Providing Self Care and Balance

Hello, I’m Arian, a 43 year old divorced father of 3, and a small business owner. I find life to be extremely busy from all directions. Being a businessman, I am working 70-80 hours most weeks but as a parent I’m pretty much always on the job! I know we are busier now than ever, especially with cell phones linked to all emails, texts, social media and so on…We can’t really “punch out” and go home. So, how have I found ways to care for myself? My family? My sanity?

I tend to look at it as separate things that are equally important. With family it’s all about a common interest or hobby. Finding something the entire family enjoys (actually enjoys!) is a tough thing to find but I feel it starts there. For my family it’s dirt bikes and the act of getting outside, middle of nowhere, camping and exploring from our bikes.

We’ve made it an important part of our routine. Every other weekend, no matter what, we go. We unplug for two days, no TV, no phones, no distractions. It makes our world small and manageable and I think it helps with the over-stimulation and constant pressure kids have now. It’s not even really about the bikes, it’s about the commitment to each other and reserving that time as a priority.

Now as far as my own personal health I see the family time as 30% of the equation…The rest I see as a physical repair or mental repair. Physically I set time aside once a month for stress relief. Like a spa day, I will steam for an hour to loosen up, followed by a massage. I think this works very well to physically remove built up stress in my body. Mental health I approach through adventure.

As a parent or professional I’m constantly caring for someone else or being an accessory to their paradigm, I need solitary time to return to me. I do this in a very deliberate fashion. I plan 2-3 trips a year, ranging from a few days to a few weeks. I plan something that isn’t necessarily dangerous but maybe scares me a little. Sometimes doing something by yourself is scary enough, haha..I use these little adventures as, first of all, something to look forward to. Life can be bust or stressful but I don’t have to look far to see a break, something fun and unknown that feeds me energy to get through it.

The alone time allows discovery, yourself and the world around you. The alone time allows reflection and self-analysis. It also allows chances to deal with setbacks and roadblock and finding ways around, overcoming and succeeding at something. It’s about rediscovering who I am and returning to that part of life where there’s no requirement or schedule.

That’s the important part of the adventure. I might make a loose plan but never a strict schedule that I must be there at such a time…no. Taking a break includes any schedule. It’s actually hard to set off to do nothing but it’s easier each time…I return refreshed and ready to take on the busy life.


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