We live in a time where the pressure is on to have it all. To have a thriving career, while still having time to bake homemade cookies and be an ever-present parent to your children. To have independent interests while nurturing a loving and supportive relationship, and all while keeping a perfect home. But is this even possible? If you’re feeling exhausted just reading this, don’t get overwhelmed just yet. The truth is that you can have it all, but first you need to figure out what this illusive ‘all’ means for you.
A good place to start is to break down your life into four bite-size portions; wellbeing, work, connection and play. Each of these plays a key role in your life, happiness and success. It’s important to understand how they all fit together and to know that at different points in your life, some parts may take preference over others. And that’s okay.
This one is perhaps the most important of all, as without it none of the other parts of your life can thrive. But despite its importance, health and wellbeing is often the first thing to be neglected when you’re busy or stressed. It’s also important to remember that looking after yourself is not only about taking care of your physical body, but your mental and spiritual health too. It’s vital that at least some attention is given to this area at all times, regardless of your current focus or priorities. Whether you’re training for a marathon, or just managing to squeeze in a weekly jog and morning stretch, taking care of yourself should be an integral part of your everyday life. The key is to ask yourself what wellness activities you have space for your life at the moment, and then stick to those as non-negotiables.
The next area to focus on is your work. Remember that this doesn’t necessarily just mean your career, but includes other areas of work such as taking care of your children, running a household or any other activity that takes up your time. It’s important to understand how some of your life choices can have an impact on your career. Although starting a family doesn’t mean that you need to put a hold on your career, the introduction of a new baby may lead you to rethink your priorities and that’s okay too. The most important thing is to find the right work scenario to suit the phase of life that you’re currently in and being happy with the choices you’ve made.
This one is all about the things that simply bring you joy and happiness! Whether it’s in the form of a hobby, a sport, or a relaxing pastime such as reading a book, or visiting an art gallery, living a well-rounded life is important. All too often life becomes so full of things you have to do, that there’s no space for the things you want to do. But by neglecting the activities that truly make you happy, you can quickly end up resenting other parts of your life. So, never feel guilty for focusing on you and sectioning out some time for your own ‘play’, as the rest of your life is sure to benefit from it too!
This one is all about relationships. What are the most important relationships in your life and how much time should you dedicate to nurturing each one? From a romantic relationship, to friends and family, the people that you choose to surround yourself with are vital to your happiness and development. But all too often we end up giving far too much time and energy to people who don’t add to our lives. That’s why it’s important to take the time to reflect on your relationships and to decide for yourself how much time you’re prepared to spend and on which people.
Once you have a good grasp on these four parts of your life, it’s time to figure out which part is most important to you right now. Then adjust the time you spend on each to align with your current priorities. Keep in mind that these priorities can and will change throughout your life depending on where you are and what is most important to you at the time. But as long as you allow yourself some time for reflection, you can always make sure that you’re having it all; just not in equal measures all of the time.
So, YES, you can have it all, now tell us what is 'having it all' for you? Share in the comments below.
HANNA GIRLING, wife, mother, business owner, mindset coach, sport enthusiast and forever an optimist.