“Balance” is one of those things we all strive for, but often seems so elusive.
Are there really people out there living a balanced life? Or is balance just a fairy tale or an enigma?
The truth is, both answers are correct.
You’ve probably had times in your life when you felt fairly balanced. Maybe you were able to maintain your work, relationships, and other obligations without feeling too overwhelmed or burdened. You may have had time to relax on the weekends and even get in some great workouts. You had the balance thing down.
Then life happened… and suddenly cooking a healthy meal barely fit into your schedule. You felt tired, irritable, emotional, and like you couldn’t catch up. Your to-do list was never-ending, and you may have felt like you had no direction or freedom. Balance definitely seemed like a fairy tale.
Do either of these scenarios sound familiar?
The good news is, you have the final say in how you spend your time, and you get to choose the habits and activities that support your definition of balance. And since “balance” fluctuates depending on what’s going on in your life, it’s always a work in progress. There’s rarely an end game, but each day is a new opportunity to honor your needs and work toward feeling calm, yet productive.
If you’re looking for some ideas on how to get and stay balanced, check out these top tips.
Disconnect From Tech
Technology is useful, helpful, and keeps us in touch. But it’s also a major stressor. If you feel more connected to your devices than to your hobbies or the people in your life, this can lead to a feeling of imbalance. Block out no-tech times during your day, and shut off your devices at least an hour before bed.
Just Say No
It’s easy to say yes to the people, activities, and causes that we love, but sometimes
saying, “No” is the best thing we can do for ourselves. If you’re overcommitted, avoid taking on any new obligations, unless it’s something that brings you pure joy. Even then, consider removing something else from your plate in order to accommodate this new venture. And remember, “No.” is a complete sentence. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for why you’re saying “no.”
Connect With Others
When we’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s easy to see ourselves as the center of the universe. But connecting with other people can remind us that there’s a whole world out there and that we’re not carrying the weight of that world all by ourselves. Take time to laugh with others. Eat together, play together, get outside in nature together. Enjoy the human connection.
Ask For Help
While you’re connecting with others, how about asking for help? Is there someone in your life who’s an excellent cook and could help you plan a week’s worth of healthy meals? Do you have a friend who actually thinks cleaning is a blast? Hire them to help you out! There’s no shame in asking for help, and allowing someone to work in their genius zone can free up time for you to work in yours.
Spend Time With Animals
Have a furry best friend at home? Set aside your to-do list and spend some time with them. Studies have shown that interacting with animals may decrease your levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, and may even lower your blood pressure. Animals can also help center you in the middle of a busy day and remind you that unconditional love is more important than any task you “need” to accomplish.
Get Out In Nature
Much like spending time with animals, spending time in nature can produce massive health benefits. Just two hours a week spent in green spaces (parks, woods, basically anywhere outside) may lower your blood pressure and stress hormone levels, calm your nervous system, enhance your immune response, and improve your mood. All of these amazing benefits can help you feel more balanced, so consider taking your lunch break outside and pressing “reset” on your busy day.
When we’re busy, downtime feels like a luxury. In reality, downtime is a necessity — it gives our busy brains and bodies a chance to recharge. If you’re feeling imbalanced, that’s a sure sign you’re in need of some downtime. Schedule it in your calendar so you’re not tempted to fill your time with work or other tasks.
If you’re feeling imbalanced, you may not be having much fun. Life is meant to be enjoyed, so take some time to write down what you consider to be fun, engaging, and rewarding, and make sure you schedule it into your calendar each week. The downtime mentioned above doesn’t have to be naps or meditation (though those are great options, too!). You can use your scheduled downtime to let loose and do the things that bring you the most joy.
Prioritize Your Health
A diet full of fruits and vegetables, regular exercise, and proper supplementation like RevBiotics for energy, mental clarity, and mood support — all of these things can help put your well-being top of mind, so your wellness doesn’t feel buried beneath a mountain of to-do’s.
Remember, you can’t delegate your health to anyone. YOU must prioritize yourself and your wellness. So schedule workouts just like you’d schedule an appointment (and downtime), and choose to take a walk versus scrolling on your phone. A healthy you will lead to a more balanced you.
Choose How You Spend Your Time
You may have heard the saying, “You can’t manage time, but you can manage the way you spend it.” That empowering statement reminds us that we all have the same 24 hours in a day, and deciding how we use each of those hours is up to us.
Keep this list of balance-supporting habits in front of you and use them as your guide until they become second nature. You may not always feel 100% balanced, but you can take steps to feel as in control of your schedule as possible.