By: Larisa Garski, LMFT 

In our modern Western society, we tend to equate success with positive emotions: joy, excitement, security. But there can be a shadow side to success. Whether we are experiencing accomplishments at work, at home, or out on the town, success brings with it an increase in responsibilities and an increased demand on our time. The question becomes: How do I balance these new and positive responsibilities within a 24-hour-day that doesn’t leave me feeling perpetually drained?

Boundaries

A mentor of mine once said: “Boundaries are the key to balance.” Rather than encouraging me to compartmentalize my life, she helped me to see that recognizing my own limitations allowed me to set boundaries that balanced my own needs within the commitments of a busy life. Below are 3 coping tools that can help you on the journey to re-balancing your commitments at home, at play, and at work:

 

  1. Set Clear Boundaries: Smartphones provide the opportunity to be readily available to everyone in our address book – family, friends, partners/potential partners, coworkers, and bosses. But being constantly available can leave you feeling pulled in every direction, while simultaneously unable to respond to the demands of the present moment. Deciding for yourself when and how you want to be available both in person and online helps to clarify the multiple roles you assume in a day while creating extra space to breathe.
  2. Communicate the limits: Setting clear communication boundaries for yourself can help you balance online connection within the demands of the present. This might look like making changes to your phone notifications. It might look like talking with your friends and family members about response times during certain parts of the day. Whatever clear boundaries look like for you, it’s important to set them, keep them, and share them with loved ones.
  3. Be kind to yourself: This is a challenging process! It is normal to feel both exhilarated and overwhelmed by success. Giving yourself permission to feel conflicting emotions can be the first step in calming the judgemental chatter that seeps into your conscious mind. Rather than reaching towards perfect balance, moving towards self-acceptance is often a necessary part of enjoying the success.

If you are experiencing racing thoughts, difficulty focusing, and/or increased anxiety related to your professional, personal, and/or social life, I am here to help. Please call or email me at 651-764-7277, lgarski@empoweretherapy.org for a free 15-minute consultation.