What image comes to mind when you think of BALANCE? Is it a scale that is constantly teetering from one side to the other? Walking a tightrope where you can only focus on one step at a time? Or is balance like riding a bike where the faster you go, the easier it is balance?
Sometimes it feels like we work so hard to achieve balance and the moment we create balance, life throws something into the mix and creates imbalance once again. What if we were to reframe what it means to create balance? What if balance is not an end destination, but a string of continuous choices we make throughout our day, week, and month? Balance IS the journey not just the end goal. This is our guide to help you get one step closer to living a BALANCED life. Each section give a bit of information as well as a few journal prompts to help you find YOUR balance.
MEET YOURSELF WHERE YOU ARE
What does it mean to "meet yourself where you are"? There are two main messages - meeting the person you are in full acceptance of everything that makes you unique and allowing yourself the space to do things just for the joy of the process or activity.
We constantly see images of photoshopped perfection and messages glamourizing overwork and exhaustion. We are inundated with messages about “hustling” and “rest is for the weak” when in actuality, that message is really only made for a specific type of person. The secret is that we are all unique, and what works for one of us may not work for all of us. For example, if you have chronic pain, you cannot live as if you don’t, and you cannot measure yourself by another’s yard stick. You may need more rest so sleep may be a priority for you. Taking the time to take care of yourself will allow you to go after everything you want to accomplish.
Meeting yourself where you are also means acknowledging your favorite parts of yourself and listening to the parts you tend to ignore *ahem sleep, food, taking breaks ahem*. We are all made of a million different traits that give us our unique perspective on the world around us. These qualities help to define you as a person and acknowledging that part of yourself is powerful. Seeing these qualities as neither good nor bad will help you see how you can best support yourself in the present moment. Nurturing these qualities will help you stay energized and ready for whatever life throws.
Have you ever felt guilty when spending time doing something you enjoy, but it isn't seen as "productive"? This can be a hobby or interest that doesn't have anything to do with making side income, your career, or focused on your family; it is something solely for you. We're here to say IT’S OK to do something for the joy of it and nothing more. If your hobby brings you joy, then it has fulfilled it's duty in your life. Meet yourself where you are. Your joy and your health are priceless.
- What are your favorite parts of yourself?
- What are the qualities you've tended to ignore or push through?
- What is one thing you can do that will help support your uniqueness? This can be getting more sleep to affirmations to setting boundaries for yourself to having a 30 second dance party in the middle of the day.
CREATING IMBALANCE TO FIND BALANCE
After acknowledging all that you need to feel like the healthiest version of yourself, it’s important to audit your life. What are the things that are important to you right now? These things will change as we grow and outgrow some practices. Other things may be important later on, but don’t try to force anything.
In an article by Psychology Today, they share, “Letting go of control is key to letting things fall into place on their own. Sometimes you have to lose balance to find it.” Sometimes when we are looking to find balance in our lives, we tend to hold on to every aspect of our lives. What do you need to let go of in order to create space and balance? When you let go, it will feel odd and imbalanced, but don’t worry, that’s temporary.
Here are few examples of letting go to find balance:
1. Do you feel overwhelmed at work? Are there any parts of work that you can delegate to the others on your team? If not, is there a realistic timeline that will allow you accomplish your projects AND create space for whatever else fulfills you?
2. We often hear that parents of young families feel guilt for wanting to take some time for themselves whether it's just a couple of hours for date night or some me time. How can letting go of that guilt help you find balance in your life and in your family's life?
3. When you are stressed, do you tend to hold onto control even more? Do you end up doing everything yourself? How can letting go of one or two tasks on your list allow you find balance? Who can support you with accomplishing everything?
- Create a list of the 5 most important things in your life.
- What is 1 big, scary thing that you can let go of?
- How will letting go of that 1 thing support you in practicing balance?
Balance means so many different things to all of us, that defining what balance means to you is crucial to living your WORD. What is BALANCE for you? Defining what this WORD means to you will allow you to move through life while staying true to your intention. In Psychology Today they share the importance of defining what BALANCE means to you, “No matter what you’re working on, it always comes back to your core values, because these are the things that define who you are and what you hold sacred.” Perhaps balance is finding structure in your day by creating a morning or evening routine. Maybe it is a practice of saying no in order to say YES to more exciting things in your life. It can even be something as simple as committing to 5 minutes of me time everyday.
- What does BALANCE mean to you?
- Using your senses, can you visualize your perfect BALANCED day? From the moment you open your eyes, to the food that you eat, to who you interact with, to the small moments of joy your day will bring, imagine what that day feels like.
- With this perfectly BALANCED day, what is one thing you can start today to practice balance in your life?
Let balance be your practice each day. Balance can look different each day so it's important to keep checking in with yourself and what you need for BALANCE! We've also created a printable worksheet for you with all of the journal prompts in this blog!