Everywhere I look online at the moment people seem to be talking about the need to find balance. Maybe we all hit the ground running a bit too fast in January and just didn’t give ourselves enough time to really recuperate after the busy Christmas period or maybe winter is just taking its toll now. Whatever it is though, a lot of people seem to be burning out and searching for that all magical sense of balance. And that got me thinking about why we all find it so hard to just remain balanced in life in the first place…
The conclusion I came to was that we are living in a world that never turns off, I briefly spoke about this in my burn out post last year but the points stand true here too. It doesn’t matter if we love our jobs anymore because the problem is that when we walk out of that office door, the working day doesn’t stop. So many of us now live on social media in our spare moments, run businesses on the side of a 9-5, we have animals who need caring for, or children. Then, somehow, we still need to find the time to socialise, cook and clean, prep for the next day, relax and yet very few of us share these aspects online. We create an image that shows us as balanced individuals who have the time to do all of these wonderful things. Very few of us speak of the stress or show the huge pile of washing up that still hasn’t been done, the to-do list that hasn’t even been started, the post that lies unopened by the front door as a part of our online persona. Online, we give the impression that all of the normal, everyday things just fall in line behind us and I’m sure that I speak for a majority of us when I say that the chances are that this isn’t the case at all.
We seem to have a need to measure ourselves and our success based on how busy our schedule is, on how much work we have completed, on the amount of things we can cram onto our to-do list and yet online we speak of Hygge, on our Instagram we show ‘messy’ aspects of our lives that in reality have been carefully curated and we tweet about all of the wonderful things we are getting up to. And there is nothing wrong with that. I do it all too but it’s easy to forget that everyone is playing the same game and that while some people may genuinely be as balanced as they claim to be on their Twitter, a lot of people will be struggling with this juggling act just as much as you are.
We all scream about wanting balance and then we head to social media, where 99% of the people we follow seem to have got this balancing act down to a T and so it is no wonder that we log off feeling even more unbalanced than before. If you ask me, the key to finding balance is accepting that there is no such thing as an entirely balanced person and that balance itself is different for everyone, some people feel balanced even while they are juggling a to-do list as long as their arms, others feel balanced when they take a more relaxed approach. It isn’t really important what you do to balance, it’s just important that you work out what actually works for you and you work to that, not to what someone else is simply claiming to be doing.
In a world that is crying out for balanced individuals while equally suggesting we juggle more tasks than I care to imagine in one hand, just knowing what keeps you balanced is key to making it through. You can’t hustle if you’re crying in the corner of the work cubicle and you equally can’t hustle if you’re not putting enough work in. Ignore what everyone else is doing. If you don’t like Hygge, don’t buy into it. If balance for you involves training for a marathon, don’t let anyone stop you.