2019 International Women’s Day is almost here!

This year, International Women’s Day (IWD) falls on Friday, March 8th. The theme for IWD is #BalanceforBetter, supporting the journey towards gender balance and inclusion. The theme opens the conversation for balanced partnerships, friendships, co-parenting, and cohabitating relationships.

What does balance mean for you?

Here’s the thing, in life we all fill many different roles. I am a therapist, a daughter, a wife, a best friend, and godmother to two amazing little boys. What I consider “balanced” in each of these arenas varies widely.

There are days when I am caring for my mother and it feels as if the scales are surely unbalanced while managing her wellness, as dementia slowly enters our life. The emotional currency put out in our relationship is often uneven, but I find balance in the routine of sharing coffee with her in the morning, talking about her phone calls to her sisters in the evening, and sharing laughter with her during her “boggled moments” (as she refers to them). I also find balance in connecting with others and educating myself on how to best support her.

My godsons’ are the greatest gift of joy and light in my life. Their Mother is their biggest advocate, my oldest godson experiences a significant developmental delay. It took many years for him to begin to communicate with us and share his thoughts and feelings. There are days when he has BIG emotions and not quite enough words to let us know how to help. On these days, my friend and I find balance by checking in with each other, encouraging deep breaths, passing the tissues, and lifting up our gratitude for the incredibly strong-willed and driven little man he is growing into. Their Mother also finds balance by maintaining a structured routine of support providers, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Behavioral Health therapies to support him in his journey of growth.

For many of the numerous roles in life, I find balance by remembering this:

  • Communication and Connection is key:
    Yes, I know it’s cliché, but communicating with those we love and are close to is vital. When sharing how we are doing, it invites others to share the emotional load of what is happening, it allows us to tell them how we need support and for them to tell us what they need or would appreciate from us.
  • Setting boundaries:
    Setting healthy boundaries with friends, family, partners, and employers allows us to maintain balance in our lives. Balance between what we need to feel well and what others need from us can be tricky, but defining our boundaries for wellness allows us to continue to engage with the world in a healthy and clear-minded way. We must set what feels best for our wellbeing before we can be there to support others in a meaningful way.
  • Remember balanced nutrition:
    Balanced nutrition and hydration allow our body and mind to work clearly and efficiently. When we are hungry or dehydrated it takes more effort to accomplish tasks, communicate effectively, and listen to those we partner or interact with.
  • Find time to be outdoors:
    Spending time outdoors allows our senses to ground us, increases self-awareness, removes fog from our thoughts, and recharges our sense of self.
  • Sleep and rest are essential:
    Sleep is often the first to suffer when we are feeling overwhelmed. Our minds race and recall our mounting “to-do” lists or tasks that we weren’t able to accomplish exactly as planned. Creating and following a consistent sleep hygiene routine can help to calm our minds and increase our body’s ability to get the rest it needs.

How do you find balance in your life? We would love to hear from you!

Please contact our office at (480) 750-0095 to let us know how can Alium Health can help support your journey towards #BalanceForBetter!

Katina M Walker, LMFT
AAMFT Clinical Fellow