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Linda Samuels, CPO-CD®

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In The Other Side of Organized, Linda Samuels, CPO-CD® will encourage you to get organized enough to reduce the stress of life’s details and make time to embrace your passions. Already, thousands of clients and readers have found help and inspiration in her advice, personal reflections on change and connection, and vision of what can be accomplished when you find that sweet spot between chaos and perfection.

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« 12 Best Insights of the Year to Get You Thinking | How to Set the Stage for Better Life Balance »

9 Guaranteed Solutions for Restoring Your Life Balance

Do you ever feel stressed, overwhelmed or out of balance? If so, you’re not alone. Feeling out of balance is a human experience, no matter where you’re from. Would you like to learn strategies for restoring your balance? I was curious about the ways my colleagues’ from around the world handled their balance challenges, so I reached out to this amazing group – Stephanie Deakin, Nacho Eguiarte, Mayumi Takahara, Ingrid Jansen, Janet Barclay, Sue West, Hilde Verjidk, Juliet Landau-Pope and Ellen Faye. I asked them, “How do you bring balance back into your life?”  Their responses are personal and inspiring. My deepest gratitude goes to each of them for sharing their wisdom with us.


How do you bring balance back into your life? . . .


Scheduling for Balance

“It sounds counter-intuitive, but when I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed I schedule ‘balance’ time for myself. I write it in my day planner: two hours for sitting on the couch reading; a half-hour phone call to a friend; a walk by the lake. These are the things that help keep me balanced, but they’re also the first to be dropped when I’m feeling too busy! Honoring those times means letting go of any fretting about what’s not getting done or what the next deadline is, and giving my attention to what I’m doing in the moment.”

Stephanie Deakin, President POCOrganizer, Speaker & Trainer - Canada



Breathing for Balance

“Every time I feel overwhelmed because of the lack of balance in my life, I make a stop, and breathe deeply. After that I use positive self-talk about how capable I am to manage whatever life brings upon me. At that point, with self-confidence being boosted, I start thinking possibilities to overcome troubles and restore balance. Having balance to me is counterweighting troubles with solutions, stress with relaxation, and chaos with order.”

Nacho Eguiarte – Professional Organizer, Architect & Blogger – Mexico



Pampering for Balance

"I have a list of the ‘Pamper Myself List of Activities’ which I created to recover from being stressed or overwhelmed. There are a wide range of activities on the list: for instance, being completely absorbed in novels or favorite TV series or shifting my mood by listening to live music of my favorite artists."

Mayumi Takahara, President JALOOrganizer & Designer – Japan



Singing for Balance

“I sing! Just over 4 years ago I found Rockchoir. It is a UK based contemporary choir with 20,000 members in over 300 choirs. I'm a member of Bexleyheath Rockchoir and I rehearse every Wednesday evening. We sing rock, pop and gospel songs and my favourite song is "Someone Like You" from Adele. My choir has travelled to Switserland, we sang at the O2 Arena in London and we recorded three songs at the world famous Abbey Road Studios. Singing makes me forget about everything and it's a great way to make new friends. I would recommend it to everyone!” 

Ingrid Jansen, President APDOProfessional Declutterer and Organiser - England



Walking Away for Balance

“When my workload is unusually heavy and everything feels urgent, although it seems counterintuitive, the best thing for me to do is walk away from it – get out, go shopping or have lunch with a friend. This allows me to clear my mind so that when I return to work, I’m better able to focus and actually get things done. I’d never thought of it as restoring balance, but that’s truly what it is – adding some activities to the fun side of the scale to bring the work side back up where it needs to be.”

Janet Barclay – Web Designer & Content Marketing Specialist - Canada



Questioning for Balance

“’Ebb and flow,’ a client's words to describe balance, stayed with me. Like ocean water as it cycles through its tides. Learning my sense of balance is a continuous process as each chapter brings different changes, transitions and challenges. To restore, I do this one thing: I consciously ask myself: What am I not doing that I know works? Self-compassion? Standing up for myself? Morning solitude, three meals, enough sleep and outdoor time? At home enough or too much travel or socializing? Enough creativity happening? Using my plan? Enough reading/learning time?”

