If trying to maintain balance in your life makes you feel like a tightrope walker, you’re not alone. Most of us have so many demands on our time and energy, life can feel like a three-ring circus. Read these statements to see how well you are meeting responsibilities, while also recognizing and fulfilling personal needs and wants. For an extra-look into your self-awareness window, think about the questions below each statement.
1. The only way I can successfully manage my life is to take care of myself physically and emotionally.
Is this true for you? How are you living this statement?
2. Nurturing myself enlarges my capacity to help others.
Does your inner voice agree with this statement? When was the last time you said, "My needs are as important as your needs."?
3. I eat healthfully and exercise regularly.
Do you sleep well? In what ways are you using food or exercise to cope with emotions?
4. I get check-ups, go to the dentist, and take preventative precautions.
Are you worried about health insurance? What can you do today to relieve that stress?
5. I set aside personal, quiet time for myself, whether I’m meditating or simply letting my thoughts drift.
How are you dealing with the need to get things done? When was the last time you did nothing?
6. I experience the gifts of each season: ice skating, sledding, bundled-up beach walks; gardening, hiking, more time outside; camping, swimming, barbecues; harvesting the bounty, gathering wood, spending more time inside.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you consider yourself in touch with nature?
7. Creativity nurtures me, too. I do what I love, whether that’s cooking, drawing, painting, writing, dancing, singing or another creative pursuit.
Writing counts! Imagination counts! If you haven't bought a little journal to doodle in, go out and get one today!
8. Reaching out to others enriches my life. I spend quality time with family and friends.
Are you an introvert who gets his energy from the inner world of thoughts and ideas? Your point of view is valuable, please share it with others close to you.
9. Contributing to the world provides connection and purpose, so I give my time, energy and experience where it is most useful.
How much time can you set aside for volunteering? You might be denying yourself the opportunity to experience pure bliss and happiness for giving without expecting to receive.
10. I notice and heed the emotional signals that tell me I’m out of balance: irritability, overwhelm, resentment.
What are your triggers? How do you get out of your funk the fastest?
11. If I feel that I’m catching a cold, I realize I may have stressed my immune system with over activity, so I stop and take care of myself.
What are your thoughts about adults napping? How many pills do you take a day? Would you consider swapping out pills for foods richer in vitamins and minerals, and have one cold shower per week?
12. When I need or want to, I say no to requests for my time.
Which strategies do you use for setting your boundaries?
13. I listen to and honor the requests my body makes for such things as a nap, a walk, green vegetables, hot soup.
When was the last time you stopped to listen to your inner voice?
14. I’m busy, but I find time to do the things I want to do.
How are your organizational skills? Is the calendar you're currently using doing its job?
15. I’m happy. I regularly experience well-being, contentment, even joy.
Look at yourself in the mirror and say this statement out loud. What does your reflection tell you?
If you felt some of these questions were too personal or sounded accusatory, it means they've probably hit a nerve. I invite you this week to try and incorporate the message of the statement that most bugged you into your life.
Please don’t hesitate to call if you’d like to explore any of the questions further, and leave a comment below to share how you're maintaining balance in your life.
(Re-post from the archives, first published in April 2010.)