donderdag 10 december 2009

Balance in life

Do you  have that feeling sometimes, that it is all just a little too much? You feel like you have to somehow balance being a good co-worker, a good girlfriend, a good friend, a good family member and also look good ánd have hobbies? Well, first of all, that is the huge perfectionist in you talking, and second, I sure do feel like that sometimes.

This year I have been working on my perfectionism and I must say that I am doing much better in that department. I don’t feel the need to look like a model anymore, nor to write the most fantastic thesis ever written (although it would be nice if it turned out like that). I am also very comfortable with skipping the gym for an entire week or so and to do nothing all weekend, instead of rushing around doing a gazillion chores and ‘working’ on my hobbies. My main goal is to be happy (that’s also why I have this blog) and not to be perfect.

But, as always, there is room for improvement. Especially since I am not perfect hahaha. I found this assignment on (sorry, it’s in Dutch) where you make a balance of different domains in your life. For each domain you think of how you can make some progress and being all time-efficient, you can pick activities that help you in more than one domain at the same time. I went through all the domains to see where I can improve while keeping my balance. The goal was to come up with concrete things and in the end, make a list of preferred activities that you can do so you make progress in each domain.

  1. Spiritual – (Feel connected, feel love). This was the hardest one for me, since I do not really have a religion. I have not found one that fits me yet. I would like to try meditation and yoga though.
  2. Intellectual – (Learn, challenge yourself) This should not be too hard because I love learning new things! I am working as a researcher so my work already provides many opportunities to challenge myself intellectually. It would be good to make more time for reading, especially non-fiction books. I also like to research things online. Something I would like to be better at is sewing.
  3. Psychological – (Be happy, self-esteem, conquer your fears) I have to be honest here, I don’t put enough energy into this domain. There are a lot of things that make me happy like reading, sewing, sports, music, helping others, pictures, be with friends, my cats. I have to admit that I spend way too much time surfing on the internet lately, instead of doing things I really love. My self-esteem could use some reinforcement too, I have been feeling quite insecure lately. But I think that finding balance in life and doing things I love will solve a lot. Aside of insecurity-related fears, I don’t have a lot of fears. Yes, I am afraid of birds and butterflies and my fear of spiders gets awfully close to a phobia, but I do not feel the need to overcome them (yet), lol.
  4. Social – (Friends, family, relationship) This is an obvious one: I should spend more time with my family and friends. Even if my friends are busy people, I can still text them, or call them more often. I am so bad at that! The Boyfriend and I have reinstituted date night, so that one is covered for now.
  5. Professional – (Goals, work) My goal is to finish my PhD, so if I just keep working as efficiently as possible I am good. I recently discovered ‘lifehacking’, and I am learning all kinds of handy things to work efficiently. It would also be a good idea if I start thinking about what I want to do after receiving my PhD.
  6. Relaxation – (Lower stress, play, discover) This is a high priority domain! Things that relax me are: resting enough, setting limits, practice hobbies and other things that make me happy (see domain 3). Other things that help me relax are: nature, beauty-stuff like polishing my nails and music. I guess meditation and yoga are good too.
  7. Physical – (Eat healthy, movement/exercise, cherish your body) Less coffee! I consider myself a healthy eater, but I could use a little less coffee and a little more water. I also have to watch out for overtraining and injuries because I make my body work a lot with all the exercising. Again, rest and yoga for stretching are needed. And beauty-stuff would work well too for this domain.

So there you go: all the things in my life that need a little attention are there for everyone to see hahaha! But, I am quite content about it all. I have at least the basics in every domain, it’s not like I have no work, no hobbies, no social life and a nasty body image (not to offend anyone, but I personally would be unhappy if that were the case). I just need a little fine-tuning and more balance. So what are the activities that I am going to put on my to-do list?

  • Yoga (domain 1, 6, and 7). I think I am going to this once a week for a month and see how I feel about it.
  • Meditation (domain 1, 6, and 7). Also a 1 month trial-period, let’s say 3 times a week.
  • Spend at least 1 hour each Sat and Sun on my hobbies. (2, 3, and 6)
  • Go to bed early and read for 15 min (3, 6).
  • Talk to my parents every week (on the phone or face to face). The same goes for my grandma’s, only every month (3, 4).
  • Talk to at least 2 friends a week (3, 4).
  • Work efficiently and go home in time (5, 6).
  • 1 beauty thing each week (6, 7).
  • Max 2 cups of coffee each day (7).

Don’t be afraid I do not intend to implement all these things at once, but I will look at this list when I am to choose what to do next during the day, for example: go home, or work a little more? Look on Facebook or do my nails? Clean the house or read a book?

In a while, I will evaluate how things are going.

I would like to know about your balance profiles: What domains need most attention? What activities do you do to keep your balance?

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