What is a balance?
The answer to this questions will be different for everyone as we are all individual. A balanced life is about eating a balanced, healthy diet, getting regular exercise, stressing less or learning to deal with it, making time to do the things you love and sleeping well. It includes practicing self-care daily and positive self-talk. A balanced life is having the time to do all the things you want to do without burnout, this can include work, family time, socialising, studying, or having all important me time. The simple explanation of burnout is complete exhaustion mentally physically and emotionally and not finding any joy in life. Think of your bank account – if you keep taking money out and don’t put more in the balance declines, it’s the same with your balance in life.
Balance helps us feel relaxed, grounded and motivated, it allows us to have good relationships, manage stress, cope with life’s ups and downs and it’s really important for our mental wellbeing. It might be helpful to stop putting work, home, social activities into different buckets and let life flow. Look at them all as activities in your day that flow into the next one.
Common reasons people are looking for balance are:
· Less stress
· Improving your mental or physical health
· Improve relationships
· Spending more time with loved ones or doing things you love
· To be more productive
Why do you want more balance?
Is it so you can start a hobby, spend more time with the family, read more, exercise more, eat better? Whatever your reason is you need to identify it and work towards it. Knowing why you want more balance will help you achieve it faster so therefore you needs to set goals and have a plan and a schedule.
Balance doesn’t happen by accident, you have to work hard in the beginning to achieve it. You have to prioritise the things that are important.
Ways to achieve balance
Prioritise your goals
Have a plan and schedule
Stop doing the things that waste time
Start doing the things you love
What can you outsource to give yourself more free time
Ask for Help
Learn to say no and stop people pleasing
Let go of the illusion of having it all
To achieve balance its important to have routine, create a positive mindset, and create good healthy habits.
What happens without balance?
Without balance burnout is a real possibility. It can lead to illness as your immune system struggles to fight off everything, your stress levels may increase, sleep deprivation and weight gain. Your mental health starts to decline and you no longer find any joy in the things you used to. It can damage relationships and lead to frustration and anger. You stop taking care of yourself, you could get lonely, you constantly compare yourself to others. You stop caring about everything!
Another area of your life that required balance is you diet. Without a balanced diet it could lead to poor immune health, disease, food allergies or weight gain.
What does a balance diet look like?
A balanced diet consists of plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, lean protein, good fats, and complex carbohydrates, reducing processed foods, alcohol and foods high sugar.
You need to eat a variety of foods, with plenty of colour to get a diverse range of nutrients. Aim for 5 serves of vegetables and 2 of fruit per day. How to achieve this – eat vegetable for breakfast (eggs with spinach, onion, zucchini, carrot, tomato, have them as a snack carrot, celery, capsicum, beans with hommus, add them into soups and stews. Have fruit with yoghurt or on it’s own. Remember fruit is high in natural sugars so you need to know your serving sizes - 1 serve is a medium apple, banana, orange or pear, 2 kiwis, apricots or plums, 1 ½ cups watermelon or a cup of berries.
Drink plenty of water – at least 1.5L to 2L per day, more if you work outdoors, in hot environments or exercise lots.
It is important for good health to get regular exercise. It will help improve your sleep and contribute to reducing stress. Even if you only have 10 minutes a day you can fit in a routine – it is better than doing nothing at all. Even better instead of going for lunch or coffee with a friend why not go for a walk in the sunshine or try a class you’ve been wanting to do. Your local government may also have a number of free exercise classes that you can join.
Everything is better with a good nights sleep. You are more focused, less likely to reach for sugary foods, have more energy and prevent illnesses if you are getting adequate sleep. You should be aiming for between 7 and 9 hours sleep every night. If you miss out on sleep you can never catch it back up. You should practice good sleep hygiene, prioritise your sleep and ensure that you are going through all the stages of sleep to wake up refreshed.
Creating balance is also about looking at the things you can control and can’t. If you constantly try to change the things that are out of your control it will create more imbalance. Accepting that not everything in life goes according to your plan. Remember that if today you feel out of balance, it doesn’t mean you will tomorrow. Take each day as it comes. Remember to have fun and enjoy life as much as you can. Balance is defined as a situation in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions. So remember this about life as well – make sure you have the correct proportions. Do something you love every day to recharge.
Want more help? Book in with me. I offer 15 minute discovery calls so will can have an initial chat on what is going on for you and you can then decide if you want to progress to an initial appointment.