I’m frequently asked the question: “How do you do what do you do?” or some variation of it (such as “How do you find the time?” or “Do you sleep?”). Admittedly, I do tend to have an affinity for piling as much on my plate as I can, regardless of whether or not I believe in the moment that I will actually be able to achieve it all. A mix of restlessness, occasional over-confidence, determination, and perhaps a bit of naivete would be my only explanation for why I continue to do what I do, in addition to the fact that I simply love (almost) all of it. I find comfort in surrounding myself with those who live life in a similar manner, always doing something and finding passion in whatever they do. But for those who seem to be constantly crossing the metaphorical tightrope above an abyss of potential failure, balancing innumerable tasks and goals on either side, there seems to be one key factor necessary to achieve this ever-evolving act: balance. While there certainly can’t be a clear-cut, universal path to achieve balance, there sure are a few targets to hit that may help.
Part 1: Love What You Do – It can be impossible to maintain motivation if you do not have a genuine sense of passion for what you do. The saying “Love what you do and you won’t work a day in your life” may sound cliche, but it has some semblance of validity. Yes, life may require you to buckle down and do what is necessary, but there must be a balance between what you must do and what you wish to do. In my world, this takes shape in the form of balancing my artistic ventures, like modeling, performing, and writing, with the workload of multiple jobs and an overwhelming course schedule. It’s helpful to feel uplifted by a passion project or two while being bogged down by the weight of life’s necessities (like an often absurd part-time retail job). For me, this balance must be achieved between two very different jobs, activism and charitable causes, artistic projects like performing and writing, a relatively active social life, fitness and well-being activities like boxing and yoga, and a desire to travel and soak up as much live entertainment as I can. Managing it all is a challenge, to say the least, but consciously incorporating pieces of opposing facets of your lifestyle can make it all work.
Part 2: Shake It Up – Variety can help to prevent not only boredom, but burnout as well. It’s unreasonable to expect to remain happy, or even content, while living the same day every day. Even the most minor tweaks can provide a sense of variety and prevent the creeping in of mundanity. Enduring the same commute to the same office while wearing the same set of rotating outfits is bound to drive anyone crazy after almost no time at all. Staticism may be misconstrued as balance, but they are not one in the same; balance can only be achieved by disrupting this staticism. Spend time with a new friend, add something new to your wardrobe, or treat yourself to a meal at a restaurant you’re not familiar with. Choose to approach your daily tasks in a different manner, or add a new activity to your to-do list.
Part 3: Please, Please Take Time for Yourself – Perhaps the most obvious, yet most difficult to achieve, factor necessary in achieving a sense of balance is simply to actively engage in self-care. Although this seems to be a buzz-phrase in the modern day, it’s vital to acknowledge it and understand the role it can play. Self-care can take any form, and at its core, is genuinely any small, intentional act geared toward achieving a sense of well-being. It becomes a bit more feasible when you acknowledge that self-care can be tailored to your own needs and feelings, and that almost anything can qualify as self-care. Block out a bit of time in your week to watch your guilty pleasure TV series, sit in your bathtub with a clear mind, consciously meditate or reflect, take yourself on a date, or unplug for a bit of time (or find anything else that will help you generate some positive energy). It’s impossible to expect to be successful, or even function, if you do not maintain your own energy and positivity. Many (like myself) may feel guilty for taking time for themselves, or find self-care selfish; overcoming this hurdle is the beginning to a healthier relationship with yourself and potentially, a better sense of balance.
All in all… – The world we live in is an overwhelming one, and achieving balance may seem impossible when an insurmountable collection of things require your attention. Never forget that you can always reset, regroup, and restart. Treat yourself well, do what you can, and believe that the rest will come as it’s supposed to.