At the beginning of each year, I always make a resolution to find balance in my life. And each year, this resolution seems to elude me. There is always something to do, whether it be work, family or socially related. A thousand priorities (or so they all seem) are always vying for my attention. The world teaches us that we can do it all and have it all. But is this really the case?
As I am getting older, I am realising more and more that we all have limitations. We weren’t created to be robots. It is just as necessary to work hard as to rest, do what we love and take care of ourselves. And in order to do this, we need balance. However, balance, as I alluded to earlier, is not easily attained.
Feeling determined to gain a handle on this seemingly idyllic, and yet necessary, concept of balance, I did a bit of research on how to attain it, and this is what I came up with:
Tips on how to find balance in your life
Find time each day to be alone, visualize and meditate
Spending time alone and quietening your thoughts for a few minutes every day helps to nourish your soul and heal your heart. Whether you choose to focus on God or just good things in general, this practice can tremendously enhance your health, happiness and peace of mind. It is also helpful to refocus yourself, visualise your goals and to faithfully believe that they can come true.
TIP: It is helpful as part of your quiet time to keep a gratitude journal. Each day write at least three things for which you are grateful, no matter the circumstances. Remember that positive learnings can come from adversity. By doing this, you will experience a far greater sense of contentment and you will find that your blessings increase.
Maintain a positive mental attitude
Begin each day with the intention of making the most of it. As the saying goes, “Live each day like it’s your last”.
Simplify life and slow down
Find joy in the simple pleasures in life. See the beauty in the trees and flowers around you, marvel at the sunset as you drive home, stand in awe of the different patterns that the clouds make, spend time laughing with special friends and make someone smile. Marvel at the miracle that you are and make a point of laughing every day!
Know your priorities
Balance doesn’t mean do everything you can. Don’t bite off more than you can chew; this will only cause you to feel stressed and unhappy. Rather, it’s important to decide what’s important to you and then to set your boundaries. Depending on what stage you’re at in your life, your focus and energies will be different.
“Take the wisdom and love you learned from all past experiences and let the rest go.”
Develop a schedule for yourself and stick to it. Remember that it takes time and effort to overcome your habitual patterns and create new ones. However, if you stay on track with your new schedule for three whole months, then there is a good chance you will create new habits to enjoy a more balanced life going forward.
Learn to say no Most of us don’t like saying no to those around us, especially to those we love, but to achieve balance you are going to have to do this once in a while and understand that there is no need to feel guilty. We all have the same 24 hours in a day, and we cannot possibly do everything that we want to do as well as what everyone else wants us to do.
Expect the unexpected
Life doesn’t always go as planned and instead of getting stressed and upset, allow yourself to go with the flow when something happens that you have no control over. If you accept that anything can happen at any time, it’s less likely it throw you when it does. Make a decision to be flexible and to adjust your plans when need be.It’s also important to note that there are times when achieving balance may not be possible. For instance, you may experience a crisis or ill health which saps an exceptional amount of your time and resources. When that happens, do what you need to and when things go back to normal, take time to refresh and rejuvenate yourself.
Learn to live in the present
You’ve probably heard the saying “each day is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present”! Despite this being a cliché, it is very true. Each day is unique and special, and provides a chance to begin afresh with a clean slate. Don’t waste time by comparing the present with the past, or wishing time away. Rather make a determined effort to be fully present each moment and to live each day like it’s your last. This inspiring video clip helps me to do just this.
Take the wisdom and love you learned from all past experiences and let the rest go.
Take care of and nurture yourself
You cannot accomplish anything if you’re ill. Too many people believe they can burn the candle at both ends, eat junk food, get very little exercise, and still function adequately. Although you may be able to get away with this for a while you’re young, this type of lifestyle will eventually catch up with you. Burnout is a real possibility.
Get plenty of rest, exercise and eat properly. You may want to set aside time each day for an activity that you enjoy, such as walking, working out or listening to music. Alternatively, you may choose to unwind after a hectic day by reading, meditating or taking a hot bath.
As much as I would like to say that I am successfully practising all of the above, I have to confess that I don’t always get it right. I do however find that striving each day and each week to find balance, and being kind to myself when I don’t but then getting back up again, really helps. Here’s to living a more balanced quality life!