A Lifeline to Finding Work-Life Balance

Work-Life Balance Tips for Christian Women

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Living a Balanced LifeĀ 

Yup. It's a dream. And unfortunately to some, trying to achieve it has become a nightmare.

Balanced? What does that even mean?

Christian women today compete constantly for the attention of their families, their bosses, and their friends. Let's face it. It's a terribly busy, unfocused, and out of control world these days. And surviving it means many times that you're put in a position where you are asked to sacrifice your most precious commodity. Your peace.

You want to do well in your work. You want to do well in your marriage and your family. But when does the priority ever shift to doing well for yourself so you can keep your sanity?

The idea of Maintaining Balance Comes Right Out of the BibleĀ 

In 1 Peter 5:8 (AMP), it says:

"Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring (in fierce hunger), seeking someone to seize upon and devour."

Most Christian women never take the time to think about being in balance. In fact, they don't even take the time to think about how all of this is affecting the people they care most about ... their own families.

It's true. It's not a good sign when Mom is burned out, stressed out, and pulling her hair out. It's not good when Mom shows up at the PTA meeting with different colored shoes on. And it's really not good when Mom is so stressed she forgets and addresses your new boyfriend by your old boyfriend's name. Oops.

Why You Might Feel So Stressed All the Time

I once coached a client who was completely miserable. She couldn't understand why she felt so stressed all the time, even though she knew she was abundantly blessed. It wasn't until we began digging into all the things she did each day, particularly the reasons why she was doing them.

She discovered that not only was she giving her time and attention to things that didn't really matter, she was also doing for other people many things they should have been doing for themselves. Her misplaced sense of having to do it all, be it all, and carry it all, had completely thrown her into a state of constant running, stressing, and worrying.

When she finally slowed down enough to look at where she was in her life and how she got there, she was able to start getting control by identifying the most important people and tasks that genuinely contribute to her life. She began allowing time only for those things that reinforce her goals of focus, balance, and peace.

So, how do we rewind some of the chaos until we come to a place where we are a whole lot happier and in control? Let's consider the conditions that have to be present in our lives in order for us to feel balanced.

Work-Life Balance Assessment Questions:

  • If I were to rate my life happiness on a scale of 1-10, with 10 as deliriously happy, what number would I give it?
  • How long ago was I truly happy and how did my life look back then? What made my life work back then? What's changed?
  • What area of my life is the hardest for me right now? Is it my health? My work? My family life?
  • In what area would I most like to make changes?
  • What is the biggest energy drainer in my life right now? If I could change just this part of my life, how would it look different?

If you're like most Christian women, it's tough to look down deep to find answers. And when you do, it's scary. You've been running at this pace for so long that the thought of changing directions or even slowing down is stressful by itself.

As odd as it sounds, some Christian women are addicted to the stress. They live it every day. They feel it in everything they do and if it's not there, they'd feel like something simply wasn't right.

But don't panic. You don't have to turn your whole world upside down. Rather, it's far easier if you think in terms of baby steps. It's a whole lot easier to only focus on something small, isn't it?

So where do we start? How do we take our first baby step?

Work-Life Balance Planning

First, describe exactly how you want your life to look. Put as much detail to your plan as possible. Break your life down into each area of the life wheel and describe how it would look if it were exactly as you would like it.

Second, make sure you consider all areas of your life. Sometimes we decide to make life changes in one area without considering how all the areas of our lives are connected. Make sure each area of your life is in balance and that any changes you make flow smoothly through all of them.

Third, consider the other people in your life and how they factor into your new plan. It's not always easy to arbitrarily make life changes when they affect other people. Discuss the changes with them. Be specific and give dates. When everybody is on the same page, everybody wins.

Fourth, decide on your first baby step. What can you do today? What changes can you make this week? This month? Once you make this first baby step, how will things change?

Once you see some progress, it will get easier to keep moving in the right direction. And, to help you even more, here is a free downloadable report that will help you in your journey to focus, and live a more balanced, and peaceful life.

Karen Wolff is host to a Christian Web site for women. As a life coach, she specializes in helping women of faith, particularly entrepreneurs and professionals, find more hours in the day, less stress, and spiritual fulfillment. For more information visit Karen's Bio Page.