So you can stand on one foot with your eyes closed, great, I’m happy for you. How are you at balancing work, hobbies, family, friends, romantic relationships, and not to mention your personal needs? Do you feel balanced in your life?
If it feels like your life is a game of dodgems, you are not alone. In our quest for balance, we may have to overcome feelings of guilt along the way. We all have different values. We must live our lives based on our value system. When we fail to get our life in balance, we risk burnout.
Whether you are striving for more excitement or more downtime, this article is for you. We will discuss what a balanced life looks like and how you can achieve this.
What is a balanced life?
I’m the first to admit the difficulties of striking a life balance. My life used to be filled with work and passion projects. I managed to squeeze my training in, but that was about it. I didn’t give myself much relaxation time and I sabotaged my health by sacrificing my sleep.
A balanced life allows us to nourish different cornerstones of our life:
- Health, nutrition, and exercise.
Someone who spends all their time in the office, living on takeaways, and rarely seeing friends or family, does not lead a balanced life. But similarly, someone who lives life as if it is one big holiday is also missing balance.
Believe it or not, the beach bum risks feelings of apathy and indifference. In comparison, the office limpet risks burnout and exhaustion.
We need a balance between stress and relaxation to honor our well-being.
Balance is essential for parents as well. It is vitally important that you take time for yourself away from your children. Taking time for yourself does not make you a bad parent. Quite the contrary, it will render you a better parent!
This breathing space allows you to claim your identity and find that all-important balance. As this article outlines, finding balance in life reduces the risk of feelings of resentment or detachment towards your children.
How do our lives get off-balance?
When we forget to check in with ourselves, we lose our balance. We steamroll ahead and don’t slow down to feel. We do what others expect of us. To the outside world, we may be winning in life. But inside, we are likely crying.
If you want a balanced life, you can’t sacrifice your health for your work. And if your work is your number one priority, think of it this way: what good are you to your work if your health is compromised?
Naturally, life is full of ups and downs. We may have a hectic week, but when we organize ourselves in advance we can account for this. For instance, we can batch cook in preparation for a busy period, instead of relying on takeaways and fast food.
Sometimes, we need to slow down and take a helicopter view to gain perspective.
5 ways to find balance in life
I don’t know anyone who has the perfect balance. At the moment, I lack a fulfilling connection with other people in person. I am also missing adventure. But this will come. What is holding you back from achieving balance?
Luckily, achieving balance is relatively simple when we work on it. Here are 5 tips you can work on to achieve balance in life.
1. Get out of your comfort zone
Sometimes our balance is skewed due to fear. We spend most of our time within our comfort zone.
According to this article, the comfort zone is where we feel safe. On the other hand, the growth zone is where we can achieve our dreams and realize our full potential.
For me, I felt particularly uncomfortable slowing down. Slowing down meant my thoughts caught up with me. An empty diary used to invoke terror in my soul. Now I relish having more time to myself.
It’s not always easy to escape our comfort zone. But if we can manage to do so, it will drag us out of old patterns and help wake up our senses.
2. Know your values
It is hugely important to understand what makes you tick.
Take a moment to ponder these questions.
- What ignites your soul?
- What excites you?
- What do you feel passionate about?
- Where is your attention drawn to?
Can you build a life around your values? Does your occupation compliment your values?
Fascinatingly, this study suggests that when our values align with our country’s politics and social norms, we feel a greater sense of belonging and more profound happiness.
Many of us feel unaligned with the politics of our countries. If you have strong views, make sure you speak up. Don’t give in to your learned helplessness. Speak up, vote, show up, and join rallies. Be true to your values.
One of the best ways to live true to our values is to do what we love and love what we do. This study suggests that when our occupation provides personal meaning and fulfillment, we are more likely to adopt a positive self-image in our place of work.
Positivity in our place of work contributes to balance and positive well-being.
3. Protect your identity
Exhaustion often occurs when we don’t spend enough time on things that light us up. And this can cause your life to be out of balance.
Too much of the dreary stuff can drag us down. But when we allow ourselves the time to spend on our passions, we feel invigorated, alive, and energized.
Don’t forget what lights you up. It’s imperative to make time for your interests and passions. What do you like to do?
- Rollerblade in the park.
- Make pottery.
- Practice yoga.
- Run up mountains.
- Read a book.
Your work may well be busy, and your children might be demanding. But it would help if you spent time on your passions to create balance. We live more authentically when we have a strong sense of self and are true to this. Authenticity equates to a greater sense of well-being.
4. Learn to say “no”
Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of work on my people-pleasing habits. I’ve learned not to prepare a feast for those who would only give me crumbs. I’ve learned to claim a balance in my friendships, relationships, and work-life using this one little word.
Saying “no” is not harmful. It is a powerful way of erecting barriers and recognizing our self-worth. Saying “no” is an essential component of restoring balance in life.
Perhaps one of the most challenging lessons I have learned recently is how to say “no.” Each time I use this little word, I feel I am letting people down. Sometimes we have to let others down to build ourselves up.
I am also claiming back my life, freedom, and time. When we say “no” to one thing, we make time to say “yes” to something else.
Learn to disappoint another to find balance in your life.
5. Embrace your inner child
Have fun! Seriously, go out and embrace your inner child and have some fun. All too often, we forget how to have fun when we are adults. But being an adult doesn’t have to be boring.
My old job used to be intensely high pressured. I dealt with life and death situations. But I never forgot how to play. I love water parks and zip wires. I was even on Total Wipeout - one of the biggest playpark-themed TV shows!
What did you find fun as a child? Please go out and do it!
It could be anything; here are some ideas:
- Splashing in puddles.
- Jumping on a bouncy castle.
- Playing on an assault course.
- Sharing silly jokes.
- Food fights!
- Water fights.
- Jumping into the sea.
Go for it. I dare you. Jump on that swing and feel the wind in your hair. It’s liberating.
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Life doesn’t need to be all work and no play. But nor should it be all play and no work. We need fulfillment and challenge as well as relaxation and connection. When we find a happy equilibrium, we invite happiness and contentment into our lives.
What do you do to bring balance to your life? What's your favorite tip for finding balance? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!