The Key To An Overall Balanced Lifestyle
Finding a balance means giving equal time and attention to different aspects of one’s life. Living a busy and fast-paced life makes it almost impossible to achieve a perfect equilibrium. Often living a goal-orientated life means achieving one goal and immediately focusing our time and attention on the next thing on our to do list. We very seldom stop to enjoy our accomplishments and end up running what seems like a never ending race.
One day, you wake up and you come to realise that an entire month or year has passed. It is with this that I say, balance requires awareness. To achieve balance, it is necessary to constantly be aware of the things we eat, the things we say and the things we allow in our lives. Living a balanced lifestyle means taking care of every component of our being. This includes our physical, mental or psychological and emotional being. Focusing all our attention on one aspect of our being can often lead to another part of ourselves suffering. It is thus important to be intentional in our objective to live a balanced lifestyle.
I read once that balance is not about better time management; but it is about better boundary management. Often times it is important to be careful about what we allow in our lives and what we allow to make us feel stressed and overwhelmed. We need to remember that we are the author of our own truths and the author of our own realities. We need to ensure that we live consciously and purposefully. Being intentional about making healthy decisions for ourselves. Maintaining a healthy balance in our lives means putting boundaries on our obligations and ensuring that we are not committing to more than we are able to manage. Despite what you’ve just read me say- it is good to push our boundaries in order to stretch ourselves to go beyond our limitations; but it is important that we are mindful of which boundaries we push and how this affects our lives.
It is with that that I come to the personal conclusion is that living a balanced lifestyle is about being intentional in everything we do. I walked into a health shop one day to look for some natural skin products. I looked at the lady at the till who turned out to be the owner of the shop. I noticed her skin, it was as clear as day and glowing with freshness; without a blemish in sight. When I asked her how she got her skin to be so clear and what she would suggest for me to use she said something profound. She said: your outer appearance is a mirror of what you put inside your body. This struck a chord in me, not getting enough rest and sleep will show in those Chanel bags under your eyes and the dark circles which will eventually form. Eating unhealthy, sugary and oily foods will reflect on the surface of your skin in the form of blemishes and breakouts and so forth. Please don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to indulge now and then; in fact, I believe it is healthy for your soul to have a rich slice of chocolate cake once in a while. This is where the art of balance comes in. Balance is exactly that, it is an art that is perfected and refined over time. It is not something that happens overnight.
Remember to make healthy restrictions that nourish and your life and being instead of making restrictions that punish you. Feeling punished will only make the balance more difficult to achieve and maintain.
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is a topic I have studied extensively in one of my university courses. I have learnt that not having a good work-life balance can lead to poor health and can lead to stress and burnout. It is important to balance your obligations at work with your obligations at home. I personally feel that having a good social support system helps one to maintain a healthy balance in life. Having people who are able to support and encourage you will ensure that you feel supported and less overwhelmed when the pressure of work and life increases. The crazy part about life is that stress and pressure does not ask for a time or a place. It happens at any time and at any point in our lives when we least expect it and when we least need it. Next time you feel overly stressed or pressured, try to step back for a moment and ask yourself 3 questions:
- Will this matter in 5 years’ time?
- What will happen if I handle this differently?
- Is the world coming to an end?
The most common and obvious answer to the third question is usually, No. It is important to take note of how your reactions and responses cause an increase of stress and worsens the situation. A positive response in the midst of a what seems like a chaotic situation will help to maintain the balance in your life.
Achieving balance is a process that takes time and awareness. Simply starting by being mindful every day is the only realistic key to bringing you closer to achieving an overall balanced lifestyle.
Kelly as a student at the University of Cape Town majoring in Gender Studies, Organisational Psychology and Psychology. Empowerment is defined as a measure given to an individuals and communities, aimed at increasing their autonomy and self-determination; enabling them to become stronger and allowing them to understand and exercise their rights with freedom and self-confidence. Kelly is particularly passionate about female empowerment. It is because of this that she has joined the Future Females movement. Women have a unique strength that is deeply embedded. It is her hope that through her writing she is able to help women across the globe discover and utilise this strength to the best of their ability.