On day 278 of my 366-day self-care challenge, I scheduled some “catching up” time.
Vacations are lovely – but returning home from them, not so much.
Between unpacking, responding to emails, doing laundry, caring for animals, preparing for the week’s upcoming meetings and events, and dealing with a neighborhood water outage, catching up felt more like a feat of strength.
Soon after arriving home I decided to take a few minutes to put a plan together rather than simply launching into the chaotic process of unpacking, and that critical step made it a lot less overwhelming.
Many have argued that there is no such thing as balance. The word itself implies an equal distribution of energy or attention, something that simply isn’t attainable. But the flawed thinking lies in our description: We often use the word to describe a perfect balance between our work and personal obligations, but balance is more subjective than that.
To me, balance is something I feel. When I feel balanced I also feel relaxed, confident, organized, and clear about my goals. But when I feel out of balance I feel stressed, uncertain, and my life feels chaotic. It’s easy to see how the latter can leave us feeling disheartened and depressed.
Balance doesn’t necessarily mean easy, either. Sometimes we feel a lack of balance when we aren’t challenged enough. If we aren’t able to use our strengths or express ourselves authentically, it can leave us feeling conflicted.
Catching up after being away for several days helped bring me back to a feeling of balance – and that’s exactly what makes self-care so powerful.