Siobhan Harper-NunesBalance, The Simple Things

What a funny question yet that’s precisely what I was asked recently by a colleague: “you’re always so upbeat, even in the eye of a storm, how do you stay sane?”  And yes, I work for 4 voluntary organisations that provide vital services to women as well as running Shakti Women so things can get a little bit “salty” from time to time.

So, I’ve been reflecting on the question because I think it’s an important one to share.

How do I stay sane?…

1. I stick as much as I can to my “rocks” – those vital areas that I decided a while ago are the core areas for me that make me happy and content (my family, my home & garden, my writing, my business and of course myself).

2. If I’m aske to commit to something outside of my core “rocks” I say “no” – there is barely enough time in anyone’s day to “do it all” so I stick the areas that feed my purpose!

3. I keep my personal and professional space ordered: clean desk, clean home, and a beautiful and tidy environment makes me feel good, calm, and joyous.

4. I have fun. I do things that make me laugh. I eat with my family, I drink with my friends and always have a creative project on the go – I’m currently decorating old garden chairs to make them pop! These things make me feel good, warm and fuzzy.

5. I surround myself with “orchids”. No, I don’t mean the plant but a colleague pointed out a few years ago: “you like working with the best: people who are passionate, creative, professional and committed, the “orchids” – you don’t do so well with “potatoes.” (you know the ‘jobs worth’ people, the ‘I only come to work cos you’re paying me’ types) and I had to agree, so my personal & professional circles are full of “orchids” – no potatoes in my crew!

6. I try to hug a family member at least once a day – don’t care which one and the ‘hug’ might be remote but as long as I connect with one of the people I love most in the universe, my day works.

7. I try to feel proud of what I do. Whether it’s an article, a bid or report, I want to say to myself: ‘that was a fantastic piece of work’ well done you.

8. I try to make someone’s day: it’s so simple, it can be a compliment, a smile or a ‘well done’ but these things can motivate and inspire others and they make me feel so good.

9. I read something wonderful. I try to start each day with a piece of poetry or prose by a writer I love, it makes me feel that each day I have another opportunity to learn and grow.

10. But the most important thing I have recognised for my personal sanity is to have time out to sit, reflect and to be grateful for all the blessings in my life. It’s funny because no matter how much or little we have, gratitude makes us feel abundant and blessed. It’s the mother of all personal and professional development.

I believe that we are the makers of our lives, the creators of our experience and that we have the power to make our world reflect our unique beauty and fabulousness.

That’s how I say sane but I totally also believe in being a child, being playful and being totally batty at times.

What about you? What do you do each day to make your life amazing and to keep yourself sane?