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The alarm rings.

5 a.m.: Wake the kids. Shower. Get dressed. Cook breakfast. Pack lunch. Drive to school. Rush to work. Leave early. Pick up kids (husband’s traveling again). Soccer practice. Swimming.

7 p.m.: Come home. Cook dinner. Wash dishes. Empty the dryer. Fold clothes. Check homework. Send kids to bed. The phone rings. It’s your husband. It rings again. It’s your mother. It rings again. It’s your sister.

11:15 p.m.: You collapse on the bed. Close your eyes. Presentation at eight. Meeting at 10. Meeting at two. Gymnastics at six.

5 a.m.: Wake the kids. Shower. Get dressed. Cook breakfast...

You’re exhausted, restless and unfulfilled; trapped in the endless cycle of being mom, wife, manager, daughter and sister slowly fading in the midst. You say you need a break, but you’re too busy to take one. So, you come home, cook dinner, and wash dishes.

"The key to life is balance," says Myra Bellinger, author and co-pastor of City of God Ministries in Charlotte, North Carolina. “Get rid of the excuses. You have to come to the realization that there is only one you. You may keep up this pace for a while, but at some point you can't be good to anybody because you're going to tucker out.”

According to Psychology Today magazine, maintaining personal balance is essential for maximizing and promoting mental, emotional and physical well-being. To achieve such balance, Bellinger suggests scheduling quiet time or “daily vacations” focused on primarily one exercise: breathing.

“Breathing is sitting in (God’s) presence, sitting with peace,” she says. “Not with your to do list, not with your laundry, not with all this other stuff; sitting and having a moment to tap into you quietly. There lies instruction, direction, peace, a way to healing in every aspect.”

She also recommends writing. “Journaling is therapeutic. It helps to declutter one’s busy and distracted life as well as penned up emotions and thoughts.” Furthermore, she suggests that women re-evaluate the amount of time spent on managing activities and responsibilities to determine which to rearrange, delegate and relinquish.

Bellinger, whose early morning “vacation” includes eucalyptus oil and soft jazz music, says there’s no set formula for achieving balance, that women should find a discipline that works best for them.

“Take the time because you can’t afford not to,” she says. “If your desire is to maximize your full potential on the earth, it's essential."

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