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MamaBlogger365 – Seeing Red (For Women) by Diane Lang w/editorial by Joy Rose
Part of the task of reframing motherhood requires taking ‘the self’ into account. It’s the ‘M’ in (m)other, that ends up being the little slice of ‘Me’ time we all not only crave but require. Today, Diane Lang shares some of her ‘how to’ ideas’ when it comes to finding that all important encouragement to remember our basic needs must be met, before we can meet anyone else’s. It’s that work/life balance, passion and personal growth that we must continue to nurture, even when it seems like the day is long and time is short. Sometime it can even be a matter of life and death. Maybe you’ve seen all the ‘Go Red For Women‘ fashion shows and commercials lately. Learning to tell the difference between ‘good’ stress and ‘bad’ stress, getting educated about heart disease, and creating ongoing work/life harmony are all very real issues for women. While not every women chooses to work outside the home, as Diane advocates, we all need to raise the bar on our general self-awareness when it comes to health, happiness and and the ‘Go Red’ initiative is not only about raising awareness about this number one killer of women in the prime of their lives, but also reminding us all to take the time to take care. JR
Career vs. Job — Do what you love. Imagine you have a job where you work as least 40 hours a week then add an hour commute each way; that’s a lot of time to spend doing something you don’t like. If you’re a parent, then you have two jobs. Parenting is 24-hours, 7 days a week, no holidays or vacation time job. So, you better like your job outside of the home or it will make a very stressful, unbalanced and unhappy life.
The happiest/balanced people will tell you they have a Career.
They enjoy going to work because it’s their passion.
The first step you need to take to create a balanced life is find out your passions/strengths. Take a personality test if you need to and ask yourself some questions.
1. When you were a child, what did you love to do?
2. If money wasn’t an option, what would you love to do?
3. What causes flow? Flow is when time stands still, when you’re so involved in your activity that you don’t even notice what is going on around you.
Personal/Professional growth — To remain balanced we need a mix of both professional and personal development. The happiest people are always growing and learning in both areas of their lives. If we stop growing professionally and personally, we becomes stale and stagnate which can lead to depression.
Are your basic needs met? You won’t find any balance if you’re not taking care of yourself. This involves taking care of your basics such as sleep, eating healthy, exercise, etc.
The other part is self-care — we usually feel unbalanced because we give 100% to our work and then 100% at home to our family, but what about ourselves?
For me, self-care is a necessity, I schedule in “Me” time. I schedule in daily activities that will be two-fold. I will be putting myself first and also doing things that cause happiness.
This includes: gratitude checks (morning and night), exercise, reading, etc.
Write a list of activities that you love to do that involve your strengths/passions. Then, use your daily calendar to schedule them in. What keeps me motivated to add self-care is my child. A positive parenting tip: kids are visual learners. Telling my daughter she needs to take care of herself is one thing but showing her is even better. When my daughter sees me exercising, reading a book, going out with friends, etc., I’m showing her respect for oneself and how to be happy.
Visualize what your balanced life would look like. I have clients come to me and say that their lives are unbalanced. When I ask what would make their lives better and more balanced, they aren’t sure. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the feelings of being overwhelmed, stressed out and tired that we forget to focus on what we want. What kind of life do you want? Do you need more vacation time? Time with your family? A different job? You can’t make changes until you know what they are.
Control – most of us spend a lot of time on what we CAN’T control and all that does is take up a lot time and negative energy. We can’t control anyone but ourselves. Write a list of everything you can and can’t control. The list with everything you CAN’T control, rip up. If you can’t control it, let it go. Take the list of everything you can control and ask yourself this question: What can I do about it now? What changes can I make?
A lot of times we feel unbalanced but really we aren’t happy in our lives. So take some time to be honest with yourself. What are you feeling? I have seen clients preoccupy themselves with so much “stuff” that they felt unbalanced and overwhelmed; but after a lot of thinking, they realized they were filled up with “filled” activities. They would keep busy but it wasn’t anything important. They were avoiding their real feelings.
Realistic – Be realistic I haven’t meet anyone who has a perfectly balanced, happy life. We will have bad days, days we are rushing and feel stressed out. When this happen remember, it’s only TEMPORARY. We won’t feel this forever. Odds are you will be over in a few hours. It’s okay to feel stressed out sometimes. There is also good stress. Good stress motivates you to move forward and be the best you can be. So, don’t always be turned off by stress.
BIO: Diane Lang is an educator and Life Coach. Diane has dedicated her career to helping people turn their lives around and is now on a mission to help them develop a sustainable positive attitude that can actually turn one into an optimist, literally. A therapist and educator of Positive Psychology, she has seen that it can provide a strong foundation for finding great happiness and is gratified that it is becoming a mainstream method of treatment. As an expert in her fields of therapy, Diane has been featured in the Daily Record and Cookie Magazine, seen on NJ 12 TV and the national television program “Fox & Friends”. She has also participated in a reality based Internet show, ourprisoner.com, hosted Generation X-tinet and appeared in various educational videos. In addition Lang writes a bi-weekly column “The Balancing Act” at www.thealternativepress.com and sharing her expertise on parenting and living a positive lifestyle on The WTBQ Expat Show.