Or……..”Everyone has plans, until they get punched in the face.” Mike Tyson
I have spent a good part of my life thinking about and striving to balance work and my life. Last year I was asked to give a talk at a professional women’s conference about how I was able to do that. Much to the chagrin of those in the audience, I told them that I had not found the magic bullet point to tell them all how they could achieve balance.
The truth is that the notion of balance assumes you have almost total control over your life. Control is an illusion. Things happen all the time, and we need to deal with them. A perfect example is one that most women can identify with.
You have your whole day planned out. You are gong to take your two young children to school, go to work, finish just in time to pick the kids up, and you do your shopping, errands, etc. during your lunch hour. Then after you pick up the kids you can get dinner ready while they do their homework. Perfect right? That morning your older child starts throwing up, develops a fever, and he needs to stay home from school. You have no childcare so you have to call in to work, and stay home. You can’t leave the house, you can’t do your shopping, and you can’t run your errands. You have to scramble to get your other child to school.
That is a small example. There is no way to find balance in this situation. However, you can be flexible. In my opinion, juggling work and life is not about balance at all. It is about learning to go with the flow.
In the above example, you can look at a day home with your child as a blessing to spend alone time with him or her, get your laundry done, and get the house picked up while he or she takes a nap. Watch a video, read a book or phone a friend. There are many things that you can do instead of stressing about what you are unable to do because you were thrown a curve ball.
That is what I have realized in the last many years. Going with the flow and becoming more flexible is far more workable than striving for perfection in balance. It is never going to happen for me. I feel so much better having realized that. Is the world going to end if my house isn’t as clean as I like it? How horrible will it be if the laundry isn’t folded? Are these things that I will look back on and regret? No.
My advice; keep your to do list. But, if you cannot get to everything or you get sidetracked, appreciate it, and enjoy the detour. Life without balance can be a life well lived depending on your attitude.
There are many ways that you can improve your immune system and ward off colds and viruses. It can be as simple as eating the right foods and exercising!
Foods that Boost your Immunity
Omega 3 fatty acids that are found in fish, flaxseed, and walnuts reduce inflammation and help strengthen the immune system. You might want to shoot for at least two servings a week.
Zinc is important for white blood cells to function properly. The white blood cells are the cells that fight infection. Zinc is found in protein such as lean meats, chicken, eggs, and tofu. It is also found in fortified foods. It is important to eat adequate amounts of these zinc containing proteins.
Fruits and Vegetables
Brightly colored fruits and vegetables are loaded with phytonutrients. Phytonutrients improve the immune system and can help to fight cancers as well. Not to mention, they are just plain good for you!
Citrus fruits contain vitamin C. This vitamin can help ward off colds. Although you can find it in supplements, it is probably more effective if you can get it in food such as oranges and grapefruit.
Nuts contain vitamin E. Vitamin E is an antioxidant vitamin that helps to fight colds and upper respiratory infections. The best nuts for vitamin E are sunflower seeds (1/4 cup), almonds (1/4 cup) and 2-3 brazil nuts (they also contain selenium).
Garlic has immune boosting properties that fights bacteria and viruses. If you have a cold, the best way to use garlic is to chop it up and swallow it. You can use it as a paste on bread or mixed in applesauce. Don’t chew it if you don’t want your breath to smell!
The hot liquid of chicken soup clears the nasal passages. However, something about most chicken soup helps boost the immune system and helps to fight colds. Whether it is the soup or the love with which it is cooked, chicken soup works!
Mitake, shitake, and reishi mushrooms are among the mushrooms that help boost the immune system. You can stir fry them or get them in capsules (fungi.com). Better yet, put them in your chicken soup!
Regular, moderate exercise allows the cells that fight viruses and bacteria to circulate more quickly throughout the body. While they are getting an energy boost, they give your immunity a big boost. The more you exercise, the longer lasting the immune effect. That is another reason why exercise is so important.
By eating well and exercising, you can increase your odds of having a healthy cold-free winter!