Have you ever come through a week full of chaotic energy and working long hours with no recollection of anything that happened during that week? Your mind feels like a muddled blur, right?
Hard work can be good for us, but if we don’t include periods of rest, quiet contemplation and recreation, what are we working so hard for?
It’s important that we make time to enjoy the fruits of our labor. Constant work without play makes for a very dull existence. The key is balance.
For many people balance is a difficult thing to achieve. You’re either going 100 miles an hour or you’ve stalled completely.
So how do we create balance in our lives?
Here are the four facets of our lives that require daily attention in order to stay balanced.
Each of us needs time every day to work on our physical and emotional wellness. This is time we can use for exercise, self-exploration, and hobbies.
It doesn’t have to be massive amounts of time, but at least some time for exercise and self-care is necessary.
Women especially are good at taking care of everyone else and neglecting themselves. Don’t do that! You cannot fully give to someone else when you are empty yourself.
Make yourself a priority, and make time to care properly for yourself, physically and emotionally. You will be a much happier person and be able to give that much more to those you love.
Time together as a family is so important, and it’s something that is sadly beginning to happen less and less in our hurried society. But there are some simple things you can do to make a difference.
Make it a priority to have dinner together every single night if you can. No devices or television to distract you.
Schedule a regular “family day” or “family night” where you spend one evening or perhaps one day on the weekend doing something fun together as a family – and this doesn’t include camping out around the television. Go to the park and have a picnic, visit a local market or garage sale. Or during the winter, build a snowman together or go sledding or ice skating.
Time spent together having fun is the most important thing.
This goes for you and your spouse also. Have a weekly “date night” where the two of you spend time alone together, without the kids, and without distraction.
Relationships require maintenance to keep them strong. Make it romantic and rekindle the flame that once brought you together.
Most people today put work first and forget the rest, but doing so creates a sense of constant duty and drudgery. Work is important, but it’s not the most important thing in life.
If you make the other two categories your first priorities, your time spent working will be much more productive. You won’t feel so burned out and stressed out, and you’ll accomplish a lot more than you would otherwise.
One of the most important things we can do to become more balanced in our lives is to master the art of Mindfulness. It’s about being fully present in every moment, giving our full attention to every task.
This can be difficult for many of us, because while we’re performing one task our mind is already moving ahead to the next task, and the one after that. So at any given time, we’re performing multiple tasks at the same time. One we’re performing with our hands, and the others in our mind. This can lead to feeling exhausted and overwhelmed.
Try focusing on just one task at a time. You’ll be surprised at how much more you can get done and with less fatigue at the end of the day.
It takes practice though. At first you may need to consistently bring your attention back to the task at hand. Your mind may want to keep wandering, as it’s used to doing. That’s okay, simply bring it gently back to what you are doing, and continue on. With practice, it won’t take long for you to master this.
It doesn’t matter what religion you practice, it matters only that you make time to honor your spiritual self. This might be done through prayer, meditation or quiet contemplation which can be important to our overall health.
First thing in the morning is best for most people, since it can help you adopt a positive mindset for your day. Or you may prefer the late evening hour before bedtime, to help you de-stress from your day.
You don’t have to spend hours on this, 30 to 60 minutes is plenty.
Prioritize these key areas in your life and you’ll feel much more centered and calm throughout your days.