34 In Substance/ Wellness

How to Achieve Balance

Balance

This week, I’m writing a short post. After my return from the long Easter break in Paris I’m trying to catch up and get some semblance of order and balance back into my life!  I’m behind on so many things that I’m almost too overwhelmed to know where to start.  Some things are very important (passport issues) and some are less important (catching up on emails) (admittedly, all are first world problems) but the sheer weight of everything in between those two is causing me anxiety… and I don’t usually do anxiety.

So how do I get some balance and address the cloud of anxious dread hanging over me?  Here’s what I do:

  1. The first thing is gym.  Even though I could really use those two hours while my son is at nursery to chip away at my to do list, the time spent raising my heart rate and lifting weights is the difference between me being a happy overwhelmed person and me being a miserable, short-tempered, overwhelmed person.
  2. The second thing that helped was gin!  Despite my current chaos, I gave myself some quality time with one of my close girlfriends… not being Mommy, not being a wife, not being a grownup with a mountain of paperwork to get through… just being Lisa.  Enjoying that late night dinner of with lovely gin cocktails put everything back into perspective for me (Thank you, Cate!).
  3. Another thing that helped my frame of mind was spending some time gardening.  If I’m honest, it was actually pure procrastination.  I trimmed hedges, hacked back the ivy and wisteria, mowed the lawn, watered the roses, jasmine, and hydrangeas, and soaked in the loud birdsong all around me.  I put some of this on my Instagram stories and it has been my most popular ‘story’ to date.  Spending a little time in nature, even with a huge city whirling around me, is crucial.
  4. The last thing that helped me through this week was my pack of blogger girlfriends.  My source of daily laughs and knowledge from The Over Forty Collective makes my life so much easier.  If I don’t know how to do something, one of them will.  (Can I also just take a second to brag that Catherine recently won the UK Blog Award for best Fashion and Beauty, and Nikki won runner up?  I’m so proud of these two!)

So there you are, the four Gs that help create some balance in my life:  gym, gin, gardening, and girlfriends.  Let me know if you have any tips for surviving the chaos when you’re spread thin and overwhelmed.

One day last week, I forgot to bring my son’s coat, his cap (part of his nursery school uniform) and his book bag to school. Yes, it takes some skill to be that distracted and forgetful of a parent, but we all survived.  I’m hoping to get back to whatever my ‘normal’ is this week (despite houseguests arriving midweek).  I wish you a good week ahead, full of balance and laughs.  Now I’m eager to get a sparkly outfit post up next!  xx

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34 Comments

  • Reply
    simplementlui
    May 7, 2017 at 1:33 PM

    Gym and gin … interesting duo 😉

    https://4highheelsfans.wordpress.com/2017/05/04/black-and-white/

    • Reply
      Lisa
      May 7, 2017 at 4:17 PM

      See? Balance! xx

  • Reply
    Mithra Ballesteros
    May 7, 2017 at 3:23 PM

    So I don’t mean to be callous but I wanna hang around you when anxiety comes knocking.

    • Reply
      Lisa
      May 7, 2017 at 4:17 PM

      I’ll have gin cocktail with you ANY time lady, anxious or not! xx

  • Reply
    RetroChicMama
    May 7, 2017 at 4:14 PM

    Oh boy I completely get where you’re coming from Lisa. Forgetting the school bag is a regular occurrence in this Mums life 😉 I think every now & then it’s important for us to remind ourselves that it’s actually Ok to not be all things to all people. And by “people” I mean the others in our family.
    It’s also great that you’ve shared this, all too often we think we’re the only one dropping the ball which is nonsense of course!
    I love getting more insight into your lovely life xxx

    • Reply
      Lisa
      May 7, 2017 at 4:20 PM

      Oh, it is so nice to feel everyone else is screwing up as much as I am! I know I’m particularly hard on myself in terms of expectations, but still… Thank you, babe xx

      • Reply
        No Fear of Fashion
        May 7, 2017 at 8:00 PM

        Just be careful not to forget the child…..

        • Reply
          Lisa
          May 7, 2017 at 8:37 PM

          I’ve forgotten to pick him up at nursery before. I hope I don’t do it again!

  • Reply
    Samantha Blair
    May 7, 2017 at 6:59 PM

    Gym and Gin…A big YES to that lifestyle combo!

