The Expat Woman

Make your life work for you: the right balance

Finding balance in your daily life means caring for yourself first.

“The challenge of work life balance is without question one of the most significant struggles known to modern man {and woman!}” -Stephen Covey

I wish I could give you a magic formula for creating balance in your life. Maybe it would look something like this:

8 hours sleep + 4 hours of time with loved ones + 1 hour of exercise + 6 hours of work you love + 1 hour of time to self + 4 hours of cooking, cleaning, eating = balance.

But, nope, that’s not it. And if you have discovered it, please let us in on it! Balance in our personal and professional lives is an element that millions of people struggle with throughout the world (as Covey notes above), regardless of what country you live in. However, the U.S. as a nation, values striving and achieving at such a high level, making it feel near impossible to attain balance throughout our personal and professional life.

Total myth: Balance is not attainable in a dynamic and growth oriented life. A feeling of being in sync with your life, and feeling peace and balance is in reach, for each of us. With effort, you can create balance. Start by asking yourself some questions to help you find the balance you seek. What does balance look like for you? Balance is completely personalized and individual to you. You have the freedom and the challenge of finding out and choosing what balance looks like and feels like for you. To find this elusive, mysterious quality, you will have to give it some thought though.

Aligning values & priorities (priorities being where and how we actually spend our time)

What do you prioritize most? This is hopefully aligned with your values. If not aligned, then easily life feels out of balance. What do you place as your highest priorities in your life right now: family, building a career, finding that new job/source of income, friends, community or whatever else you are spending your time on. For most of us there are multiple high level priorities. For example, family, friends, community and self-care are all right up there for me. Then, comes growing my business, so that I can continue to truly share my greatest gifts with the world, and have the flexibility and freedom of being self-employed, all while meeting my own desires, needs and wants in life.

What do you most value at this time in your life? Family, health, creating wealth, or growing your business, are just a few areas that might appear for you. Values also might look like: joy, peace, abundance, vitality, security – how do you most want to feel each day. There are a multitude of areas or core feelings that you might place at the top of your list.

When you look at how you are living your life, are you focusing your time and energy on those top values right now? (Consider how you responded to the “priorities” question. Are your priorities matching up with your values?) If not, then what might be getting in your way? What can you change to include your highest values in your daily life? By living your values on a daily basis, through the actions you take, you are bringing balance into your life.

Priorities and values change throughout our lives, so check in and assess what is most important to you. This can be a beautiful, powerful, and insightful practice to do from time to time. The beginning of a new year is a perfect time to do so!

How do you prioritize and structure your day to ensure that you are enjoying it and accomplishing the responsibilities of your personal and family life, and work life? Most of us will spend most of our lives, playing around with effective time management techniques, tools and methods. It is a constant challenge, to best prioritize how we spend our hours, and our days, with those we love, while doing what we want and enjoy, and of course meeting obligations and responsibilities (which, by the way, can also be enjoyable if you frame them that way!). Be conscious of what works best for you – calendars, schedules, apps, people who can support you and hold you accountable.

“Don’t confuse having a career with having a life” – Hillary Clinton

What brings you peace and ease in your daily schedule? Simple pleasures might be a key to giving you a sense of balance. When we make the time to nurture ourselves, and do something that we enjoy, we are generating a feeling that we have given ourselves what we need. Often, this tips the scale and reminds us that yes, we are worth giving ourselves that TLC that we need and deserve which can fill us up and nourish us throughout the day. Then, giving of our time and energy to others is a bit easier and enjoyable!

In my life, yoga is my safe haven and foundation for creating balance. If I do not take at least 15 minutes each day to practice yoga or meditate for a brief 5 minutes, then my day somehow feels a bit incomplete and unbalanced. For others, it might be spending 20 minutes in the morning with their child, reading or playing together. Or maybe having a phone call with a loved one, whose voice brings you peace, is a vital element in your day.

Whatever it is for you, hold that activity, and the time for it, in the highest regard – this is most likely one of your personal keys to creating and maintaining balance. By giving yourself this gift, you are honoring both your needs and your inner wisdom. All it may take to feel more centered and balanced in your daily life might be a simple practice of some kind. Start with self-compassion, and self-love to create more balance, and spreading love outwards becomes even more amazing and effortless!

A few tools and resources to support you on your own journey for striving for balance and thriving in love, work, and life!
A new favorite tool of mine:
Passion Planner –

Short Book List for inspiration and ideas

Getting Things Done, David Allen
Take Time for Your Life, Cheryl Richardson
4 Hour Work Week, Tim Ferris

Evernote – – Are you a list maker? Evernote might be helpful for you. A free app to help you organize with notes.
30/30 – – A free productivity and task manager app

Guest Blogger: Rebekah Kane, Founder of Tell a New Story Coaching, coach, educator, trainer, and writer who empowers, supports and coaches people to journey through life’s transitions with more balance, ease, peace and joy. Find her at

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Nyna is the Founder and CEO of The Expat Woman, a global platform focused on connecting, supporting and empowering women who have moved abroad or plan to relocate. She is also a LinkedIn coach, consultant, trainer and speaker. LinkedIn played a huge role in my professional journey abroad, helping me build a network of powerful expat women and allies.

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