Susan Fay West, CPO-CD®, COC®, President-Elect ICDOrganizer & Coach – United States



Planning for Balance

“As an entrepreneur I must admit it is tempting to cram my time with appointments. Being diagnosed with fibromyalgia however, I learned the hard way that there is a price to pay for that attitude. So I plan a free day in my calendar each week (apart from the weekends!) and I have a maximum of four days for work and study. I also plan free weeks during the year. It helps me set my priorities straight, I make healthier choices for my business and myself and I get to spend more time with my family. A win-win situation!” 

Hilde Verdijk, CPO-CD®, MRPOProfessional Organizer, Author & Blogger – The Netherlands



Meditating for Balance

“Whether there’s too much stuff in your home or in your head, physical and emotional clutter can be overwhelming. So whether you’re stressed by the amount of stuff in your space or in your schedule, the best thing to do can be…. nothing. Stop. Close your eyes. Inhale slowly. Then exhale. Take a break from trying to figure it all out, if only for a few moments. This kind of meditative exercise not only helps to alleviate anxiety; it can also help you to regain clarity and to focus on what matters most.” 

Juliet Landau-Pope, CPCCDeclutter Coach & Study Skills Expert – England 



Retreating for Balance

“My ultimate cure is to get away. At least twice a year I visit Kripalu, a yoga and wellness center in Western Massachusetts. I go by myself, lock up my phone and computer, and take time to renew. When I’m home my self-care includes yoga, getting enough sleep, scheduling time with friends and family, and ruthlessly prioritizing my work and volunteer responsibilities. But that just keeps my head above water. Going away, focusing on me, talking only when I want to, walking in the woods, and staring into space is truly what brings balance back into my life.”

Ellen Faye, CPO®, COC®, President NAPOProductivity and Organizing Coach – United States


Finding your right balance is possible. With the creative ideas that my colleagues shared, you now have some new strategies to experiment with. Whether you choose to get away, pamper yourself, breathe, plan or sing, shifting from overwhelm to a more balanced state is within reach. For me, when my balance is off, I concentrate on bringing back the parts I’ve been missing. That can include walking by the river, going to the movies with my husband, having coffee with a friend, trying something new, or having a “no agenda” day.

Which ideas resonate with you? How do you bring balance back into your life? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Come join the conversation!





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Reader Comments (16)

I am with Ingrid, I love to sing, it always makes me feel better, however unlike Ingrid, no one would want me in their choir. The singing is just for me and that is ok, it feels great to belt out a song that you love no matter how you sound. As the saying goes "sing like no one can hear you"

December 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJill Robson

What a wonderful line up you put here Linda. I feel blessed and honored for sharing my opinion. Balance is something we need to treasure and practice everyday for sanity and happiness. Thank you for including me.

December 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNacho Eguiarte

I find it interesting that both Stephanie and I used the word "counter-intuitive" to describe the way we restore balance in our lives! Maybe it's a Canadian thing. :-)

Did you notice that when we all talked about being out of balance when work takes over, rather than personal issues or activities?

December 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

I'm loving the Rockchoir idea! Having hobbies and activities as part of the schedule makes for "mandatory fun!" I've also embraced the power of "no," and use it more liberally than I used to. I want to enjoy what I sign up for, not dread it.

December 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSeana Turner

Love this, Linda! Breathing, singing, & walking are my favorites. Thanks so much for these fabulous ways to keep us fabulous! xo

December 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRegina Lark

Oh, to hear such amazing voices! What a joy to have join the conversation.

@Jill- I love to sing too. And hum also. I have to be mindful while I'm working with clients because sometimes I'm unaware that I'm singing. Love your attitude that you'll sing because it makes you feel better.

@Nacho- Thank YOU for sharing your best with us. And you're so right that balance = sanity and happiness.

