– by Amanda Shields, First posted in the ACHSM March 2015 Newsletter
March is a great time to be in Adelaide with the numerous fun, entertaining and sometimes bizarre Fringe shows, not to mention the Adelaide Festival and WOMADelaide. Why would you want to be anywhere else?
I love Adelaide and at the moment the city has a fantastic vibrancy about it and I love getting out and exploring. It is easy to see why we call it ‘Mad March’ as there is just so much to see and do. If anything, there is a bit too much. We really are spoilt for choice, making it difficult to decide what to go to, never mind finding the time and money.
I think for many of us though, the ‘Mad March’ busy feeling is something we experience for most of the year. Granted there isn’t always the excitement of the Garden of Unearthly Delights, hilarious comedians, astounding acrobatics and naked magic shows to go to every night. However friends and colleagues are always telling me how busy they are, how their weekends go too quickly, that their work is all consuming and that they rarely get time to themselves. I too sometimes feel like time is my enemy and I have more tasks to do than hours in which to do them. I have even started to notice how my mood can be influenced by those two annoying little hands on the clock.
So Fringe or not, I think we all have times where we feel like a juggler and juggling way too many balls and are scared of dropping them. These balls will vary for each of us, but might include work, family, children, bills, housework, study, friends, exercise and hobbies. If we juggle too many balls and for too long it can have a negative effect on our health and wellbeing. Another problem with juggling is that the balls can become very consuming and the focus of all our attention, meaning it is difficult to notice what else is going on around us. We often don’t take the time to reflect on our own lives and consider how we spend our time and where we focus our energy. When this happens it can be easy to fall into the trap of becoming very reactive to day-to-day pressures of life, being overly influenced by others or plodding along on automatic pilot. As a consequence, we may not be living our lives in line with our core values and may not be pursuing our goals and dreams. It may also be affecting our health and wellbeing and those around us.
Take a moment to reflect on your health and wellbeing and consider the following:
1. What is currently happening in your life? Are you too busy? Do you have good work/life balance? Are you doing things that you enjoy and are engaging? Are you looking after yourself? Do you feel mostly happy or sad? Increase your awareness of what you are actually doing and consider the impact your behaviours, habits, thoughts, feelings and attitudes are having on your wellbeing and perhaps those around you.
2. If you don’t already know, start to clarify what you would like your life to look like. Who do you want to be as a person? What is important to you? What are your values? What are your strengths? What are your passions and goals?
3. Next consider if you are happy with the life path you are currently travelling along? If yes that is awesome 🙂 However, if there a mismatch between aspects of what you are currently doing and what you would like to be doing, then maybe it’s time to consider making some changes?
4. If there are changes you would like to make, think about what barriers are getting in the way; is it lack of confidence, self-doubt, limited knowledge or skills, a job you don’t like, an unhealthy relationship, poor coping strategies or perhaps fear of change that is standing in the way?
5. Start thinking about how you could overcome these barriers, what actions you could take, what changes you could make, what help you could seek, that will take you on the life path you want.
6. Take Action, believe in yourself and don’t give up!
In future blogs, I will discuss various elements that contribute towards health and wellbeing and I will share some practical tips and strategies with the aim of helping you to make change and start taking actions to achieve the life that you want.
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If you are interested check out our “Project You’ Building Positive Wellbeing course – (2 x 4hr sessions)
Amanda Shields, (Occupational Therapist, Health Coach)
Be Inspired Group health and wellness www.beinspiredgroup.com.au