Regaining Balance

Life is a balancing act.

I am reminded this every couple of months when I am on the brink of a breakdown due to social, professional, or personal pressures I put on myself.  And here we are again.

In college it was my responsibility to balance my academic, athletic, and social obligations.  Often, I would reach a point where I was overwhelmed and needed to put something the back burner in order to get something else done.  After graduating, my responsibilities shifted slightly, but the need to maintain balance has stayed the same.

It is not rare for me to bite off more than I can chew (truly a figurative and literal statement for me).  I am by nature a people-pleaser.  A quality I find to be a duel-edged sword.  What suffers when I take on and take on and take on is more often than not myself.  I become exhausted and stressed striving to make others happy, or honor my commitments, or meet a deadline until it gets to be too much.

My mom always told me, “You can do everything you want.  You just can’t do everything you want at the same time.”

This has been a hard lesson for me to learn.  Because I want to do it all I think I can do it all, and I think I can do it well… and that’s just not realistic.  If work and my social life are going to be my priorities, my personal responsibility to manage my stress, watch what I eat, and get enough sleep will suffer.  Likewise, if my social life and personal responsibility take my focus, the amount of time I spend at work and the quality of my work will get less attention.  Without prioritizing my obligations I become overwhelmed with all that’s on my plate and fall victim to distraction rather than making dents anywhere.  That’s where I found myself this week.

I am trying to juggle my ever growing To Do List for an upcoming event at work, while looking ahead and planning out a career and location change, while keeping and making plans to see friends and travel on weekends, but also save money and budget, and also tone up and hit the gym and eat right and when do I have time to sleep?!  I could argue that everything on my list is the most important.  So how can I focus on one long enough to cross anything off?

When my head gets so cluttered with everything that I have to do and I start responding to the anxiety by doing nothing.  At least for a day or two.  Or in this case… four.  But now it’s time to regain some focus and get back to it.

How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.

So I’m taking my first bite in the office.  I have to bring my focus to the workplace for the next two weeks.  I owe my attention to this event, to my colleagues, and to myself.  My personal life can take the front seat the following week and my social life and relationships can for my friend’s upcoming wedding.

Slowly, one day at a time, I will readjust the balance of all three.

Do you find yourself having similar challenges meeting your obligations?  How do you sort it out?

Done with Drafting

Okay, I know.  I know it looks like I haven’t been writing…. but that’s just a lie.  I’ve been writing.  I’ve been writing quite a bit.  I’ve just been… drafting.

I’ll be honest… the whole blogging world kind of intimidates me.  You see a snippet of someone else’s filtered life and all of a sudden begin questioning your own.  In today’s world it’s become increasingly more difficult to “be yourself.”  With all the social media platforms and reality-that’s-not-real-at-all television comparison is killer.

And I buy into all of it!

True Life:  I’m a stalker.  It started with Facebook of course, and has since moved to Twitter, Instagram, and now blogs – Ah!  There are people whose profiles I check regularly, most of whom I don’t even know.  And sure, I’m entertained, often inspired, enlightened or motivated… but you know what else I feel?  Inferior, insecure, jealous, self conscious, unsure, insignificant…

“I wish I had her hair, boyfriend, body, job, motivation, wit, friends, money, clothes, tan, social life…”

When did what I have no longer become good enough?  When did I become this person who cared so much what other people think?  I find myself muted or competing for posts and retweets without even realizing it!  I started this blog for me.  Because I wanted to tap into my creative side, to put thoughts and feelings into words, and commit to taking time to get to know myself and who I want to be.  So this should be a safe space for me, right?  It’s mine.  So what am I so afraid of?

What if I’m not that interesting?  What if I don’t have a good picture to go with my story?  What if all I at made today was a PB&J?  What if I have no jokes, or revelations, or funny stories from the weekend?

Then I remember why I started this.  For me.  Sure, I’m not perfect, but neither are any of the other bloggers or ‘grammers or tweeters I stalk from afar but they’re putting themselves out there!  I write because it’s therapeutic, because I like expressing myself and making sense of my thoughts and feelings.  And let’s be honest… I’m totally stalk worthy and can make a good candidate for your own personal life envy (kidding… kinda)!  But really, there’s nothing to be afraid of.  So here I vow…

  • To be kind to myself and stop striving for perfection – nobody’s perfect.  Period.
  • To minimize comparison
  • To write when inspired… or frustrated, or sad, or confused, of excited, or curious.  To write raw and write for me.

See ya out there!

Taste the Rainbow – Just Juice!

That’s right ladies and gents, I have earned my juice cleanse badge!  Just recently, my roommate and I completed our first DIY juice cleanse.

taste the rainbow

A juice detox cleanse is something I’ve always been curious about.  And after watching Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead,  a documentary of a man on his journey to health through a 60 day juice cleanse, I was inspired to test my willpower.

Lucky for me, my roomie was equally inspired and we began talking through our plan of attack.  Now there are several different bottled pre-planned juice cleanses, such as BluePrint and Cooler Cleanse, that I’ve heard some great things about.  We even discussed walking down to Liquiteria each morning and grabbing our morning juice along with 5 other bottles each morning.  But after pricing out a couple of options and reading through some reviews we thought, “Why not just do our own?”

Off to Fairway!

After 45 minutes in the produce section and $77.44 later we headed home to stock our fridge with pounds of fresh fruit and veggies.

Three days with a couple of variations of the below recipes.

Green Monster –  Spinach, Kale, Parsley, Cucumber,  Celery, Lemon, Apple

Beetz – Beet, Apple, Pear, Lemon

Sunrise Juice – Carrot,  Orange, Ginger

Pineapple passion – Pineapple, Apple, Pear

Cons?

  • Had to redefine my social life for the weekend – NYC is notorious for revolving social events around food.  The cleanse forced me to pass on a couple get together’s and make plans for myself that would not put me in a position where I’d be subject to stray from my goal.
  • Need to moderate or cut back on exercise.  Working out on a cleanse can be challenging.  My workouts are typically pretty intense and I didn’t think it was the wisest choice for me to keep with them.  When I returned to the gym on Monday, getting back into the swing of things was both mentally and physically challenging.  I felt a little light headed and when I skip a workout it’s tough for me to get back into the mental groove.
  • Now, this isn’t a con for most people but for me it was: sugar headaches.  The cleanse called for more fruit in my diet than I usually eat, which means more sugar.  The first day, I had a headache adjusting to the amounts of sugar and after the cleanse was over I found myself continuing to crave sugar.

Pros?

  • The juices are DELICIOUS!
  • Gave my body a rest – I was able to have three full nights of sleep, Monday morning I felt so incredibly refreshed and energized.  I found myself getting sleepy around 6 PM each day during the cleanse and didn’t exercise beyond a little walking but I was able to give my body a break.  I honestly don’t know the last time I’ve slept so well.
  • For three days I didn’t have to think about what I was going to eat.  I was able to provide my body with vitamins and nutrients it needed without thinking.  This allowed me the clarity to focus and think about other things, like reading, or working on my resume eek.
  • I became hella hydrated  – there wasn’t anything I drank besides the juices and the water so I was able to rehydrate vs. dehydrate my body (which is a typical result of the weekend)
  • Test of my willpower – finishing the cleanse is a huge self esteem boost.  I felt super accomplished for completing the cleanse and was more motivated to maintain a healthy diet once I started to reintroduce solids.

All that said, I found the juice cleanse to be an overall positive experience.  So much so, that my roommate and I scheduled our next attempt!  We’ll see if I have any new takeaways from a round 2!

Have you ever tried a cleanse?