Balance is such an important thing in life. While physical balance helps keep you from falling and getting hurt, mental balance also keeps you healthy. When our mind, body and soul are balanced and aligned, our immune system is strong. But when they are thrown out of whack, our immune system can weaken and we are more susceptible to sickness.
One of the most talked about balancing acts in life is the work/life balance. There is a good reason for that. For our own happiness and sanity, we really have to put an effort into this balance. With modern technology, this can be a really difficult one. It is so easy for your coworkers to contact you at any time of the day and many people are expected to respond right away whether it is the middle of the night or they are on vacation. Even if you aren’t expected to stay connected at all times, it can be very easy to get yourself into the habit. This can lead to people feeling overworked and getting sick. It can also make retiring much more difficult when the time comes, because you don’t know who you are without your job. I would recommend discussing these expectations with your boss and if you can’t come to a satisfactory arrangement, it might be time to move on.
Work/life balance also goes the other way. There are people who martyr themselves for their children and family and focus only on them, doing just want they have to do to get by at work. Can you really have a fulfilled life this way? These people are clearly only working for the money and would rather not be there. If you are one of these people, I recommend reading my earlier post on fulfilling your purpose in your career.
Retirees and stay at home parents are not excluded from the need for a work/life balance. Work doesn’t have to be a job or career. It can be a hobby or volunteer work. Even a blog! Something that fulfills you and makes you feel like you are living your purpose and making a difference in the world. As a stay at home parent, you need to find a balance and not martyr yourself for your kids. If you dedicate your entire life to them, what will be left of you when they grow up and leave? And what kind of example are you setting for them? Do you want to see them do the same thing and sacrifice themselves for their children? Retirees need to find a purpose as well. Dedicating 100% of your time to leisure activities is a romantic fantasy. It sounds like fun until you start doing it year after year. You need to find something that makes you feel of use to the world. Meditation can help if you are not sure what that thing is. Don’t be afraid to ask your spirit guides for help. Mine helped me figure out what career I should have.
It is also important to balance the people in your life: family, friends, lovers, etc. In a new relationship, people have a tendency to disappear from the rest of their life and get sucked completely into the world of their new boyfriend/girlfriend. This is ok for a few months or so. After all, we are human and experiencing highs and lows in life is exciting. Living on a merry-go-round is not really living at all. But these highs and lows should always be temporary. Some people might wonder why that feeling of new love never lasts. The reason is that we couldn’t possibly live our entire life that way. How could we possibly focus on a career or making the world a better place if we never come off that high? It is far too distracting to allow for a productive life. All of the people you chose to keep in your life are important to who you are. You need to find a way to make time for them. If you don’t and your relationship comes to an end, it is so much more devastating when you lose everything. I can say from experience that it can feel like your life is over and you will never be happy again. There are no guarantees in life. If should never be about just one thing or one person.
Balancing your diet has a huge impact on your quality of life. You have to eat real whole foods to keep your body healthy and healthy food choices should become an every day habit. However, it is also important to allow yourself to eat dessert and splurge on foods and drinks that make you happy. (I eat a little ice cream almost every day!) Routinely denying yourself these foods is not healthy for your psyche. That is why restriction diets never seem to work long term. They throw off the balance between your mind, body and soul. Everything in moderation is a great motto. And some amount of moderate exercise is also important to add to your routine. It helps keep your body balanced and can be very meditative. I get many insights while exercising because it distracts my conscious mind.
Balancing exercises such as yoga or tai chi can remind your subconscious mind how important balance is in every area of your life. And having good physical balance helps you keep mental balance. Mediation can also help keep your mind, body and soul aligned. I happen to love yoga, but these exercises are not for everyone and not necessary to find balance. Try having a daily or weekly check point where you ask yourself personal questions to ensure you are living a healthy balanced life. All it takes is making a conscious effort to stay balanced. And don’t beat yourself up for allowing your life to get out of balance. Leave the past in the past and focus only on moving forward.