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Twelve Ideas to Help Keep Your Life in Balance

Sue Riedl

Sue Riedl

Live better:

Trained chef and food journalist

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Balancing the stresses and responsibilities of everyday life can feel like adding an extra chore on the TO DO list. The key is to make small changes and allow yourself to take a break. A few small things added (or subtracted) can provide some welcome breathing space in our busy lives.

  1. Start the day right : A nutritious and balanced breakfast fuels the body and gives you a sense of well-being.  Some fruit and a yogurt containing probiotics plus a whole-grain homemade muffin can get you out the door fast and recharged.
  2. Drop activities that sap time and energy : Maybe you need to excuse yourself sooner from conversations with a gossipy co-worker or organize errands better to save on travel distance.  Small, thoughtful changes can save you time and sanity.
  3. Build fun into your schedule : It may sound counterintuitive to plan a good time, but scheduling Friday nights for date night and pre-booking a babysitter guarantees you’ll make the “appointment.”
  4. Schedule family time: By blocking out hours when kids are the priority, you can enjoy time together and then tend to other responsibilities with a relaxed and guilt-free attitude.
  5. Split chores so they feel fair : Make joint decisions based on preference rather than time. It may take longer to vacuum and dust the house on a weekend, but you may resent that less than doing the quicker weekly bathroom clean.
  6. Spend money to save time : It might be worth the expense of having someone help tend the garden or shovel the driveway in the winter. Realize that your time has value and may be better spent elsewhere.
  7. Do your shopping online: You can get staples like groceries, clothes basics and gifts on the internet. Holiday shopping can be done with a cup of coffee in hand!
  8. Take small breaks for yourself: Read a few pages of a novel during a coffee break. Make a short playlist of some favourite tunes to listen to while you stretch your legs. Small treats are somethingto look forward to too.
  9. Get active: Whether it’s leaving your desk to talk to colleagues (rather than using email) or walking to the corner store, getting your body moving even for a few minutes can help you clear your mind.
  10. Take an evening class: Reconnect with your passions. Be it a wine course or creative writing, a once-a-week escape can keep you better balanced.
  11. Change your routine: Take a different route to work or choose a different spot for Sunday brunch. Habits are comforting but change can help keep you alert and engaged.
  12. Don’t be afraid to “waste” time: Don’t feel guilty about leisure time. A cheesy horror movie or trashy novel can be the break you need to get back on track to face your responsibilities.

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  • samirjusic

    Never thought spending more money can save you time, but kind of makes sense as well…