    I’m a gym, good food and sitting in the garden de-stresser (I also like to virtually shoe shop}.
    Don’t beat yourself up about the little things like forgetting hats etc.
    It’s no big deal in the grand scheme of things.
    I’ve got 4 children and have cocked-up good and proper many times over! :op
    The good news is they soon learn to make sure they have what they need (my bag packing, bedroom tidying and packed lunch making duties have been retired for a good couple of years now)
    As for balance…. you need to give tips for balancing in those killer heels :o)
    XXX
    Samantha

    • Reply
      No Fear of Fashion
      May 7, 2017 at 8:02 PM

      I thought that that was what this post was about Samantha: balancing on killer heels haha. But it was a metaphor haha.
      Greetje

      • Reply
        Lisa
        May 7, 2017 at 8:38 PM

        🙂 That comes pretty easily for me; I think I emerged from the womb in a pair of heels.

    • Reply
      Lisa
      May 7, 2017 at 8:37 PM

      I’m looking forward to that point when my scattered brain does not have to function as command central for everyone in my house! The heels are easy to balance in compared to that. Sam, I honestly do NOT see how you do it with four children, or Michelle with her three. I’m definitely learning to relax about not having my act together… easier on some days than others. Thank you, lovely xx

  • Reply
    No Fear of Fashion
    May 7, 2017 at 8:07 PM

    When I stress, as in waking up at 4 in the morning, stiff as a plank with panicky thoughts, I take one hour to analyse the situation. Then I decide 1) what is NOT to be done at all as it is of no great importance, 2) what can be done by OTHERS (and who these others are going to be) and 3) what do I have to turn down, give back, come back on my word because I bit off more than I could chew. And proceed with 1, 2 and 3. Because I only panic when I lose control, when I have no overview.
    Saying no has become much more easy.
    Good luck.
    Greetje

    • Reply
      Lisa
      May 7, 2017 at 8:45 PM

      Yes, that’s good advice, Greetje. Saying NO gets easier and easier because there are things you just can’t do, without having to resort to your 3).

      I’m a little control freaky, and I hate that I’m so terrible at delegating because I’d rather things be done my way than someone else’s way (not for little things, but important things, of course). Being a grown up is just an unrealistically huge mountain of forms and paperwork and nonsense, as far as I can tell. xx

      • Reply
        No Fear of Fashion
        May 13, 2017 at 11:43 AM

        I’ll give you another trick I learned. Because like you I am a perfectionist who takes responsibility very serious. Which leads to being a control freak. I had to go to a psychologist first and then to a Time Management course plus several years putting all the learned stuff into practice. Took me a while and I am doing so much better. Now the trick I learned: if you are worried about something, try to visualise the worst thing that can happen and assess that. Would it really be the end of the world?
        Or, if you delegate and somebody else does the job in a different way, is that a wrong way? Is your way the only way to do it right? Surely not? There are many ways leading to Rome (literal translation of a Dutch saying haha). Delegating the “not that important stuff” to somebody else is a start.
        You see, if you keep doing everything yourself and don’t say no, you will, in the end, say no, but in an uncontrollable manner. Because of the sheer load, you cannot manage which of the tasks is going to be the one you cannot do.
        Am I ranting on and is your problem absolutely not this big??

        • Reply
          Lisa
          May 13, 2017 at 6:35 PM

          Thank you, Greetje, I think visualising the worst case scenario is good advice. I’d LOVE to be able to delegate, but most of my To-Do list is made of of things that no one can do for me (work visas, driver’s license renewal, parent stuff). You’re right though, I’ll have to say no in an uncontrolled way if I don’t get it straightened out. OH for more hours in a day! Thank you for your advice, I have some things to think about now! xx

  • Reply
    LA CONTESSA
    May 8, 2017 at 1:22 AM

    SOUNDS Like YOU found your BALANCE!!!
    THE GARDEN IS CALMING TO ME TOO………and I LOVE A GOOD GIN AND TONIC!
    XX

    • Reply
      Lisa
      May 8, 2017 at 11:48 AM

      I’m starting to get back on track! We’ll have our gin and tonic together soon, if you’re not too jet lagged! xx

