Balance & Boundaries

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It’s a rainy, overcast Saturday morning, the kind of day I would want to stay home with a little bit of housework occasionally sprinkled in-between my binge of Yellowstone (cowboys & Costner =  win win).  I love relaxing productive Saturdays where I can mix work in the garden, laundry and making a beautiful meal with drinking a nice red wine and watching a great TV show, Blues game(Stanley Cup here we come) or even listening to a Cardinals game on the radio.  A healthy balance of work and pleasure is really my idea of happiness.

I enjoy my job, my home, my relationships and time off better when I am working hard and still allowing myself time to rest and relax.  I am more productive throughout the work week when I am taking the weekends to really focus on me and things that bring me joy.  Learning to have a healthy balance in life is one of the most important things a person can ever learn along with setting healthy boundaries.  Today is not just going to be a lazy Saturday for me though, I am headed to the very small river town where I grew up.  I will be meeting with my Dad and his mothers side of the family for a family reunion.  It is really the only side of the family that has a regular reunion, which is sad to me because I have many family members I haven’t seen in years and some I have never met.  After spending most of the day with family I will return home to join a group of  friends for an evening of playing music, eating, drinking and just being merry!

My boyfriend owns a historical restaurant in my current town and it has a lovely outdoor patio.  Today my friends and I are hoping the weather will clear and allow us to break out the guitars and play a little music.  I have worked hard all week adding 2 new providers to our growing counseling practice and sending out provider referral lists to all the surrounding hospitals and clinics.  It is an exciting time for growth in our practice and I am learning a lot as I manage the office and prepare to start my masters in mental health counseling.  When it comes to my own personal mental health I know that balancing work and pleasure is the key to my happiness.  I also know that I better enjoy my summer because when school starts back I will be working my arse off!

Knowing when to buckle down and get serious and when to let it all go is something that does not come easy to most of us.  There have been times when I have felt guilty for taking time for myself instead of working.  It has been a slow process to get to the healthy perspective I have today.  If I do feel guilt creeping in I ask myself if the work is really a priority over the other option, if it is not then I let it go.  I have also found that scheduling, routines and creating habits have all been helpful in creating healthy balance and boundaries.  If I know how my week is going to go and I see the time divided up to devote to different projects and priorities then it is easier for me to focus and relax in the current moment.  I have read many books on creating good habits and getting rid of bad ones and right now I am listening to one of the best I think I have ever encountered called Atomic Habits by James Clear.  If you are struggling to create the lifestyle you want I highly recommend listening to his audiobook.  Mel Robbins is another great writer who really breaks down the importance of balance, boundaries and how to focus on things in smaller steps in order to reach your goals.

As I spend my day devoting time to my family and friends I am thankful and going to enjoy this time to fullest.  I will not worry about the pile of paperwork on my desk at work or the laundry waiting to be put away.  I am at a point in my life where I understand there will always be more paperwork and more laundry but there may not always be those people we love.  Take time to devote to the hobbies you have because some day you may be too old to enjoy it.  Take time to devote to the people you love now because they may not always be around for you to hug and play music with.  The work should be something that makes you proud.  Earn a living so that you can pay the bills and live a comfortable life, but work, money and material possessions are just pieces of a bigger picture and we all need that reminder sometimes.  We should not live to work but instead be working to live.  Don’t spend your weeks just wishing for the weekend, make time throughout the week enjoyable.  Planning something special like lunch with a friend every Monday will make it easier to get up and tackle the week.

As you set forth to enjoy your weekend try to enjoy it to the fullest and don’t let the worries of the next work week or the troubles of last week creep in.  Call your mom, hug your kids, play a round of golf, spend the day in your pajama’s reading a great book but don’t forget to feed the dog and make your bed because….balance is the key!

With love, health, & happiness,

Stacy

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