Try as we might, there will always come a time when we feel so off-kilter, so off-balance, that we aren’t as productive at our jobs as we should be. In fact, some who go through duress fall into clinical depression, where even pleasurable activities, even eating, no longer hold meaning, or give the same pleasure as they used to. This is when you have to find your balance.
Finding one’s balance may not be easy for some, but it is VERY doable. Follow our three tips to getting centered, once more.
Tip #1: Have a “Quiet Time.”
In Christian circles, this means reading one’s Bible, or a devotional. For people who don’t believe in a Higher Power, this could still be adapted to a secular, universalist perspective.
Find 30 minutes to an hour each day to space out. Carve out this much time in every day to not think. If you spend a lot of time reading, don’t read. If you don’t read at all, picking up a book, or reading blogs and online articles (such as this one!) may help.
- Try doing this with your pets, if you have them. Play with them, stare at them do cute things, just space out. Feeding them and daily pet chores do not count. Just have fun with your pets.
- Go out of your home and go somewhere peaceful, with as little people as possible. Go to a coffee shop that’s known for its quiet atmosphere. Or an exclusive mall where people don’t hang out very often. Or find a park and a secluded spot and stare at the sunlight dancing on the trees. Or the pond. Just spend 30 minutes to an hour or two, not thinking.
- Like we mentioned, if you don’t read very often, get started. Prefer a paper book, to a mobile device. Though, we aren’t paper reading Nazi’s, really. You may read from a tablet, an iPad, but more recommended, a Kindle device, for maximum focus. The goal is to detach from everything that distracts and clutters your mind.
- Take up a hobby that doesn’t require you to think. Try crocheting. Or beadwork. Or even wireworking. Anything that doesn’t require you to communicate, take in anything, or clutter your mind, find that hobby that will give you that sense of peace and quiet.
- Don’t meet with friends. This is YOUR special time with you. Plus, whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert, people could be draining. And like we just said, this hour, these 30 minutes are for YOU.
- Don’t window shop! Have you noticed that consumerism is such a draining activity? Don’t window shop, you might ending up wanting and stressing over something you shouldn’t.
As a rule, the Quiet Time is for you to spend time with yourself, space out, and get centered. If you find something worthwhile to read, especially one that has chapters that are pretty much “standalone,” which means that you can read just one chapter and not want to go on to the next, so you can savor and relish what you learned, the better. If you journal, go ahead and do so. Having a quiet moment in your day will do wonders to recharge and “center” you.
Tip #2: Detox from technology.
Whether it’s a Sunday or a Saturday, or even one weekday out of a week, detox from technology and be incommunicado. If you must be reachable, swap your smartphone for a dumbphone. If you choose a workday to detox, just use your work electronics. After work, say goodbye to your smartphone, your laptop, your iDevices, then leave your dumbphone on a corner, stop checking it every 5 seconds or so for incoming texts, and put your call ringer on LOUD so you can hear it in the event of emergencies. Put your message tone on silent, by the way. If it’s REALLY an emergency, whoever needs you will find a way to call you.
Tip #3: Balance in friendships.
Are you the nurturing type who just has to mother your troubled friends? Or are you the advice-rich “Kuya” (big brother), whom the whole troop runs to when they’re in deep doodoo? Have a day or three in the week where you won’t listen to everyone else’s problems. If you’re busy, don’t answer requests for advice. Tune them all out. Answer and entertain people on a schedule. If they really need you, they will agree to adhere to an appointment with you.
If you have friends who just drain the life out of you, start setting boundaries. Learn to say a very big “NO.” And if you must, space out from the friendship for a while and stop talking if you need to. If your friend is the type whom you can frankly say anything, even potentially offensive statements to, you can let them know you need space. For those whom you know won’t be able to handle your reasons, just drop out. And rekindle the friendship later. If your friend gets demanding and psychotic about why you dropped out and just showed back up in their lives, and won’t be satisfied with “I really needed time to myself, and I felt like I should detach from everyone,” and won’t be placated with a heart to heart talk, maybe that friendship isn’t worth your time, or your heart.
Don’t be available all the time. If you must drop out from Facebook Messages just so you could work and have time to yourself, train yourself to not feel compelled to answer messages right away. The world will turn without you, and life will go on without you. So learn to detach and not stress too much about not being connected.
Finding your balance and plugging your “energy leaks” is a trial-and-error exercise. The Charge author Brendon Burchard has other strategies to regain your “charge,” or that peak state of mind where you perform at your best, and enjoy your life to the fullest. We hope that these three tips will give you the balance you so desire.