It’s no secret that in life your health correlates with how well you balance all the plates in your life. Between healthy and unhealthy, social and unsocial, work and play, self-care and caring for others, and whatever other opposite spectrums your life style incorporates; how you balance them can cause you to sink or swim.
Since circumstances are constantly changing, we will always be learning how to balance the plates we have in our life. Some plates may be bigger and others smaller. Some may need to be adjusted so that it’s easier to handle. And finally some you may have to choose to put down so you don’t risk completely dropping it, and the plate breaking. Learning to find your rhythm and know yourself well enough to dictate the maximum amount of plates you can handle is an art, but once you master it, it’ll be easier to keep balance throughout life.
I have learned a lot of balance working here in a prison. It’s a balance of treating inmates like humans and being cautious of their intentions. It’s a balance of respecting the Custody Officers but also trying to make sure inmates get fair treatment. It’s a balance of expressing the love of God, but not alarming coworkers into thinking I’m favoring inmates. It’s a balance of putting on tough skin but still giving off a warm essence.
It has been a challenge and an art, but I think I have found my rhythm. What I have learned here can be applied to anyones life to help find their rhythm, so without further ado, here are some tips I use to keep my sanity and stay afloat:
1) Understand that you are not going to please everyone, and you are going to make mistakes
2) Understand what values and morals you want to prioritize, and stay true and consistent with them
3) Be honest with yourself, and know what you can handle; pushing yourself when you know you can handle more and having grace towards yourself when you know you cannot take on anymore
4) Do not compare how many plates you’re balancing with how many plates other people can balance, unless they might need help and you can afford to help them. Other than that, focus on yours and yours only.
5) Say no when you need to and don’t worry about offending people by saying it. You are only human, and other people will understand that- if they don’t, then that’s on them not you.
6) Have patience when things or “Plates” change or break or get bigger or get smaller… we cant always control what happens in our lives but we can control how we respond to it.
7) Starting to feel frazzled or not like yourself? Give yourself a break and self care.. go take a walk, do a hobby you love, rest, read your bible or any book that brings you joy. This will help prevent complete burnout or a breakdown in the long run.
8) Keep a humble mindset, and pat yourself on the back because you’re doing your best and that’s what matters (: