Take Control Of Your Life!
Although the situations are different, these people all suffer
from a common problem. There is little balance in their lives.
In most cases, the loss of balance in our life is due to a loss
of control over our life. The symptoms range from not having the
time or energy to do the things truly important, to you thinking
of yourself as a "victim." Sometimes, you feel as if life is passing
you by, when in fact you are passing by life.
There are a number of reasons why we lose control over our life.
To begin with, let's say that one person may have so many demands
placed on them by others, it is as if those others take total
control. Others say, in today's world, there are so many choices
that it's hard to decide what is truly important to us. Still
others try to juggle everything but overlook the most important
thing of all - our own self.
Sometimes taking care of self has a negative connotation and
is viewed as selfish. But as the experts warn, taking care of
ourselves is paramount in ensuring both a physical and mental
balance in our life. If we forget about self, it could lead to
negative stress and eventually burnout.
What Can You Do To Regain Control Over Your Life?
Face it - there are things in our life we have to do. As the
saying goes, "Give us grace to accept with serenity the things
that cannot be changed, courage to change the things that should
be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish one from the other."
It is easy to blame others for a lack of time. In reality, we
are the ones who have the ultimate decision on how our time will
Over the years our roles and responsibilities change, and so
should our actions. Your sense of responsibility and corresponding
actions should be re-evaluated from time-to-time. Are the children
old enough to do more themselves? Have you been promoted and still
try to hold on to tasks which belong to your previous job? On
the other hand, are you accepting a promotion that you know you
will have difficulty handling? Do you really need two cars if
you take the bus to work, and your spouse works from home?
Learn To Say No
People who say "Yes" to every demand made on their time by family
and friends usually fit into one of two categories. Either they
don't have a realistic view of how much they can handle or they
are not assertive enough to say "No" when appropriate.
Planning will help the first type determine if they are biting
off more than they can chew. The second type just has to learn
to say a pleasant, but firm, "No" to family and friends. Otherwise,
both types end up working on everyone else's priorities instead
of their own.
There are only 24 hours in each day. To make the most effective
use of that time, plan what you spend your time on. Decide what
is most important and what you are willing to trade in order to
get it. Your plan should cover all the major areas in your life
- home, family, work, leisure, and of course, self.
Scheduling appointments for time spent alone, doing something
just for your own benefit, must be treated like any other appointment
- as a firm commitment.
If Lynn schedules a 20 minute appointment each day to play the
piano, in one year, over 120 hours will have been spent doing
This principle can be applied to almost any area of your life.
From filing systems to wardrobe planning, simplification and getting
rid of excess and unnecessary items and/or activities can make
any task easier and faster to complete.
Recognize the Difference Between "Needs" and "Wants"
The materialism in our society can be a cause of unbalance in
our life. Don't sacrifice health, family or work for possessions
you may want but not need.
There are situations where you may need to take on a great responsibility.
But if there are other situations that you are often quick to
volunteer for, accept responsibility, and save everyone and the
day, you may consider some professional guidance, if the word
"No" isn't usually spoken by you. And, if you haven't realized
how much you have taken on, an EAP counsellor can help you take
charge of your life.
Learning to focus on what is important and to take control of your life could mean asking for some assistance from an EAP counsellor. We can show you ways you can start being good to you, and feel good about it!
If you have any questions about this topic, or if you wish to discuss a personal situation you may be experiencing, we invite you to contact your Employee Assistance Program (EAP). All contact between you and your EAP is completely confidential.
You may reach us at:
English Service: 1.800.387.4765
Support services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
HealthQuest is produced four times a year for employees
and their families.
© 2005 WarrenShepell