There’s No Such Thing As “balance”

March 29, 2020
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As a Caregiver, it can seem like we’re on a never-ending pursuit to find a sense of balance. Juggling the needs of loved ones and our own. Time focused on our work and to our family. Attention given to our children and our aging parents. Often times we stress so much about finding “balance”, that our efforts are what actually is stressing us out more than anything!

But what if balance is just a falsity? An unattainable goal and expectation we put on ourselves that causes more harm than good.

As someone who has a lot on their plate, I’ve always strived for that sense of balance…and honestly, I have always felt like a failure. It’s a perpetual cycle of feeling like you “aren’t enough” because you aren’t able to give 100% to any ONE thing. I mean, think about it…if you were even able to find true “balance” of 50/50 or 25/25/25/25, you’re only giving 50% or 25% of yourself to something. And that’s when the guilt and judgement comes in, especially as a Caregiver.

I challenge each of us to shed our desire for balance all together. To stop beating ourselves up and adding unnecessary pressure to an already overwhelming load that we carry. Instead of dividing our energy among multiple things, lets instead try to commit ALL of our focus to whatever we are currently doing. Let’s strive to be completely present and our best in JUST that moment. 100% Caregiver. 100% Parent. 100% Friend. 100% Employee.

Easier said than done, right? This mindset shift has been something I’ve been working on for the past year or so. Even though it’s been very helpful, I still have to work hard at avoiding the “distraction” of balance. Some things that have helped:

  • Time Blocking: multi-tasking sounds good, but usually leads to frustration, resentment and exhaustion. Blocking your time where you can put attention on just 1 person, goal or task will increase your chances of accomplishing it and feeling good about your effort.
  • Put Down Your Phone: alerts, text messages, social media and emails are all distractions that can sabotage your ability to be present. Turn off notifications or put it aside when it isn’t needed so you can be your “100%”.

So maybe it’s not “balance” we’re after. Maybe it’s the FEELING that we think it will give us. Relief? Success? Happiness? Fulfillment? Let’s shift our focus to being the best version of ourselves on any given day or any given moment, and it’s THEN that we’ll find what we’re looking for.

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