Everyone has responsibilities in their lives in both their career and within the family. Other people need to be able to count on us to do our part, whether it be writing a report or taking out the garbage. Our duties take a certain portion of our time each day. However, we need to balance those duties with things that really interest us and feed our soul.
I remember feeling overwhelmed as a young mother by a mountain of laundry and endless cooking and cleaning. My life felt like it was constant drudgery and I fell into a state of depression. When my doctor asked what I was doing for myself, it started me thinking about what I wanted for my life beyond endless chores.
The solution for me was to go back to school. I had always wanted to go to college and when I actually began taking classes, the depression lifted. Of course, I still had laundry, cooking and cleaning to do, and I became more efficient with those tasks, but I balanced it with something that I enjoyed and that engaged my mind.
Julia Cameron, in her book “The Artists Way”, suggests that we take ourselves on an artist date every week to stimulate our creativity. Spending one hour a week doing something that delights you and you alone is very beneficial. It can be anything from visiting an antique shop to going for a swim. It is helpful to get out of our routine and explore something that interests us.
We sometimes fall into the trap of taking care of everyone else and putting ourselves last. Doing for others first puts our potential on hold. Taking care of ourselves reverses this scheme. When we take care of our needs first, we have more energy to share with others. Exploring our interests gives our life more meaning and makes us more balanced and whole. When we balance our daily chores with activities that engage our higher self, everyone benefits.