  • Reply
    Suzy Turner
    May 8, 2017 at 1:43 PM

    I can’t drink gin – it makes me evil apparently 😉
    But I’ll join you for a glass of wine, Lisa! lol
    But seriously, the best thing for me is yoga every time. Namaste
    Suzy xx
    http://www.suzyturner.com

    • Reply
      Lisa
      May 8, 2017 at 1:53 PM

      I REALLY should get back into yoga. I did it for years, but I had such great instructors that when I tried other yoga places, none really measured up. I need to keep looking. My default is to do high energy things activities like boxing and running and step classes, but what I NEED is yoga and tai chi or something more calming. And YES to wine with you, Suzy! xx

  • Reply
    What Lizzy Loves (@whatlizzyloves)
    May 8, 2017 at 9:27 PM

    Yes to all four!!! I’ve been feeling at capacity of late, like I’m running on empty. The gym is such an energy boost and laughing and drinking with girlfriends is THE BEST too. You’re doing a great job Lisa xxxx

    • Reply
      Lisa
      May 9, 2017 at 7:58 AM

      Thank you so much Liz; You make your busy life look so easy… it is amazing that you also feel like you’re at capacity sometimes too! xx

  • Reply
    Jane
    May 8, 2017 at 10:15 PM

    I love the way you are attacking your list and keeping balance. Love the 4 Gs. I need a bit more of each in my life. I am dogsitting so that is a great excuse to get out and walk everyday. The gardening is an ongoing thing that I never seem to feel like I am getting right lol. I think I need a bit more of the gin and girlfriends to balance everything out!

    • Reply
      Lisa
      May 9, 2017 at 7:55 AM

      Yes, gin and girlfriends are a crucial part of the mix! At least you’re doing the exercise and gardening already, so just two more to tick off! xx

  • Reply
    Abby@Midlifecrisisnut
    May 9, 2017 at 12:47 PM

    Happy to see I’m not the only one 😉 The only problem is that I’m not allowed to do two ‘G’s these days: Gin and Gluten. Otherwise my problems would be solved quickly! Sending lots of love! ❤️xx Abby

    • Reply
      Lisa
      May 9, 2017 at 5:51 PM

      Oooooof, Gin and Gluten being off the list is awful! Yes, you have a LOT on your plate too, don’t you darling? xx

  • Reply
    jacqui
    May 9, 2017 at 5:42 PM

    Two of my many loves Gin and the gym, Oh I love prosecco too! A happy post to read. Jacqui
    http://www.mummabstylish.com

    • Reply
      Lisa
      May 9, 2017 at 5:52 PM

      Thank you, Jacqui! A fellow spirit! xx

  • Reply
    Rina
    May 9, 2017 at 8:45 PM

    I love your 4 G’s for achieving balance. Gym is a huge one for me and my attendance has been suffering lately. So I’ve made it a point to be a bit better with it! Girlfriends and time alone with my hubby is very important to feel like I’m maintaining balance =)

    xoxo
    Rina Samantha
    http://www.andshedressed.com

    • Reply
      Lisa
      May 13, 2017 at 6:41 PM

      Gym makes everything so much better! You seem like you’ve got it all under control, Rina! xx

  • Reply
    Lady of Style
    May 9, 2017 at 9:13 PM

    You are doing much better than me going to the gym regularly… I’ll take you to Veneta at St. James’s Market for delicious G&Ts next time (which also ticks your no. 4) and will start taking care of my garden once the weather finally gets better!

    See you soon xoxo
    Annette | Lady of Style

    • Reply
      Lisa
      May 13, 2017 at 6:42 PM

      Veneta is a must when you are in town later this month! I’m wishing you sunny days to enjoy your garden soon. xx

  • Reply
    Stella Asteria
    May 11, 2017 at 5:29 PM

    So it’s all about the 4 Gs right? 😀 Gym and girlfriends is so important to me! When I feel that way, I call a good friend and instantly calm and think clearly. Gym is the most effective, an intense workout makes me feel much relieved from anxiety, even more than yoga some times! Hope you already feel better my dear Lisa!
    xoxo
    Stella
    http://www.stellaasteria.com

    • Reply
      Lisa
      May 13, 2017 at 6:39 PM

      Thank you, Stella. Yep, these are the four G’s that keep me (relatively) sane! I’m starting to dig my way up out of my hole of being overwhelmed! I hope to be back in the normal working order soon. xx

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