Life Management - Getting The Balance Right
My mother use to say, “ a woman’s nails is like a table well set, so please make sure your nails are done”.
Why was this so profound?
When I had lost a child due to sudden death, about twenty years ago, my mother could not stop mourning. I will tell you that the loss was encompassing, but with a house full of children, life had to go on; or so I thought, but not for my mom. I asked my mother, out of sheer frustration, how I could make you happy?
She threw me the quote above, “making sure to have my nails done”. I thought, at the time, why is this aspect so relevant, with a busy household to run. At last many years later I understood her profound wisdom, 'in other words dear daughter, make sure you have your self care needs met so you can function in other areas'.
in Avot, Hillel states “ If not for myself , who am I?
This is a reflection on the importance of self care.
When thinking about life management, we introduce primal skills, such as problem solving behaviors that are appropriate and responsible in the use of management of your personal affairs. The areas of employment, community, jobs, leisure, family and most important self. So this seems logical, why do many of us find ourselves off balance.
“ Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism
or the darkness of selfishness. This is the judgement. Life’s most persistent and urgent questions is, what are you doing for others?”
Martin Luther King
Patrick Carnes , in the Book Facing The Shadow, uses a tool called the PCI.
I have used this tool with client hundreds of times in the past years.
The PCI, Personal Craziness Index, is based on two assumptions,
1) craziness first manifests itself in routine, simple behaviors that support self maintenance
2) behavioral signs will occur in patterns involving divergent sectors in our lives.
When your life is out of control and there’s a pervasive pattern of overwhelm; things are flying, your laundry is flowing over, your bank account is overdrawn, you run the risk of becoming emotionally bankrupt. We sometimes neglect basic things. A certain loss of reality sets in. At this time you become vulnerable which can cause you to neglect manageable tasks. You get moody, out of control. Self destructive behaviors set in to create a system of feeling off balance.
Stop, the PCI is created to help you generate behavioral signs, danger signs, that warn you, before you get the feeling of, “I am losing it”.
There are twelve areas which we explore;
Family/ Significant Others
Personal Reflection and any other Symptom behaviors that create negative consequences. These areas are set up on a worksheet and are rated throughout the week. The areas are also graphed and you can determine your risk factor, by using the graphs we create. This helps you understand what is going on, what factors need to be addressed. How to deal with where you are and where you want to be.
Important ways to manage your life
Habits and rituals, what are yours?
If failure happens, what have you learned from it?
Productivity is key, what’s your next best step.?
Are you a lifelong learner or a quitter?
Take care of your health
Self care, is that part of your routine?
Tony Robbins, a well known coach breaks management skills into five categories.
Find a purpose, which is based on ultimate outcomes. This is inclusive of using time efficiently, and carrying out accountable actions. He strongly suggests visualizing an outcome. In therapy we usually create a vision board.
Utilizing time, during the pandemic, many people start, couch potato behaviors
Netflix, videos…, there’s a theory called N.E.T, “No Extra Time”.
Make use of daily schedules, to do lists, and calendars with time tables to make best use of your time.
Life management means spending time on relationship building.
Developing bonds of friendship and love are never a waste of time. Relaxation and sleep are just as important , inclusive of physical exercise. Another skill to add to the list is communication.
Communication involves speaking and really being able to listen as well. Listening means to make sure the speaker feels you understood what they have said.
Many times I use The PREP Method to help clients practice communication skills. We role play conversations. We do this in order to figure out how to speak and how to listen with greater results. The skill of learning how to speak in order to make sure the listener knows they have been heard is vital for clear communication. The prep method helps in communication, so that each party speaking feels they have said their message, have been heard, and listens to the message they are hearing in order to respond properly. These conversations become a healthier way of communicating.
Healthy conversations can make a huge difference in a relationship.
Life management is all about taking the next best step, in bridging where you are to where you want to be.
You can create a healthy balance in your life once you recognize the obstacles that are throwing you off balance. Remaining in the dis-ease by denying you are not in a balanced lifestyle can be frustrating and create poor lifestyle management and obstacles that don’t help you get your tasks done and your goals met.
Once you are able to manage your own life, in a healthy consistent way, you will have the freedom of being there for others in a more constructive, authentic manner.