stress = no fun, but balance = ??

It’s been a busy summer, and lately I’m thinking a bit about stress, to-do lists, and the balance between getting things done, and relaxing and letting life fill in the blanks.

This list is obviously facetious, but I’ve definitely written To-Do lists that were scarily similar to this, before, with the intention to complete everything on it. And of course I failed, because I didn’t factor in that I am not a robot, I’m a human being.

On the other end of the spectrum, this To-Do list would be lovely, but how would I get anything done? What about the actual goals I want to accomplish, like returning to school, or writing my blog, or helping out in the community? Or, you know, basics like feeding and clothing myself? (I’m kinda into that.)

One thing I know for certain: stress is no fun. When I try to do too much, my excitement about my various activities turns into freaking out. Panic. No sleep. (I’m talking in generalities at the moment – this luckily isn’t one of those periods of lots of stress.)

But how do you strike the “work/play/rest” balance? If you find it once, will it shift again?

I guess I’m figuring it out as I go along.

What about you? How do you think about the day to come, and the week, the month, the year? How do you break it down, plan it, or not? And, how stressed do you get? Do share.

This entry was posted in Health, Leah's thoughts, Work and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to stress = no fun, but balance = ??

  1. Joe Green says:

    Dunno about finding the balance (apart from haphazardly), but I definitely think that once you’ve found it, it shifts again. That’s because once you’ve found it, the stress vanishes and boredom cuts in. Too little stress is as undesirable as too much. Well not to the same extent but still… or that just me being too goal-driven? I just know I would be “Oh I’ve done the 10 Beaches thing, *now* what am I going to do?” Life… just inventing one goal after another.

    • leahcnoble says:

      I think you’re right… you definitely want something motivating you, propelling you forward. That’s that balance thing, I guess. The balance between the goals (and creativity, excitement, motion) and the resting (downtime, sleeping, relaxation).

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  3. Winston Bearkiller says:

    My own life revolves around the seasons. Since I am retired I don’t have to think any more about stalking the damn buck. So, spring means get the garden ready and planted, summer means get the fall garden ready and planted as well as harvest the spring garden. And preserving the harvest goes on most of the late spring, summer and fall.

    Down times come whenever I am tired. I sit and rest, then back to it as needed. There is plenty of time to take care of stock, do tractor work to maintain the property and keep the grass growing well.

    Go somewhere? Been everywhere…covering three continents and figured out everyone likes to do pretty much the same stuff, but not so much what interests me. So I am a stay at home person doing what I like to do. And therein lies much of the balance you seek.


  4. Pep says:

    Stress is just a feeling, like for example feeling hot, feeling excited, feeling sad. They are all emotional feelings. They all are a response to what`s going on in your life, they are not bad things. Spend time with yourself and be an observer of your feelings. For me, I find balance by flowing with how I feel. Observe your body. If I am tired, I sleep. If I have energy, I work or exercise. I find that everything somehow works out when you flow with how you feel in the moment.

    • leahcnoble says:

      I love this comment, too. You’re right – stress IS just a feeling. If I can practice just ‘sitting with” my feelings, letting them be, they generally pass and turn into something else. Observe the body – seems to be a theme here, in these comments. πŸ™‚ I like that.

  5. Heather says:

    Balance is pretty well always going to be a moving target (unless you’re entering the cloister!) When priorities change, so does that work/play/others equation. I get stressed and overwhelmed easily, especially when there is lots to do. What I have found to be working lately is putting exercise as a number one priority. More things seem to get done that way. Also, from time to time, I will make a huge list of every possible thing I want/need to accomplish in the next few weeks or months. Work, play, just empty the swirling vortex of panic out πŸ˜› I then roughly prioritize the tasks and just pick a few a day from each priority category. If they don’t get done, they’ll still be on the master list until they are. Finally, I count the small stuff as an accomplishment. Sometimes I count eating breakfast or combing my hair! Lame I know, but it keeps me motivated πŸ™‚

    • leahcnoble says:

      That’s interesting, Heather – about making exercise your number one priority, and how things fall into place once you’ve taken care of that. I never really thought of it that way before, and then usually exercise comes last. Interesting to flip it like that – maybe I’ll give it a try!!

  6. Brian N Dean says:

    With follow-through equals the destruction of stress. Every day I try to make one thing run smoother than the day before. Whether it’s oiling a creaking hinge, or putting in a fencepost. If you try to eat the elephant whole, you’ll burst. But one piece at a time, and the system is set in motion, smoothly and elegantly. “Every day I am getting better and better”, is a good daily meditation… It can’t fail with follow-through.

  7. Nancy says:

    I love this thread. Balance is unbelievably tricky in life. Other people may give you priorities, but figuring out your own takes guts, determination and practice. Exercise is key for me, too, but so are time in nature and with my family, and time to do music. One of my favorite self-reflective books is The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron, in which she recommends writing a bit each day (which you obviously do!), and giving yourself Artist’s Dates, which can be anything you want to do. I’ve discovered that Fun is something I need in my life, and there was a time when I just didn’t think I had time for it. Now I realize how essential it is to my well-being. May you find love and funnier your life, Leah.

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