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The Spinning Plates of Life

Today I want to talk about the concept of self-care and prioritization. We can wear a lot of different hats in our daily lives; as moms, wives, professionals, daughters, sisters, and dog parents, and sometimes we need a little help working out how to better-prioritize what we have spinning around in the air up there.

I say ‘in the air ‘because when I talk to my clients about this, I have a very specific visual in mind. It’s of that guy on America’s Got Talent who’s somehow spinning about twenty plates on sticks high over his head. He’s rushing around the stage trying to keep them up there, and they’re always just on the verge of crashing down on top of him. He’s a basket case, running back and forth, and we all wonder ‘Oh my God, how does he do that? How does he keep them all up there?’

I think that this works really well as an analogy for how we often function in all our different roles as women in our daily lives. We’re running all day long, trying to keep those plates up in the air and feeling like they’re about to tumble down on us. Then when we add a sprinkling of moodiness and worry that are caused or made worse by our fear of these spinning plates, and it’s not surprising that we all feel completely overwhelmed. The constant presence of this pressure in your mind can be really tough to handle. A lot of the clients I work with feel this way and I totally get it, I’ve been there too. I’ve found it can be helpful to start by trying to get a better sense of what plates you actually have in the air, and then work out which of those you’d like to concentrate on. It might be that you’ve got a bunch of tasks that you feel you’re wasting precious time on, and you have other thoughts and ideas about what you really want and need to be focusing on. If you can make that distinction and get that number of plates down from ten to maybe four, you can really get them going and feel like its manageable, and you can breathe. It can help to get things on paper as it’s a cathartic exercise to clear our mind. So start with a list of all the plates you have in the air. Do not forget the little minutia that we women take care of from the doctor’s appointments to where your son’s favorite toy is stashed. Once you have created your list, start looking where you can pair down or who you can delegate to.

Something I think we all seem to struggle to do is to have a plate up there with our own name on it. We get caught up in the daily chaos of our kids, family, parents, profession, career and who knows what else, and we all too often forget to take care of ourselves. There’s that nagging cough you’ve had for the last six months that you know you should probably take care of, or that mole that looks kind of weird, and the fact that you haven’t been to the dentist in two years. You need to free up some time and start taking care of yourself. I’m here to tell you to go ahead and do it because no one’s going to do it for you.

So please, first and foremost, prioritize yourself, because if you’re not taking care of yourself and you’re not feeling good, all of the important plates you’re spinning will continue to be a source of stress for you. If you physically and mentally feel good it will be easier to handle the day to day stresses of life.

I hope these thoughts will resonate with some of you, it’s definitely something that I’ve felt too, and have talked about a lot with my clients over and over. Have a great week everyone!

How many spinning plates do you have going? If you need help prioritizing, just reach out and send us a message at www.betterbalancecounseling.com. We can help! If you enjoyed this article and it resonated with you, or if there is someone you know that can benefit from reading it, please share!

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