What does it mean to “get balance back”?
When was the last time you felt “balanced” for that matter?
What does “balance” even feel like?
Does balance mean everything is going perfectly for you in your world?
Your inbox is perfectly categorised, your finances are in check, your career is following the right trajectory, your kids are healthy and happy, you are in a loving, fulfilled relationship? You get 7.5 hours of sleep every night? Oh! And don’t forget the recommended daily 60 minutes of physical activity that you just never miss…
Hmmmm? If you were like the rest of us humans, maybe just ticking a couple of those boxes would feel awesome right? However, in a world where we are constantly being pulled in countless directions, always responding to the demands of others (every time your phone rings, you receive an SMS, your inbox beckons you, your kids/partner/colleagues/ boss call your name) you stop whatever urgent, important task you are doing, to respond to another and another – is it any wonder we find ourselves ‘‘off’’ balance?
Then it doesn’t help reading about all these ‘things’ we have to do to be healthy and happy.
You know what I’m talking about right?
- Drink green juice
- Don't eat fruit
- OK, eat fruit but only in the moring
- Don't drink more than 2 alcoholic beverages per week
- You still drink coffee?? With MILK?? (Faint)
- Why not try mixing up your exercise routine? Walking/running/swimming just doesn't cut it anymonre. Our bodies are too 'used' to it. Join a ballet class, take up tae kwon doe, try aerial yoga
- Ensure your kids are getting enough exercise - if they aren't - you should definitely feel guilty
- Definitely don't eat gluten. Or sugar. Or dairy
- Actually for two days per week you should limit your calorie intake to 500. That's 2 apples by the way.
OK, so I jest. But, not really… Unless you live under a rock you must have noticed, health and lifestyle experts are flooding the market with advice on ‘HOW TO’ be balanced, happy and healthy. We are overwhelmed by the constant stream of information, blogs, articles, e-books, courses, weekend retreats, detoxes, cleanses and the list goes on..!
Since I am ironically one of these experts myself writing on a health and wellness blog, let me impart my two cents.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good green juice (cold-pressed mind you), I’m all for exercise and I personally think sugar is the devil (doesn’t mean I don’t love a good block of Dairy Milk)… I’m just over the GUILT we put ourselves through when we don’t live these perfect lives we think everyone else is living and we are running around stressed out, being ‘busy’, trying to ingest any information on how we can ‘better’ our lives and be less stressed.
While ‘information’ is power, too much information can be destructive and render us overwhelmed, overloaded, confused and reaching for the bag of peanut M&M’s before you can say ‘Do you have anything on the menu that’s Paleo?’
Balance is a personal thing. Seeing it as such, you’ve got to get rid of all the distractions, spend some time with yo’ bad self and get back to basics.
Turn off your damn phone, switch off the TV, farewell your Facebook buds for the weekend… by this time you will probably feel uncomfortable… to this I say… Good!
Being uncomfortable means you are in an unfamiliar place. Which means it’s a different place from the one which you have come from, remember, that unbalanced place… Being uncomfortable is OK. It means we are extending ourselves beyond our known and comfortable abilities into the space of learning and acquiring… how exciting!
Regaining a semblance of balance requires you to remember (or discover) what’s actually important to you in your life … and then spend time there. Spend time doing what makes you feel satisfied, energised, happy and fulfilled.
So be honest with yourself. What do you need in your “you” time to make you feel like your life is totally, jump-up-and-down worth it? Forget about what you think you should be including—a lovely yoga regime won’t help you feel balanced if what you truly yearn to do in your spare time is to start a furniture restoration business from your garage.
You’ve got to schedule this time. This is a priority. YOU are a priority. Your health, wellbeing and overall sense of fulfilment and contentment (I think they call this ‘happiness’) depend on it. If you have a family or anyone who loves you for that matter– they depend on you to be the healthiest, happiest, balanced version of yourself too, so if you use the old martyr mantra of “OH but I put everyone else first” then time to book a mani/pedi sister, because you are no good to any one running around like a chook with it’s head chopped off.
Seeing as I’m the expert here, I’m going to give you 5 foolproof (and free) things you can do to ensure you get some balance back in your life and re-connect with numero uno:
- Turn off your phone, hop off your emails, have someone mind your kids
- Decide in advance when you are going to schedule your 'YOU' time - then block out your calendar
- Focus on your time like it's your job
- Learn to say 'no' (thank you). Over-scheduling on weekends and weeknights is a sure-fire way to burn out
- Get out into the wilderness. There's a big, wide world out there and the best way to revive is disconnecting with Apple and re-connecting with Mother Nature.