Have you ever seen two children riding on a see-saw? It can be very interesting to watch depending on who is on either side. For example, if there is a large ten year old on one side of the see-saw and a small five year old on the other, the ten year old will be sitting on the ground, grumbling and saying how bored he is because the see-saw will not lift up. The five year old will probably be either panicking from the extreme lift off or wondering when and how she will ever get back down again. Now, imagine two average sized seven year olds. They can be seen happily giggling, enjoying the ride and enjoying the experience. They are doing what’s appropriate for them, they are able to balance the see-saw because their weight is evenly distributed and they are finding joy in their experience. The point is, when the see-saw is out of balance it will not work properly and if it doesn’t work it’s just not fun.
Look at your life the same way using the same see-saw example. On one side, place your work, your responsibilities, your commitments, projects, tasks, your obligations and the stress you feel from it all on one side of the see-saw. At this point you’ll see that the see-saw is extremely heavy on one side and is far from balanced. What’s interesting though is that this is how many moms live their lives. The weight of one side of the see-saw is completely out of proportion with the weight on the other side. Just as the unevenly matched children were unhappy with this lack of balance, so are most moms. But while the mismatched children will quickly find a solution to make the see-saw more fun, most moms resign themselves to believing that there is no other alternative and keep their see-saws exactly as is. This approach leaves things terribly out of balance and simply not working.
Now go back to your see-saw and imagine what it would take to bring it into balance. First add some down time and enjoy it with music, taking a bath, reading a book, writing in a journal, meditating, visualizing or trying some deep breathing exercises. Maybe the see-saw budged a little bit. Now add a little bit of self care by finding time for exercise, eating well, getting more sleep, enjoying time with your family or pets, pursuing an interest and having a good laugh with your friends. See the see-saw start to lift? Continue to add a little pampering by finding time for a manicure, getting an overdue haircut, buying a new outfit or a great pair of shoes. The see-saw is lifting off and is much better balanced than before.
Each time you implement something pleasurable onto your see-saw it helps bring your life into balance. Joyful activities enable the see-saw to lift off while the daily stress you encounter weighs the see-saw down. The idea is to make your see-saw balance most of the time. It’s OK if it teeters because life is not perfectly balanced all the time. Throughout your day your see-saw will weigh heavier on either side depending on what you are doing, feeling and thinking. The point however is to find enough activities to lighten the heavy side so that the see-saw will work, find its balance and give you a pleasurable ride.
Debi Silber, MS, RD, WHC is a Registered Dietitian, Personal Trainer, Whole Health Coach, President of Lifestyle Fitness, Inc and busy Mom of four. She is a Lifestyle Expert just for Moms and has been working exclusively with Moms for nearly twenty years inspiring and empowering them to become physically fit and emotionally strong through gradual, realistic lifestyle changes. For more on the Lifestyle Fitness Program, please visit http://www.lifestylefitnessinc.com
By: Debi Silber