Although this year has been one of the greatest years of my life, it’s also been the craziest, most chaotic, stressful, and insane year of my life. A little over a year ago now I was living in an orphanage in Tijuana as a missionary, my (now) husband asked me on our first date, we fell in love shortly after, I moved to California, I moved again, we got engaged, I moved again, we started planning our wedding, I moved again, we traveled a bunch, I moved one last time (yup, 6 “homes”), we had our “Big Fat Egyptian Wedding” in LA, my husband moved in with me, we planned our second (American) wedding from another state, Andrew quit his job to work with me full time to do photography/videography, Andrew also started working at our church, we started a new photo/video company with associate shooters, and recently we had our second (American) wedding.
The greatest thing I have learned through this year is to have balance, even in the chaos. Balance doesn’t necessarily mean to be relaxed and calm all the time, although there is a time for that to stay balanced. It’s easy to get so overwhelmed with work and to-do lists that we forget to take care of ourselves. Here are five tips to maintaining balance in your everyday life (which I have more recently been forced to learn).
1) Take time for yourself
-Do something small that is JUST for you. Whether that means reading a book, getting your nails done, taking a bubble bath, hiking alone, going for a scenic drive, or even getting a good workout in. To keep going, you need to keep yourself happy!
2) Don’t sweat the small stuff
-Especially when life gets hectic, things happen to all go wrong at once. You just have to let things roll off your shoulder. If you allow yourself to be affected by every little negative thing, it will turn you into a very bitter person. Laugh at your failures and learn from them for next time.
3) Prioritize what is most important
-If you’re anything like me, you probably bite off more than you can chew. I hate saying “no” to anyone, but I’ve learned to work on my boundaries. If helping someone is hurting you, you’re not doing anyone any good. Help others as often as you can, but make sure you’re accomplishing what you have to do as well. If your cup is empty, you won’t be able to pour into anyone. Your cup needs to be full to pour into other people’s lives.
4) Don’t forget to have fun
-We were not made as robots. Along with our physical self needing to be fed, our emotional self and soul also needs to be fed. When we are happy, laughing, and joyful we are feeding our souls. As emotional beings, we need one another! We need love, we need real conversations, and we need adventures! We don’t know when our last breath may be, so make sure not to get into the mentality that you’ll “enjoy life” once you make x-amount of dollars/year. You don’t need to spend money to have fun, get creative and LIVE LIFE now!
5) This ties in with everything else, but always take a Sabbath!
-Growing up Christian I learned about Sabbath as a day once a week where you don’t work and just rest. As an adult, I now see the importance of this. My husband and I practice taking one day a week (it changes weekly depending on our schedule) to turn off all electronic and just focus on enjoying life with friends and family.
If you never stop to smell the roses and enjoy life, eventually, you will burn out. No matter how crazy your life may be, you must force yourself to slow down and create balance to maintain satisfaction and happiness.
-Melissa Aziz (Soule)