Written by: Brianna Davis | Best Company Editorial Team
Last Updated: February 24th, 2020
Sometimes the demands of the world seem to dictate your life. We've gathered some advice from experts to help you calm the chaos. They advise following these four principles to set priorities, establish a routine, develop healthy habits, and cultivate family bonds.
You should come first
“When you get up early, you start the day by taking care of yourself first, which hopefully includes exercising and some form of meditation, prayer, and intention for how you want the day to go. When you do commit to this practice, you choose to put the oxygen mask on yourself first, prioritizing what is most important. Then, you are better able to take care of others and to take care of tasks that are part of family life and work life.”
— Jill Sylvester is a licensed mental health therapist who combines traditional and alternative methods of treatment for a unique approach to the counseling process.
“After leaving the office, take a 20 minute break before going home to your significant other and family. Pop by a Starbucks and sip a cup of tea or take a short, brisk walk around the block and clear your head of daytime stress.”
— Dr. Fran Walfish is a Beverly Hills family and relationship psychotherapist, author of The Self-Aware Parent, contributing expert on The Doctors, and co-star on Sex Box.
Determine what is important to you
“You are one person and in order to create a true balance, you need to let things go. If you have a partner, sit down and discuss what your top five priorities are when it comes to the household. Then determine what needs to come off your list in order to ensure those five things are done, plus you get some time to focus on your personal five priorities. Then delegate between your spouse, children, and outsource.”
— Christina is the creator of the popular blog Mom in the Six
“When we can define our own ‘enough’ then we can take steps to get there.
- Define enough
- Plan how to get there
- Put the steps of the plan in the calendar
- Assess your progress
- Make changes as needed
Finally, don’t try to change your entire life at once. Small steps lead to solid habits that make a profound difference over time.”
— Jennifer Snyder is a Certified Professional Organizer® at Neat as a Pin®
“Keep it positive. At the same time when you are adding new items, pay attention to the things that seem difficult. These are the things that need to change. Things that feel like work decrease emotional energy and demotivate. This negative energy carries over to other activities.
Can some of these activities be eliminated? Changed? Could some of these activities be replaced with something that feels more positive?
Doing things you enjoy improved the likelihood of completion and increases the probability that you will find ways to fit these activities into your schedule.”
— Erica McCurdy is a professional family, life, and business coach with over 25 years of experience helping people take great next steps.
“Staying healthy and balancing your time is not just important — it’s vital to your quality of life. The best way to do this is to visualize your time by the pillars of support you have. Mental, physical, social, and spiritual health needs to be kept in check for your life to thrive. Health is a part of every one of your pillars. Mental health leads to better physical health which will give you social health among your community and ultimately leave you at peace for your spiritual health.”
— Julio Medina is a Digital Business Development Manager for JM
Manage your time
“Squeeze exercise in by getting up early, going to the gym on your lunch break, or in the evening. If you are like me and you are not a morning person, don’t have a long lunch break, and are too tired in the evening after your kids go to bed, then try to find an activity that both you and your kids enjoy. Remember to get the benefits of movement, you just have to move. Take the rules out of your head about how long or strenuous your exercise has to be. It’s not an all or nothing thing. Your body and mind will benefit from any form of movement, so find something you enjoy.”
— Jennifer Smith is a registered dietitian and owner of Joy, Energy, Nutrition who helps women who are struggling with a variety of health challenges including weight gain and low self-esteem.
“The best way to balance your family and health is by using time management. Be prepared by packing healthy snacks and lunch the night before or early in the morning before you leave for the day. By having them readily available, you won’t mindlessly graze and won’t have to worry about running out to get food. Try to schedule time together as a family to do something fun that everyone can participate in. If it’s scheduled, then you’re more likely to do it. It’s challenging to try to fit everything in, but with a little preparation and planning, you’ll feel like your life is more balanced.”
— Ashley Wood is a Registered Nurse with a Bachelor's in Nursing and over 10 years of nursing experience.
“1. Keep a tab of everything. I have a calendar in place over which I mark things up beforehand so that I may not miss or mismatch anything.
2. Divide household tasks. It's not necessary to keep yourself occupied with the tasks of others that they can also do. So saying NO to them and dividing the job is essential.
3. Prepare breakfast at night. Preparing breakfast at night gives me enough time to help my family get ready on time.
4. Be ready first. Some people may not find this appealing but getting yourself ready first is something that can bring change to your life. Take a shower, get dressed, and have a proper meal before everyone so that you have the appropriate nutrition to work all day.”
— Kelsey Duran is a housewife and blogger, wine and cheese lover, mother of two sweet boys, and a naggy wife who loves to write about kids health and nutrition.
“My number one recommendation is to outsource. For me, it's childcare so I can run errands. But for others, it may be grocery delivery or a cleaning lady. It's important to keep in mind that no one does it all, by themselves. Everyone has help sometimes and you shouldn't be afraid to ask! Having someone else check off a few items from your to-do list will give you peace of mind and allow you time to do more important things that only YOU can do like exercising or spending quality time with your kids. Oh, how I wish I could outsource exercising!”
— Beth Chen is the creator of Bon Appetit
Include the family
“Make your family part of your daily activity. Exercise doesn’t need to always happen at the gym. Go on walks and bike rides with your kids. Catch up with loved ones over long walks instead of at a restaurant. Play tag at the park with your kids, or take a family yoga class. Likewise, make gardening and preparing meals together a part of your family time. These are great lessons for your kids while keeping the whole family healthy at the same time.”
— Cindy Hemming is the creator of Living for the Sunshine
“Get children involved in your healthy choices. Have them shop with you and pick out new fruits and vegetables they have never tried ... make it fun like a game. Set up a tracker where you write down how you were healthy each day and give gold stars for yourself and them.”
— Belinda Ginter is an industry leader in Emotional Kinesiology, Success Coaching, and Mindset.
Remember, you don’t have to be perfect at life. That is something we all have in common. Do your best and be kind to yourself. Every time you take a deep breath is a chance for you to try again.