In a world filled with an enormous amount of stimulation, it is no wonder many are suffering in silence. Technology has reached a pinnacle in terms of what is available to nearly every human being who merely possesses a smart phone. We are expected to multi-task an array of duties, many of which can be unfulfilling. Distractions surround us daily, and if we are not careful, can easily become consumed by them and lose focus on what’s most important. Combine that with some interactions with energy draining people and you are doomed to find yourself in a position of the “sunken hole,” searching for a way out.
I know I found myself in this position very recently. As I was eagerly learning how to build a brand, promote my first published book, and taking on public speaking engagement opportunities, I was also trying to fit every part of my former life into the new life I was transitioning into. I was constantly on social media, posting to remain relevant in a space that changes its mind every two seconds. I was learning the behind the scenes of being an author, speaker, and “life coach” (I prefer to call myself a Transformation Consultant, or a Healing Strategist); essentially, learning a new job. The list can go on and on regarding the learning curve I encountered. Yet, nothing about my former life had changed. I was still a single-mom, working a full-time job in social services, in a relationship, maintaining friendships, and allowing everyone and their momma to have direct and immediate access to me all the time. I was there for everyone and being everything for everybody, but leaving nothing for myself. I got so entangled and involved with trying to help others, that I forgot to help myself. It felt like I was getting pulled in every direction, all the time, and had nothing left for myself. My self-care tools went out the window as I entered survival mode. Getting through each day without experiencing an anxiety attack or a depressive episode became the goal.
It started off slowly. It was like merging onto the highway and before you know it, you are hitting full speed to keep up with the flow of traffic. Before I knew it, I was going full speed. Many times, I was physically present, yet mentally elsewhere. I was in my future; in my fears and worries; in my next task; in someone else’s problems; and in the problems of the world. I was losing time and moments by not “being present in the Now,” as Eckhart Tolle calls it. I had no boundaries with people, and lost balance in my life. I knew I had to do something…
As I reflected on how to create an action plan to climb my way out of the “sunken hole,” I thought about what I did to transform my life the first time. When I began my healing journey several years ago, I deactivated all my social media accounts, went into solitude, and focused nearly 100% on my inner self. I was focused on healing, growing, connecting, and changing my life. Distractions were unnoticeable. Although this may seem extreme to some, I was under extreme circumstances at the time and was desperate for change. I had become sick and tired of being sick and tired. Well, this time I wasn’t necessarily in such extreme circumstances, but I recognized the inner cries nudging me to unplug from the world and connect with the Creator and my inner self on a deeper level to create balance and boundaries for my life.
It began with the weekend I attended a Holy Yoga retreat. I decided to log off social media and turn my phone off for the weekend to begin practicing being more present in the moment. I knew being overly attached to my phone was part of the problem. During the retreat, I had some profound revelations as I reflected on my life and how I got to the state I was in. Although I was extremely grateful to be living the life I prayed and worked for, I was disheartened by the physical experience I had from neglecting myself. I realized I was putting everyone and every task before myself.
Once the retreat was over, I vowed to take better care of myself; spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. I then created a plan to begin implementing better balance and boundaries for my life. I decided to stop being so available to everyone all the time. I worked toward not being so attached to my phone and on social media for longer periods than necessary. I began logging off social media every weekend to be more present and connected. I recognized my limitations, and decided not to push myself beyond those points. I released the frustration I felt from those whom I allowed to drain my energy for far too long. I stopped being overly concerned with how anyone thought about me or anything I did, as I could not control anyone else’s perception of me, but my own. I reminded myself that I could only control myself and how I chose to experience life through my thoughts, feelings, words, and actions. It was time for me to reprioritize my life, refocus on my purpose and goals, and ultimately, take better care of me the best way I knew how. By doing so, and in due time, I was able to create more balance and boundaries for my life.
Below are 13 ways to create better balance and boundaries for your life:
1) Don’t allow irrelevant noise to distract you from what you should be or want to be doing.
2) Being a people-pleaser serves everyone else, but yourself. Put yourself first too. Your feelings matter.
3) Know the difference between those who pour into your cup and those who drink everything out of your cup. Energy vampires do exist. Remove the toxicity out of your life. You’ll thank me later.
4) It’s okay to love people from a distance if that means preserving your own mental health.
5) Reprioritize what’s most important to you and order your daily life according to your prioritizations.
6) Know the self-care tools you need to keep yourself grounded and healthy (ie: rest, exercise, meditation, healthy eating, etc.), and practice them daily. Consistency is key.
7) It’s okay to say “no” if you don’t want to do something or don’t have the time.
8) It’s okay to say “yes” to yourself.
9) If you’re no good, how can you be any good to those you love? It’s not selfish to take care of yourself, and put your needs first to ensure your health and wellbeing are intact.
10) Better time management will create more time. It is better to be productive, than to be busy.
11) Know when it's time to let go. There's power in surrendering.
12) Unplug to reconnect. Sometimes unplugging from the world is all that’s needed. Try a walk outside to connect with God and yourself, while practicing being in the present moment.
13) In all you do, make sure you put some love behind it. It feels better and you will create and attract more love into your life when you operate from a loving space.
Love & Light,