Trying to Find Balance

by - Thursday, December 15, 2011

Finding balance is never easy especially when we're constantly told we can have it all and do everything, you know, that whole superwoman complex. But trying to have it all and do everything is a one-way road to burnout town.

Trust me, I know.

I've been experiencing that a lot the last several months, between major work projects, the end of half marathon training and a jam packed social calendar.

I blog a lot about trying to find balance between work, fitness and my social life, but it's something I constantly struggle with.

When I'm training for a race, I tend to go overboard and sacrifice just about everything else at the expense of my training. I skip happy hours or nights out to make sure I have enough sleep to get in my long runs.

Philly half

When I'm not training, I make up for all the skipped social events by jamming my calendar so full I can barely function.

Tailgates are my favorite social event!

Here's a glimpse of what a typical weekend looks like for me during the off-season:

Friday evening - Happy hour with friends
Friday night - Movie with friends
Saturday morning - Run
Saturday afternoon - Bike shopping (or other errands)
Saturday night - Out with friends
Sunday morning - Church, grocery shopping, other errands
Sunday afternoon - Lunch with friends
Sunday evening - Sunday Night Football or collapsing on the couch exhausted

Lately I've been trying to avoid the extremes and find a more happy balance.

Here's what I've been trying:

1. Setting a goal to get in three workouts each week. Rather than having to do certain workouts on certain days like when I'm training, I'm shooting to just get up and move a couple of times each week. This lets me be flexible enough to fit in workouts and social events.

2. Learning to say no. I love having a full calendar and spending time with friends and family, but there are only so many hours in a day and unless I learn how to clone myself, I can't be everywhere at once. I really struggle with turning down invites, but I'm trying to make more me time in my calendar so I'm not burnt out all the time.

3. Adding in variety. I don't think I've run once since the Hot Chocolate 15K, but I have done lots of pool workouts, which I'm really enjoying. I find that mixing up my workouts in the off-season helps prevent mental burnout and gives my running muscles some much needed rest. Plus swimming works my arms, so it's nice to have that bit of balance in my workouts.

4. Getting enough sleep. A jammed social calendar sometimes really cuts into my sleep and I end up burning the candles at both ends a bit too much. I'm pretty sure that's why I got sick last week. So I'm trying to be more diligent about getting my eight hours of shut eye. Even if that means going to bed early like a granny some nights of the week.

5. Not stressing about missed workout. Yes, I have a goal to move more in the winter, but if it doesn't happen it doesn't happen. I was sick last week and worked out once. I've only worked out once so far this week because I'm still tired and run down. It's not the end of the world. I obviously just need to be getting more sleep and and get better at saying no. But in the meantime, not stresses really helps.

I'm far from having this balance thing down to a science, but I think I'm getting a little bit better. At the very least, I'm embracing the off-season and enjoying my time off from serious training. So if nothing else, I'm good at finding balance there.

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