Finding a Life Balance

Recently, life has been hectic.

I say recently, but in reality, it’s been hectic since my Grandad got sick 14 months ago.

My life has been a mess of trying to get work done around caring for my grandad, being with family, helping my dad after his accident, hospital appointments, dealing with the passing of Connor’s dad + all the legal implications with that too. I can’t remember the last time I had even an afternoon where I didn’t have a giant to do list. Add that to trying to run my blog + freelance business, and I’m basically flat out all the time.

It’s all making me feel like my work life balance is a bit skew-wiff at the moment. I know that this is partly down to our circumstances right now (i.e., not having our flat and the whole world burning down around us), but it’s also partly down to me being no good at time management, or knowing when to shut off.

It’s been a really long time since I’ve just hung out with my friends, been on a date with Connor, been for a walk down the beach, baked a cake, cooked a Sunday roast, or spent an afternoon pottering aimlessly around the house. And I miss doing all those things so much, but any free time I have right now when I’m not dealing with lawyers, hospital appointments or family stuff, I’m trying to squeeze work into.

So I guess what I’m after today is your tips. When life is crazy, how do you still make time for yourself, and for fun things? I need a few things to look forward to in the diary, but how do you handle stepping away from work emails, news articles, and Instagram?

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  • Sounds like you’re having a tough time right now, so sorry to hear that. It’s SO important to get a few moments for yourself though, even in the midst of all this madness! Maybe you can just set specific days/times to have time for yourself and do something you enjoy? Like, really plan it in in advance and stick to it.

  • I’m so sorry, it sounds like such a tough time for you right now. Sending lot’s of love <3
    When life gets super busy, I try to plan my days in detail – in hour slots and schedule myself an hour of me time. I find that I'm most productive in the mornings so I start my day quite early and tick off my to do list as soon as I can. I also note down 10 quick things a day that I'm grateful for in the morning and note down things to look forward to in the diary (e.g Fantastic Beasts dvd is out on the 28th March! I can't wait to watch it again). If i'm feeling overwhelmed, a bit blue or under the weather then I try to watch something funny, a youtube clip (that 'Chewbacca Mom' clip gets me every time!) or if I have time an episode of Friends, or Parks and Rec. A Lush bath always helps too! I really hope things start to pick up for you soon.

    Sophie x

  • I’m sorry your having a rough time of it at the moment. I really hope it all gets better for you.
    I’m also self-employed and have a chronic illness and have just spent the past two months in and out of hospital after getting an infection after surgery.
    What I’ve found that works for me is prioritsing. Right now I’m deadicating about 4 hours just to client work. Then I’m picking 3 things that are important to me to get done sometime during the rest of the day.
    Sometimes those 3 things are related to my business, my health or my home. Sometimes one of those 3 things is to read or to just stop and do nothing.
    I know earning an income is super important but so is your health and so is preventing burnout!

  • I used to struggle with this a lot last year, and feeling overwhelmed and in a constant state of panic when I had too much to do leading onto ironically, more panic about being panicked.

    I’d say do the most important thing first and focus on that and then treat yourself to a well-deserved break because whenever someone says ‘ASAP’ it’s not really e.g. got an email 9.30am this morning saying they wanted something ASAP + needed to do something else for 12.30 simultaneously – the piece that was ASAP ended up getting sent out at 2pm and the second thing I needed to do I did in between waiting for replies for the first thing!

    I also took 5 mins in between just to check on personal emails, messages, friends and making sure I wasn’t getting too caught up! Oh and, if you can, get up and have a walk OUTSIDE, time permitting. Even if it’s in the company of someone else, just politely excuse yourself to go to the bathroom or out for 1 min and I find that clears my mind…

    I also find listening to Bossa Nova very helpful when working towards deadlines + feeling overwhelmed, it helps me create a sense of calm when all is not that calm!

    Sending lots of hugs and encouragements <3

  • Sounds like things are a bit of a struggle, I do hope everything quietens down soon for you! When I’m super busy with college and my part time job, I try my absolutely hardest to find a spot where nothing is planned to have some me time, I know how hard that can be though!

    Lucy | Forever September

  • The busier life gets, the more crucial it is to take a break! Try to find an evening or a lunchtime where you can just have an hour or so to yourself – more if you can. There are very few things in life that can’t wait while you look after yourself. If I’m trying to clear myself an evening to spend relaxing, I try to list anything that needs doing and work out in advance when I’ll do it instead. If that means getting up a little earlier the next day to do it, so be it. The other important thing to do if you’re feeling too busy and things are hectic is to talk about it with those around you. They might be able to help take some things off your plate, or simply just be a sympathetic ear to listen.
    Jennifer x
    Ginevrella | Lifestyle Blog

  • I add things for me on to my to do list. That way I still get some time (even for a brew and a chapter of a book) in a day. Also make plans, see friends (even if you book ages in advance). Having things to look forward to motivates me 🙂 Hope you’re OK lovely lady x