Pretty intense thought for a title, but today I had an epiphany that balance will be so critical as we travel for at least the next year. My husband and I spend all day together, everyday. Seems like an ideal arrangement but if we aren't careful we could end up burned out with one another. Truth be told this could happen in many ways. Marriage is one factor and parenting is another. This got me thinking about life in general. For our own mental health and self-care, and regardless of traveling indefinitely or not, everyone needs the following for the sake of balance:
- Spiritual Connection
- Purpose/Fulfilling Work
- Exercise/Healthy Activities
- Individual Time
- Social Time
- Emotional Fulfillment
In theory, having all of the above creates balance in a person in order to feel whole and personally able to connect with the world outside of them. With this list in mind, the husband and I will literally have to find ways to make this happen individually and for our children while we live an unorthodox routine of moving from country to country as a unit of five.
Some ways to implement these are easy: exercising as a family, attending church weekly, and creating opportunities to meet new people and make friends. We've done this pretty well, so far. That gets point 1, 3, and 5 down but what about the other three areas? Those are trickier. Spending alone time is something we even need to create for our children but how so? As the school year unfolds, we will implement individual assignments for each to work independently. We also understand how important their connection to us will be, so already, we often have individual dates so each child gets a parents' undivided attention.
As husband and wife communication will be key especially when we need to fill an area of balance. The hubs and I have committed to tell each other what we need when we are feeling low on any of the six needs. It's not always easy I'll admit. Why can't husbands and wives just read each other's (emotional) minds/needs? Nevertheless, our foundation is love and we've both committed to not driving each other completely crazy as we live life so intertwined.
In our first month of traveling, we've already lived in 4 different hotels, cabins or homes. We've been on buses, cabs and about five plane rides. That's one home per week and lots of moving. It's a blessing to do this long term traveling but in those chaotic four weeks of moving the six values above needed to stay at the forefront! The best way to do that which works in any household is to determine family goals and guidelines. We're doing a weekly reward system to encourage kindness and cleanliness and so far, so good. Systems work, consist ones even better. Boy do I need to tell myself this every single morning.
How do you fulfill yourself in the six areas of balance?
Have any tips for this HerMama? Please share in comments section below.