The idea of balance may seem like the key to wellness, but the question of finding balance and achieving it can be a difficult one to answer. Meetings, emails, errands, relationships, children, cooking, cleaning, and simply keeping the wheels turning on daily life have us constantly negotiating with multiple sources competing for our time and attention.
And as it turns out, there’s no real blueprint for achieving balance, because it will be different for everyone. Perhaps the best first step in achieving a sense of balance is acknowledging that you are seeking it in your life, and being mindful of when you are and are not obtaining it.
Do you ever have those days where you feel rested, calm, grounded, and motivated? Where you cross things off the list and still seem to have time to breathe well, exercise, and eat healthfully? They probably happen less frequently than desired, but it’s those days that remind us what balance feels like.
In thinking about those effortless, all-around great days, try to consider what elements make them that way. It may be striking a balance between work life and home life. It may be a more internal sensation, such as intellectual vigor or unbridled creativity.
Whatever your ingredients to a sense of balance may be, take note of them. This will become your personal blueprint for achieving and maintaining that feeling of balance.
For some, the source of your balance will be more internally-focused and for others it will come more from external factors.
Internal balance comes from mind and body being in sync. From sleeping well to maintaining a healthy diet, the way the body feels is enough to put us in or out of orbit. Shifts in hormones or moods or distractions that challenge our focus or hinder our creativity can push us off course. An internal approach to finding balance asks us to reflect and to listen.
External balance has to do with outside forces such as career, relationships and time management. Often times these are the things that tie you to the bigger picture and relate to the future. Seeking balance in these factors involves thinking about yourself in relation to others—fulfilling your social responsibilities while maintaining healthy boundaries.
Understanding where your needs are while also striking a balance in internal and external focus can be beneficial to sustainable well-being.
Here are some quick tips for getting started on striking your own sense of harmony and balance:
Ask yourself if there is a particular stressor in your life that’s carrying excessive weight. Maybe it’s a troublesome friendship or a project at work. The first step toward empowering yourself toward balance is realizing what might be tipping things off kilter.
Maybe it involves making a promise to yourself to exercise or go to yoga two or three times a week. Maybe it’s promising yourself that you will say “no” to those invitations when your week is busier. Remember that you have to be able to let some things go to invite in what will serve you better.
Inevitably, things come up in our lives each week that we don’t expect, so it’s up to us to keep our priorities aligned with how we are spending our time. And remember, focus on one thing at a time. Multitasking is scientifically proven to inhibit productivity and heighten stress.
Of course, we all want to feel in control of our lives. At the same time, however, putting the pressure on ourselves to try and control all aspects of our life is a recipe for imbalance and stress. Maintaining an outlook of flexibility is key to a balanced life. Ironically, recognizing when we aren’t able to control something in our lives can help make us feel more grounded and in balance.Ease these practices into your daily routine and give yourself some time to cultivate the rituals and routines that help establish a meaning of balance in your life that’s right for you.
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Stay Ever Well,
Lynne + Renee