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Many of us are struggling with routines, stress, anxiety, and burn out. We fail to find balance since we are constantly juggling many things that are important and have priority. But doesn’t our well-being deserve to be in our top list of priorities as well? Why is it that everyone and everything else comes before us? I know I am definitely not the only who has felt this way; you have felt it too. Maybe you are dealing with such high level of stress that you can barely sleep. Maybe you are so anxious that you end up the workday snacking and eating a lot of things that you know are not healthy or good for you, but the anxiety wins over the fight. Perhaps your daily routines of taking the kids to school, run errands all day, pick up the kids, take them to their extracurricular activities, plus cooking, homework, the dishes…. Augh! It is overwhelming to even detail the endless list of things to do. Let alone have that endless list plus a challenging job. Yes! It is exhausting and hard to find balance. But balance is crucial for us.

As important as it is, it is difficult to accomplish. The best way to find balance in our lives is to start building the habit of prioritizing ourselves. What things we should do in order to have a balanced life? I personally found balance by adding to my daily routine the things that are important to me and that bring good health to my life. Things such as exercising, cooking healthy meals, reading, and meditating. Every new beginning is hard! But the way to go is to start little by little; with small changes. I started exercising by walking 3 days every week. There were weeks I only walked 1 day, but there were others in which I was more consistent and accomplished my 3 days goal or even more. Eventually my body started to ask for that walk, and it became a habit that I enjoy. While I walk, I talk to friends or family, or I listen to motivational videos, Podcasts, TED videos, or just listen to the music I like. It is my fun time! It is my “ME” time! It is only a 30 minutes’ walk… better than nothing right! Now I am at a different level in which I get to exercise more intensely at least 5 days a week, but it all started with baby steps.

Adding habits in your daily routine that are good for your health (physical and mental), is important. Why is it that we can plan and be there for everyone else, but we can’t take time for ourselves? Why is it that when we think about taking time for ourselves, we visualize it as sitting on the couch watching TV and eating chips or ice cream? Life is simply passing us by, and we are not living. We love our family, our children, but we also need to love ourselves enough to take some time for ourselves; and not just watching TV. When I stared the habit of reading, I never thought I was going to be able to finish one chapter. I hated reading! But I made the decision that I wanted to work on myself and for me to do so I needed to read and learn. It was hard! I used to read 1 page and fall asleep halfway, or I had to re-read the whole thing because I was not retaining anything (ADD anyone?!). But again, little by little, I started improving. Little by little I became hungry for more knowledge and for more information. My goal was my self-improvement and I started to notice the change from within. Now I love to read, and I look forward to doing so. You don’t have to read if you don’t like to, but I do believe that it is important to learn whichever way works best for you, whether it is with audio books or with TED videos or listening to a mentor. Learning and self-improvement bring balance in life.

Another thing I believe brings balance in life is being actively grateful. I used to think that I was grateful until I started to do a daily exercise in which I had to list 3 things I was grateful for THAT day, but the trick was that I couldn’t repeat anything from previous days. The first week was easy, then it became challenging because I had to pay attention to the blessings as the day went by and that helped me realize the many things and blessings I had daily that I never paid attention to. But even though there were days that were challenging, I knew there were always 3 things I could be grateful for in spite of the challenges. This exercise is only mental, it doesn’t disturb you from your daily routine or responsibilities, but it keeps you constantly searching for blessings, and you’ll have less time to worry about the bad things and the negativity that a day could bring; and even when you have one those days, you are still finding blessings; because it transforms into a new perspective rather than just letting the days pass you by or allowing a bad day take over.

One last thing I can recommend in this process of finding balance is to meditate and pray. You don’t need much time for this, just 5 minutes! Clear your mind from any noise! Sit quietly with yourself; alone. Just 5 minutes. It recharges you. It enables you to start and end your days clean and refreshed. Like taking a shower but it’s an internal shower to rid your mind from worries. Connect with God, connect your soul with the highest energy and you will recharge. It gives an extreme amount of peace that you will eventually look forward to that moment in the day and those 5 minutes won’t be enough, you’ll want more time to meditate, and the best thing is that you will find the time because it flows. Like with the other habits, the beginning is hard… those 5 minutes feel eternal, and it seems as if you cannot quiet your mind, but trust me, you will eventually get the hold of it. Whether it is meditation or praying, this kind of balance is key to start and end the day, it is best to take those 5 minutes twice a day, 5 minutes in the morning, before the crazy routine starts, and 5 minutes at night, right before going to bed. Connecting spiritually is very empowering and brings extreme balance in your life.

