‘Balance’; it’s something we all strive for, but it can often be hard to define. It is a bit of a buzzword, but a goal all the same. There are times when it feels completely unattainable and then there are times when, perhaps if you stopped to take a breath, you might find you’re there. Part of the challenge is that there is no formula, one person’s ‘balance’ might be another person’s boredom, so it’s something we need to work on from within.
Here, our founder, Han, shares her ideas of a balanced week and how she goes about maintaining this balance amongst the craziness of life, motherhood and running her own business.
Balance is something I’ve never been very good at, I tend to take an ‘all or nothing’ approach to most things I do. So it’s really only since becoming a mother that I feel like I finally have some balance in my life. This is quite unexpected as I pictured this being a particularly hectic and unbalanced time of life, but it’s forced me to let go of a lot of things and focus on what actually matters. So right now, a balanced week for me consists of:
- Fitting in some exercise before Harper wakes up. Exercise has become something I really have to prioritise in order for it to happen. So lately, it needs to be done before she wakes up or it won’t happen at all. My alarm goes off at 6am and I’m alternating between a run on the treadmill and an Our Pilates class. This makes such a difference to how I feel for the rest of the day, I tend to feel a bit flat if I don’t fit something in. Even a 10-15 min workout in peace before the day begins makes a world of difference for my mental state.
- Giving Harper her breakfast while I have my morning coffee at our local cafe. This has become a highlight of my day. Whether I’m with Matt, meeting a friend or I’m just hanging with Harper, starting the day out of the house with this little routine really sets the tone for me. It means that by the time I get home and get her into bed for her first nap, I am in a great mental space to get my laptop out and get some work done.
- Working on Our Pilates. I get so much joy and satisfaction from the business Brooke and I have created that it truly does not feel like work. There are so many different roles we fill so there is always something I can do each day to use my brain and get a sense of achievement. There have been weeks or months where the balance has tipped and I’ve felt way too busy, but we always manage to tip the scales back the other way to create some breathing space and find that balance again.
- An afternoon walk. Taking Harper for a walk each afternoon has become another part of my routine that I really look forward to. Getting us outside, breaking up the evening stretch and listening to a podcast is such a lovely way to bookend the day.
- Time with Matt. Quality time with Matt is so important to me and finding time to spend together can be really challenging with a baby. It feels like we’re on the other side now and are able to spend more and more time together again. I’m grateful for our morning coffees, Friday night wines and the occasional meal out just for us.
- Seeing friends and family. I used to see clients back to back all week, so now that I spend most of my time on my own, I find that I need something social to look forward to. I’m quite happy with my own company, but I like to have one or two social events in the diary each week to recharge and fill that void.
After writing this piece, I think balance is less about devoting equal amounts of time to ‘work’ and ‘life’ and more about figuring out what recharges your batteries and making these things a priority. These then become your ‘non-negotiables’ and no matter how busy you get, you make sure that they happen. Everyone’s list will look different and your list might change from month to month or year to year as your priorities change. If you feel yourself getting stressed or tired, it’s a good idea to check in and see if you’re accidentally neglecting the things that really matter to you.