider myself an A+ student in the school of multi-tasking, I feel when too many personas are in the equation at one time, something suffers.
This two segments at a time concept comes into play throughout the day depending on what I am doing. For example, waking up in the morning and getting ready to go to work I have my employee segment and woman segment in mind. I am letting my mind-space be taken up by what my daily schedule at work looks like and how I can arrive on time and focused. My woman segment keeps my body and mind moving throughout the morning while I consider how I am to appear presentable in society. I choose my outfit, breakfast, packed lunch, and post-work fitness plan based on these two segments.
Once I get in the car, I make a conscience decision to switch gears and not look at my phone to check work email (so hard when you are sitting in standstill traffic!) or even think of work because this is 30-45 minutes of “non-work” time I choose to be a daughter and friend. This is when I use my handsfree and call my Mom, Dad or friends to catch up and put the time and effort in to maintain the relationships that are important to me.
I arrive at work, and switch on to work-only and I enter the employee and co-worker segments of my life until I break for lunch. This brings me to a very important balance tool. Lunch. It is so vital, in my opinion, to give yourself a break in your day that has nothing to do with work, kids, chores, obligations of any kind. I will do a future post on lunch and breaks in general because I have so much to say on the topic.
There are studies on the affects of taking a mental break and the productivity it brings. I choose to take a walk outside for my lunch break for two reasons.
- I live in Southern California and it is beautiful outside most days out of the year.
- The sun, fresh air, and light cardio walking brings gives me new energy to power me through the remainder of the day.
While on my walking lunch break, I choose to be wife, friend, sister, or any other segment that needs attention at that particular moment. Sometimes I need a segment break, and just need to be a woman with nothing in her ear, nothing on her mind, just having nature cleanse my thoughts away when the world just gets too noisy.
After work I try to commit only to the wife and mom (to fur baby) segments because during the busy work week this is the only time I get with them and these may be two of the most important segments to maintain my relative happiness.
Now that you get the gist of segmenting your life, and finding the amount of segments you can handle at one time, the natural flow of balance will begin to unfold. A pivotal moment in My Simply Fit life was when I decided to “play” more and choose happiness over obligation.
Once I allowed myself a pass to do what I felt like rather than what I felt obligated to do, everything clicked. I became less stressed, had more energy, more time for hobbies and began to look as healthy on the outside as I felt on the inside. This all came out of making the choice to live a life of balance, and this is what I hope to invoke in others that are waiting for that same “aha” moment.
What sort of things do you do to maintain balance? How do you fit play into your day? I would love to hear from you!
Peace and love AND happiness!