'Balanced Living'...What does this actually mean?
My clients often find the concept of living a 'balanced life' stressful...that does seem to be a slight oxymoron.
Firstly, balance comes and goes. It does not mean that you have to have every part of your life in perfect harmony at all times. In fact, it is rare that we ever truly reach that point and you shouldn’t stress yourself out trying!
Secondly, maybe ‘balance’ is not completely the right word, but maybe just living where you are ‘in-flow’ with your life.
And this brings me to the third point, everyone’s version of balance within their lifestyle is different. You have to learn to understand your body, mind and soul to know when you’re ‘out of balance’ or ‘out of flow’. It is living a life doing what matters most to you and knowing when certain areas of your life might require more attention over others, but not getting yourself stuck there.
'What truly makes you happy? What is priority to you? Where does your passion lie? What do you need to do to help keep that passion alive and your priorities in check?'
For example: Say your favourite fitness activities are yoga and HITT, you want to practice these at least 4 times a week. You also work full-time (ideally in an area that you are passionate about), you like to meal prep on Sundays, want to catch up with friends and family and plan regular holidays… oh and you have kids and need to walk the dog, plus get adequate sleep and attend to general life admin… Balance you say?!
This is where planning and prioritising comes in. Diarising your weeks are so important – write things down and stick to them all. Each week will look different, maybe you have to meal prep mid-week to free up your Sunday for a family function. This is balance – you will make time for things when they become important to you.
I use a planner called Best Self Journal. This beautiful book contains an agenda, Daily Planner and Appointment Notebook to Achieve Goals & Increase Productivity and Happiness. Every morning I start my day with a hot lemon and record 3 gratitudes. I then continue to time block my day in keeping with an overall goal linked to 3 targets/activities. When the day is over I evaluate things, looking for opportunities to improve, recording my 'wins' (my moment for bragging,) before signing off with 3 more gratitudes.
This is not to say that my life is sorted, that every element of my health and wellness is in perfect balance... THINGS CHANGE!!Two years ago I took a break from my career in Education (after years and years of Ofsted and lesson planning) because what had previously been important to me had shifted and I could not find the right balance where I currently was. Right now, I am in a good place. I go with the flow when it comes to finding balance. By journaling and recording my plans I am able to keep track and monitor different areas and priorities in my life, adjusting where needs be.
As some of you will have seen from my last post, 'Going Dark', I am in the middle of a digital detox (this blog post has been scheduled) so that I can focus more on my personal life - so thats my priority right now Its all about finding the balance!
So the overall message I leave you with is..
Let go of the guilt as things happen out of our control. This is a beautiful poem written by a fellow yogi, Rachael Brathen