Most people aspire to live a healthy lifestyle. They believe that eating a balanced diet and exercising at least thirty minutes, five days a week is the key to healthy living. While on this quest, they tend to neglect the other aspects of their lives like family, career, business, and social, in pursuit of a healthy body. While clean eating and exercise are important aspects of healthy living, they are not the only aspects of healthy living. Living a healthy lifestyle means being able to balance every aspect of your life in a way that makes you feel whole and happy.
However, from the established CEO, to the assertive stay at home mom, and even the high school teenager, finding and maintaining balance is still a major challenge. So what exactly is balanced living and why is it important to achieve? There is no straight forward answer to this question because balance may mean something different to everyone. Notwithstanding, having a positive outlook, focusing on good habits, lowering stress, managing your time against competing priorities, planning and setting realistic goals, being content and grateful and constantly adjusting your response as life changes, are the keys to balanced living.
In this article, we will explore 5 aspects of life that we constantly struggle to balance against each other and help you learn how to assess your level of balance in each. These five aspects are: Health, Family, Faith, Work and Life.
Being healthy is not the absence of ailment but rather a state of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness. Your health should be your number one priority because without good health, you won’t have the energy you need to be successful at anything. So recharge your body physically with exercise and healthy eating, and make the commitment to enjoy some ‘you time” every day.
- Schedule time each week to allow yourself de-stress, and spend a few minutes on relaxation each day
- Control the use of sugar, salt and oil in your meals
- Combine variety of vegetables, fruits and whole grains in your diet
- Take some form of regular physical exercise to control your metabolism and body fat
Do you feel like you never have enough time to spend with your family? Most times, we get lost chasing our career/business and forget the most important thing in life; our families. This is the number one cause of chaos in the society. Family ties are the tightest relationships you should have in your life no matter how busy things get at work. Children learn the values and behaviors they exhibit in life from their parents and close relation. Moreover, when we are at our lowest, it’s the people in the closest proximity to us that we turn to for strength and support. So you must intentionally build and maintain good relationship with your family; spouse, kids, parents, sibling and close friends.
- Organize regular family meetings. Plan for this. It may be awkward at first, but it’s worth the deliberate intention.
- Pray together and eat together even if it’s once a week
- Put family time/activities on your calendar. If it’s not on the calendar, chances are it won’t happen.
- Keep in touch with friends and extended relatives
Who we are, what we do , how we relate to other people , and how we feel about ourselves are all products of what we believe in. So what do you believe in? It’s so easy to neglect this aspect of our lives when we get busy. But actually, our connection to God and our faith is what renews and refreshes our spirit when we are down. So make the time to strengthen your connection to God.
- Spend time with people who have similar faith and belief as you and study the bible to learn God’s promises for yourself
- Put quiet time on your calendar and intentionally spend time with God.
- Willingly love and serve others, this is a simple way to feel useful and fulfilled.
Nowadays, managers and employers are constantly pushing to accomplish more with less – more work, less time, less people, less money. With the constant motion, it’s important to continuously ask yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing to avoid burnout. Are you motivated and passionate about your work or are you doing it for the pay check? Do you feel like you are making a difference or are you just doing it to make ends meet? What does your personal financial balance sheet look like? Can you afford to send your kids to school? Do you have enough saved for emergencies? If you have been working too much, and you don’t seem to have the money you need, then it’s time to take a step back and assess your goals and objectives. We work so that we can make a contribution to society but also so that we can earn enough to care for our families. Make sure that you find and maintain that balance between work and life – unless your life is your work in which case I totally salute you.
- Identify your calling in life and use that as a guide to finding where you belong as a professional.
- Focus your activities to spend time only on activities that contribute to accomplishing your overall financial goals.
Most of us over think happiness. We think happiness is equivalent to perfection. However, true happiness is actually embracing the little joys in life. It is being grateful not only for when big things happen, but also for the small things. Real joy is finding happiness where you are,
and how you are. Achieving balance means taking stock of every aspect of your life and ensuring that you are engaged and connected. How much time are you able to invest in the things you care about in your community? Do you have a robust network of friends? When was the last time you volunteered for something in your community? When was the last time you went on a vacation? True balance and harmony can only be achieved when you approach life as a whole and not in it’s parts.
- Constantly evaluate your goals and priorities
- make time to do the things you love
- Have fun and quit worrying about everything
Our bodies are made to adapt to the constantly changing environment. When it’s cold we shiver to bring our body temperature up and when it’s hot we sweat to bring our body temperature down. Because we live in a constantly changing environment, our bodies are well adapted to this state of affairs and respond appropriately when conditions deviate from their optimal state. This ability to maintain equilibrium by adjusting appropriately to the external environment is known as homeostasis. And herein lies the key to the debate about balance. Like our bodies responds to the cold by shivering and the heat by sweating, so too must we learn to adapt and respond appropriately when circumstances change in our lives.
You see, we all are different and our priorities, needs and wants are different too. Therefore the concept and definition of balance is different for everyone of us. Notwithstanding, the principles remain the same. Weight management experts recommend that we drink our coffee black and limit our intake of sugar. Yet, I drink my coffee with sugar and cream and I’ve managed to maintain my weight and blood sugar easily. Why? I’ve understood my body type, my health needs, my weight goals and my personal preferences. I know that I enjoy my coffee with sugar and cream so I do not kid myself into thinking that I can maintain cutting it out of my diet to achieve some unrealistic goal. Rather, I drink one cup a day and I make sure I do not consume any other sugary beverage during the day. This for me is BALANCE and it’s something that can be achieved. Balanced living requires us to be conscious and aware of everything going on around and within us. The ultimate goal is neither to resist change nor hold on to one way of responding. The ultimate goal is awareness – being fluid and understanding, indulging in moderation (or offsetting excess) and accepting life as it changes moment by moment.