@Janet- I also noticed that the "Canadian" voices used the same descriptive word around restoring balance. And interesting too that the balance most of us talked about was moving towards more fun and personal experiences, rather than work more. Perhaps it's the demographic that I asked. However, the tools are the tools and can be used to bring us back from where ever the balance needs to shift towards.

@Seana- Rockchoir sounds so awesome. Maybe they'll start something in the States. What a great description you offer of "mandatory fun!" Love that..along with your personal strategy of embracing "the power of no," so that you can enjoy rather than dread what you've committed to. Brilliant!

@Regina- Wonderful that you know what helps you restore balance- breathing, singing, and walking. Lovely! Keep on being fabulous!

December 15, 2015 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Love all these ideas on how to slow down. It's when I feel most out of balance I think of slowing down. Our natural tendency is to go faster and faster to get things done. But the mindfulness of slowing down makes me get more balanced.

December 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEllen Delap

@Ellen- Great to have you with us! I'm with you 100% that the ideas of slowing down and practicing mindfulness are valuable strategies for restoring balance. This time of year in particular, we can get overwhelmed even by all the good stuff (parties, holidays, family celebrations.) Slowing down can enhance our enjoyment, relieve some overwhelm, and restore that much needed sense of balance.

December 15, 2015 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

What a wonderful round-up of advice from such respected individuals in the industry! I really like Janet Barclay's 'walking away for balance.' It makes so much sense to unplug in order to recharge. And can I add 'baking for balance?' There's nothing for me like being in the kitchen, getting my hands in dough and enjoying the sweet smells of whatever I'm concocting - it's like aromatherapy! Thanks for such a great post, Linda!

December 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Soboleski

@Sarah- I'm so glad you joined us and are enjoying the strategies shared. Walking away IS a great idea. So often I try to push through when in fact it makes so much more sense to just take a break and come back refreshed. Loved Janet's reminder about that. And I LOVE your idea of "baking for balance." It's a type of physical or visceral aromatherapy. Along that thought process, a post I wrote about baking and balance around this time last year might resonate with you. Here's the link:

December 15, 2015 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

I'm feeling calmer already! I"m fascinated, reading what we have in common and what is different. It seems each of us does know what works to help us be the person we want to be each day. And how difficult it can be if you don't know or you know but don't remember to use your strategies. I'm thinking of when we move through big life changes, and certainly ADHD or other brain based challenges. How much more of a struggle it all is, every day.

December 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSue West

@Sue- You're identified one of the things I appreciate most about these types of conversations…"what we have in common and what is different." There's learning and understanding through both. Your point is excellent that when we understand our self-care needs it helps us to more easily navigate daily and especially during the change periods. For those that have challenges with self-care, I'm hoping that they can find a nugget here that will be helpful. Many of the restoring balance strategies that were mentioned are tiny, doable tweaks.

December 16, 2015 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

I have experienced a lot of family and friend issues and concerns that could have taken me to a very unbalanced place this year. This included a suicide, a hoarding situation, becoming POA of several family members and...there is just life with a 7 year old too :)

My husband's near death accident 8 years ago taught me so much.

I learned that I had to practice self-care, even if that meant leaving behind other things that I typically would have thought of as being important. Over the last 4 months I have been attending a workout style boot camp that has not just helped me with overwhelm and stress but also helped me transform myself by losing inches and weight! This is my happy place. Business has increased (for 2 businesses) and life is awesome!

Thanks for the post!

December 19, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Clevenger

@Linda- My heart goes out to you with all that you've endured this past year and with your husband's accident 8 years ago. I can only imagine how the idea of balance must have seemed so out of reach. I'm inspired by your resolve and way you came to what you needed to navigate so many impossible experiences. Congratulations for figuring out where your "happy place" is and doing what you needed to get there.

December 19, 2015 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Such an awesome post. Loved it. A truly very useful one :) Thanks for the share

December 22, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterravi

@Ravi- Thank you for joining us. So glad you enjoyed the post.

December 22, 2015 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

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