Creating healthy routines that don’t take much of your time is very important because it balances your stress and anxiety. Balancing your life is crucial. Sometimes it is important to disconnect from the things that you know are not good for you, not because you don’t care but because you love yourself enough to let yourself breathe. Balance is your way to breathe and relax even during difficult days and eventually the difficulties won’t seem as big or as complicated as they used to.

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Updated: Mar 14

We all have that life we envisioned for ourselves. Whether it is having your career all figured out. Whether it is having the family you imagined. Whether is it having the romantic relationship you dreamed of. Sometimes life doesn’t turn out to be the way we thought it would be. It can be devastating. Damaging. Frustrating. I think that falling apart is part of the plan life has for us, if there’s any plan or destiny at all. Just like death and taxes (that there’s no escape from them), we will all fall apart at some point in our lives.

You see, life is not supposed to be perfect, neither will it ever be. Life is supposed to be a journey in which we get beat up sometimes and then we need to learn how to continue living, even though some days we feel like we have no desire or energy to get out of bed. For instance, I have friends that tell me how frustrated they are at their jobs, and how they feel trapped! There seems to be not escape! Most of us will feel this professional frustration or entrapment. We need to work because we need to pay our bills and support our families, but then we have to deal with the unprofessional behavior of others, and nothing seems to change or happen to these people. There are no repercussions to these people’s behavior! It’s insane! How do we manage this? Or even better, how do we get out? It is not only the fact that we need to pay our bills, but it is also the dedication and investment we have put on our career (for years) that also holds us back into staying or into wanting to remain within that field. But perhaps we should start to put things into perspective and think about all the benefits we get at our job. The pros and cons. How much these weight in comparison to each other?

We have to look at things from the outside and not so much from the inside. Maybe we are just making a situation bigger than it really is. Maybe we are giving too much importance to one specific person and then we get blinded and associate the matter with everyone at work. We sometimes forget to see the big picture. The one thing I have learned is that we need to put everything into perspective. Of course there are other solutions! One solution could be to take a risk! Make that change you fear on doing. Create a strategic plan and make the necessary changes in your professional career. Sometimes a step back can eventually get you 5 steps ahead, but it will require time and sacrifice. What are you willing to sacrifice now to make the necessary changes in your career in order to feel better, more productive, more appreciated, and at peace?

On the other hand, we might have thought that our lives would have taken us to a different place than the one we are at right now. We envisioned a future that never happened. The person we loved the most lied to us, left us without explanation, or used us. Perhaps that person you saw yourself growing old with was not the right person for you. Perhaps we lost a loved one too soon, but that person’s journey came to an end before us, and one day we will go as well. Some things are damaging to a point that we are no longer the same person that we used to be. Sometimes the pain is unbearable. So many sad and unfortunate things, that we never thought of, end up happening to us throughout our lives. Frustrating and sad. But we have to keep on. Somehow, we get to continue living and eventually we get to smile again. For some it takes longer than for others. The time it takes is not important, what matters is that we need to continue living and we have to put things into perspective, and find purpose from within. Sometimes we are just looking at the closed doors for too long than we should and forget that we too can be happy with ourselves and don’t need to have another person to “complete” us. We are whole, we are not half. It will be a bigger mistake to settle for less than you deserve. Again, putting things into perspective can change the way we feel about a particular situation, whether it is painful or frustrating. It is only a matter of time. It is a matter of learning the lessons behind the situation.

