The Juggling Act: How to Find Balance

KSL Newsradio’s Amanda Dickson, Author of the book “Change it Up,” helps us put life’s demands into perspective.

Manage Your Expectations

How do we stay in balance? How do we juggle all of the many demands on our time – jobs, children, spouses, church, personal needs? This is the question we all ask – isn’t it? We all have someone we look at and say – how does she do it? But here’s the thing – the person we think that about has someone she thinks that about. We need to learn to not covet our neighbor’s multi-tasking. Here’s a tip – manage your expectations. We need to remember the advice our mother told us when we were little (and meant, by the way) – your best is good enough. You may rock at one part of your life one day, and one another. I may rock at my job one day, but be mediocre at everything else. And the next day, I’m a terrific mom, but mediocre at everything else. We can’t rock at every aspect of our lives every day.

Balance Check

How do you know when you’re out of balance? (if you’re like me and sometimes too dense to have the thought, “Hum – I’m out of balance.”) When I’m out of balance – I tend to overdo. I binge eat, and I don’t do that a lot any more, but when I do, I always get curious afterwards. Why did I do that? Or I may binge work and it winds up hurting something – my health, my relationship with my family – I’ll get curious after. Why did I do that? I think those “overdoing it” behaviors are a way of our spirits letting our bodies know, “You’re not paying attention to me.” It’s like eating every last one of a box of chocolates. The 7th chocolate is saying, “Hellllooooooo!!!! Anybody paying attention in there??????” Overdoing it cries out for righting the ship. You binge, you suffer, you get introspective, you go back to balance. Sometimes a small amount of imbalance just isn’t enough to get your attention. It takes over-the-top behavior. We see it in celebrities who tend to get way out of control before they come back to what, at least to us, looks like a more balanced way to live. Maybe Britney Spears or Mel Gibson? (pics attached) They certainly looked out of balance in a big way. So – here’s the tip – if you’re overdoing something, ask yourself – what feels out of balance? Journal or spend time in thought until the answer comes.

Balance is an Internal Measurement

People assume that when we talk about “finding balance,” that balance means the same thing for every person, that we ought to have 8 hours of sleep and X amount of time with our children and X amount of time working and X amount of time just to ourselves in order to have balance. But balance is as different for every person as happiness is. One person needs 2 hours a day to run or she feels out of balance. Another needs two hours a week. I am reminded of the Olympic swimmer Dara Torres who won those medals at 40. I remember seeing her interviewed and for her, swimming was her balance – even at that level. So we can’t judge another’s sense of balance – one mom needs an afternoon a month away from her kids in order to feel sane, and another needs an afternoon a week – and another never needs an afternoon. We need to try not to impose our sense of balance and need for balance on our friends. “You need to take some time off, for crying out loud!” Well, no, she may not. Balance is an internal measurement. Stay out of your sister’s balance!

Amanda Dickson co-hosts Utah’s #1 radio morning show on KSL Newsradio. She sits on the boards of the National Kidney Foundation of Utah and the National Advisory Board for Hale Center Theatre. Amanda earned her B.A. in English and her Juris Doctorate at the University of Utah. A mother of two and stepmother of three, she and her husband, Aaron, live in West Jordan, UT.

“Change It Up!” can be purchased at Deseret Book (, along with her first title “Wake-Up to a Happier Life.”

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