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Work . Life . Balance

What is it about a Monday that gives us a fresh pair of wings? It’s a bit like new year I guess. A new beginning with it being the first day of the week. So crazy really considering it’s ‘just a day’.

Today has been the beginning of a new outlook for me. After hitting an all time low with work demands last week I’ve set out this week with a new agenda.

I’ve taken time out to schedule my hours within a weekly timetable evenly spreading my time for all 3 businesses I own. I’ve also factored in ‘me time’ to this timetable, something I’ve been robbed of so much recently due to lack of strategy and work overload. I’ve really felt the affects, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically of not spending time doing anything for myself.

I will still work long days, starting at 9am and finishing at around 8/9pm but one huge change for myself, is I’ve factored in a lunch break, and decided that this will remain a firm part of schedule no matter who wants my attention or how much needs to get done. I’m using that time to take Eddi out for a walk and will be leaving my phone at home and relishing in the feeling of being ‘unavailable’ for that hour of my day. I am no longer accepting any work texts or emails during Friday in the morning so I can invest in some precious quality time with my terminally ill mother, something I have felt really sad about missing out on recently.

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I’ve prioritised my weekly to do list using a simple A, B, C method keeping my highest priorities at the top of the list, one of which has nothing to do with my jobs, but is in fact, how can I help my Mum and Dad more as we continue to battle without any external care support. I’ve colour coded my time, using a colour for each of my businesses, a colour for my lunch break (me and Eddi time), a colour for Mum and Dad and a colour for household chores. It might sound boring to some, but without doing this, my health would simply slip under the radar. My ‘me time’ or ‘self love activities’ have been highlighted in the brightest pink I could find, as although they are small some days, they are of real significance to how my day will end. I am hoping the bright colours serve a reminder to make it a priority. I’ve left my B and C jobs off the timetable so I only look at them once the A priorities are taken care of… and cooking good meals and doing my washing has been made an A priority, because quite frankly, I’m sick of living in a pig sty and eating on the go.

This timetable won’t always work, for example I am scheduled in to work in two schools this week which adds an extra 8 hours into my working week, but on those days, it will be less time spent on paperwork, and a heavier week of paperwork the following week rather than sacrificing the down time and I will have to schedule my choreography time differently, but I am ok with that on occasional weeks. It will no doubt change and evolve but nevertheless it’s a start. I am also going to work really hard to ensure I no longer work weekends, something that’s become part of every week now. There will no doubt be someone who sees my schedule and feels they do a lot more. But for me, I find a lot of my emotional strength is invested within my job (time that is not listed on here), as I work with people, 100’s of them each week. I have to ensure I balance my work load carefully to keep up. I want to be able to help others, but I want to have something left afterwards.

We all have our own way of being, and a huge part of my personality has been the desire to help people. This can however come at a costly price, as the wider your circle gets, the more people want your advice and help and the less time you have for those closest to you. To them, they of course see you as some one who can help them to feel better and I genuinely feel good that they see me as support, but on the receiving end, you can have up to 15 people at one time all wanting a piece of you, and it can take it out of you, on every level. I have got to a point recently where I have felt I have nothing left emotionally, physically or mentally for my family, and I had begun to feel it make me resent certain situations for robbing me of that precious energy. Helping others is something I feel very passionate about, but I am having to learn where to draw the line, in order to maintain my own health, so I can be there for people in the best way possible. It doesn’t mean cutting people off, it just means leveling out the invested time I can afford to give to each individual and their situation. It’s really difficult for me to let go of this but I’ve decided to adopt the A, B, C method again. Who needs me right now? Who can I put on the right path with less emotionally invested help? Who can be redirected to other staff for advice? I by no means intend to leave people without my support.

Taking control of this situation has been difficult, because I never like to let anyone down, but the saying ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’ is so true, and unless I take a firm hand of the situation and schedule myself realistically, I will get to a point where I can’t function at all.

My advice to anyone feeling the pressure at the moment, and losing control of their ‘self love’, is to stop and take check. Schedule everything in if you have to. I’ve even scheduled in the washing, cooking and shopping to ensure nothing takes this time away from me. It looks scary on paper, especially when I factor in that my ‘mentoring’ time has been left off this schedule and I personally think looking at the B and C jobs, ‘do I seriously do all of that every week?’ but in reality, putting it in front of you and out of your mind will free up so much space to enjoy other things and focus your energy on what truly matters, whilst still executing yourself in your job well.

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Life is far too short to s

pend it working the whole time. What’s the point in working hard if you can never enjoy yourself? Prioritse what matters to you, and remember what you want to cherish. None of us know how much time we have left, so we must enjoy what we have right now.

Make some time for you.

Have a great week lean beans

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Kelly Terranova
Hailing from the UK, Kelly Terranova is a BIMGAP Ambassador and the creator of the 'LYL Wellness Journal' which empowers women around the world. Through Love Yourself Lean, Kelly shares valuable resources that help pave the way to a healthy, happy and balanced life.