Aside of things not going as we plan; we also make mistakes that we really never thought we could ever make! But we do! We are humans! We don’t always make the right decisions because we are more focused on our current situation rather than on looking at the bigger picture. Making mistakes is part of life and nobody carries your mistakes…only you, so we should not be judgmental of other people’s mistakes when we have our own mistakes to carry. People tend to think they have the right to judge just because they would never make “THAT” mistake. But hey! Maybe you won’t make their mistakes either and I am sure they won’t like it if you are the judge of theirs. I say, live, fall, get up, learn, and ignore the judges! Perhaps they need to take a look at the mirror before judging you or anyone else. And if someone hurt you, why do you need to carry that person’s mistake in your head on a daily basis? When we are constantly asking ourselves “why me?”, “why did he cheat on me?”, “why did he lie to me?”, “how could she say those harmful words to me?” we make things personal. It is best to remove the “me” from the equation and see it differently. The fact that someone treated you a certain way, doesn’t mean you have to carry their mistake. Letting go and moving on is a better strategy than torturing ourselves with all these “whys?”. These are questions for the person who made the mistake to answer; not for you to judge or carry. Yes! Sometimes we get a response from a person because we “deserved it”, it’s action and reaction, but if that doesn’t fit in the situation, then perhaps it is a personal thing that the other person needs to work on, and it does not belong in your head. Let others carry their mistakes, you have your own ones to carry.

I believe that everything that happens to us is there to teach us a lesson; to help us grow. Everything happens for a reason, and I don’t know if destiny exists, but when things fall apart it is because the pieces were not matching properly. You cannot force a piece of a puzzle on the wrong place. Our life is our puzzle. We all have different ones, which is what makes us unique. We just need to figure out how to build our puzzle and make the best out of the journey, even when things fall apart.

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Many times, I have heard the phrase “the only thing certain in life is change”. We are constantly changing. Things around us are constantly changing. Circumstances can also change from one day to the next. If change is so certain then why is it that we insist on rejecting change around us?

Professionally speaking, many companies are changing. Who would have thought that from being required to be present everyday from 8am to 5pm, now many people are able to accomplish the same duties and responsibilities remotely? Circumstances changed and the work force also changed. If companies didn’t change their approach towards their employees, they would have lost a lot of money due to lack of production or even gone broke. Likewise, if companies didn’t change the requirements from its employees, many people would have lost their jobs; even more than the people who lost their jobs during the pandemic. Think about it! How many companies function the same as they did 20 years ago? Change was inevitable. Change was necessary. In order to grow, companies need to adjust and that requires change. Some changes will turn out to be good, and others not so good, but it is part of the risks of growing and innovating.

Relationships also change. They evolution. This is normal. It needs to happen. Why? Because us as human beings are constantly changing, growing, and learning. If people don’t understand this, then they will see it as if the relationship is failing because the other person has changed. One thing is to stop loving a person (or better said, to realize that you were not actually in love with that person), and another thing is to change within the relationship. Changes on likes, believes, routines, jobs, locations, goals; the list can be endless, but these changes are normal. By understanding that change is a constant in life, you will be able to understand better the changes you see inside your relationships as well as the changes you notice on the people you interact with. Of course, there are also negative changes on people’s behavior, and these should never be accepted, because one thing is being open minded as to understand your partner’s growth and another different one is accepting an abusive behavior.

Now, if you notice that someone is not changing throughout their life, it means that the person is not growing, which is sad. Being stuck is not good. Everyone of us need to grow and progress, otherwise you will be left behind in EVERY area of your life. Look at how the use of the internet progressed in 10 years, how phones have changed, how companies that were at their top are now non-existent. Change and progress is constant, and it is important to have the capacity to adapt to the changes that surround us and not resist because resisting could jeopardize your future. There will always be advantages and disadvantages when it comes to change, but mind you, I am focusing on the positive changes and the importance of those in our lives. This one could be a tricky because some good changes could be good and bad at the same time. Look at the amazing portable minicomputer/phone/camera/video camera/editor/music player/movie player... that you carry around in your hands. Isn’t that amazing? How phones have progressed! But this amazing artifact can also make you addictive and as a result you can lose sight of the people who are actually next to you. Using that example, take advantage of the positive changes, but never lose sight of the things that matters the most…the people that you love and that loves you.

Have you been avoiding change? Have you been running away from it? Adaptation is key in our growth as humans and even the growth of our souls. The good thing about change is that you chose the areas in which you want to improve. Nobody can impose how you need to change (except maybe for technology). Never lose your integrity or your character either to fit in. Change is an internal thing. It is a decision. Without losing your essence, make the changes you consider necessary in your life that will enhance your character and that will actually bring out the best version of yourself.

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