If we are looking to escape our lives, we feel overwhelmed, lost, or busy our life is probably out of balance.
We hear so much about balance these days but what is balance and how do we make our life more in balance?
Oxford Languages and Google define balance as a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions. I really liked this definition specifically because it mentions not only equal which is how most of us see balance, but also, in correct proportions. Not all of us want the same things in the same proportions; the amount of social vs solitary time needed for me might be very different for you.
Everything in our lives strikes a kind of balance.
Our yes’s to our no’s. Our sweet treats to our healthy choices. Work vs play. Life is always about contrast and it’s our work to keep things balanced in a way that serves our overall wellness and feels good. Usually this is somewhere in the middle.
At least for me, the middle or moderation tends to be comfortable. When I eat too much, it might feel good at first, but then later feels bad, because my health suffers. It might feel good tonight to have an extra glass of wine, but not so much the next morning. These are examples of when finding a happy middle ground in our everyday choices is best.
Let’s look at how we spend our time and energy in our everyday life.
1. How are you Spending your Time?
The first thing you can do if you want to check your balance is evaluate how you’re spending your time. Maybe you already know you’re working too much or not spending enough time on self-care.
If you don’t really know where you are getting off track, I recommend you track how you spend your time for a few days, a full week is even better. This is a great way to identify the less obvious offenders to our balance.
Simply jot down what you are doing every hour, it doesn’t have to be elaborate or fancy. This will be very eye-opening to many of you. It’s amazing that what we think we are doing with our time, seldom matches reality.
2. Take a Good Look
Here are a few life areas that I address in my clients lives. If you want a more thorough look at the different areas of your life get the The Snapshot, a quick life evaluation available for download on my website.
- Mind - Self, emotions, beliefs, mindset, personal wellness, stress.
- Body - Nutrition, exercise, medical, sleep, sex, drugs.
- Connection - Relationships, support, community, contribution, connect with nature.
- Occupation - Money, career, business, goals, time-management, routines, habits.
- Leisure - Social life, travel, fun, recreation, rest, holidays.
- Creativity - Beauty, fashion, home, garden, cultural experiences, creative expression and appreciation.
- Growth - Explore and renew spirituality, personal development, learning, meaning, practice and ritual, faith, magic, and mystery.
Using the information you discovered in the previous step, look at each of these areas and ask yourself, do I feel good about the attention this area of my life is getting right now? We must remember that we have seasons of life where we do work more than play or do more self-care than socializing and that’s fine as long as we feel good about it, and the results we create in our life.
Remove the things that are not necessary and that are not important to you. Do you see that you are devoting a lot of time to things that, not only don’t bring you joy, but are not even necessary? Get rid of them, use that time to up level another area of your life that could use the attention instead.
If you notice you are devoting too much time to a particular person, be sure to practice saying no and remove commitments. This is a practice for some people who are afraid of hurting people’s feelings but I can assure you, you are the only one truly looking out for your time and your life.
4. What’s Missing
Where are the gaps that you could fill with some of your new-found free time? Have you been wanting to paint or complete a project but haven’t had the time? Schedule it in your calendar right now. We tend to put things like creativity and spirituality off for seemingly more important things but in truth, they rarely are more important.
Go through each area a decide if you have space and time to improve…many of us could use more self-care, more rest. We also tend to overlook and try to cram in time to complete the housekeeping our lives like managing finances, getting organized, and planning meals.
A well-balanced life brings us contentment, joy, and comfort.
We are growing and evolving so our balance is always shifting and moving depending on the season of our lives. Our interests change and we grow in new directions. This is totally normal and healthy for us. Maintaining our balance is constant process not a one time project.
When we stay stagnant and let our lives get stale. Things pile up where they land, and before we know it, we begin to feel overwhelmed, buried, and lost.