Endless summers, European breaks, vagabonding, belly giggles with friends and dancing around the lounge room. We all want to have a life filled with these moments, but how much is too much and how do you set your balance point?
There are those activities in life that connect us with who we are, give us meaning and build our identity. They help us 'find ourself'. Be it a European break, your Saturday morning yoga class, or that scarf you've been itching to make (no pun intended). These tend to be the activities we all strive to fill our time with. Each of us, uniquely different, strive to create our own style of identity through our experiences, which in turn shape us into our awesome selves. How novel an idea, that we have such power to do so, an exciting prospect!
Often however, these activities are put to the wayside by those activities which lead to a disconnect from self, loss of identity and throw us off balance eg. work, buying property and generally being an 'adult'. When these activities tip the precarious balance scale, it represents as an 'off feeling', lethargy, heightened stress or insecurity. We are left pondering how things became as they are. Grim, I know, but a true reality and it is most important to know where these feelings may stem from.
What is balance?
Balance: ˈbal(ə)ns/noun1. an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady. "a mug that she balanced on her knee"
Maintaining balance in life, as the word suggests, does not require you to only partake in those activities in which you find yourself at all times. That would not technically constitute balance. Maintaining balance is about being in control of both equally important and equally opposing activities. Like a mug balanced on your knee, you can tip that balance one way or the other, just not too much (Unless you like glueing together broken china) So how much is too much of a good thing, and how do you strike that perfect chord named balance day in, day out?
To reiterate my distinction between the two types of activities, I am going to give you two examples you may relate to:
Example a. You spend a Sunday morning blissfully watching the sunrise and enjoying an early morning beach stroll with your bestie - finding yourself.
Example b. You spend an extra hour at work, miss out on your boxing class and grab take away thai on the way home - loosing yourself.
[ Let me also make clear the definition of loosing yourself. Normally it is used within the context of a joyous event, "I lost myself in the moment". In the context of my writing, I am referring to loosing yourself as relating to loosing touch with yourself. Poor wording choice maybe, but if you understand this paragraph, then it should be clear as to the overall point I am making ]
What is the right balance?
The million dollar question is, what is the right balance? The fun but somewhat frustrating answer is, it's up to you to decide. Test your limits at times, work too much, play too much. Write about what happens, notice the change to your sense of self or stress levels. Once you know your balance it becomes much easier to know your set point and adjust accordingly as life throws you in a multitude of wondrous directions. Be conscious of your actions, be mindful of yourself and balance will come naturally, and thus your health will sustain.
Connect with those activities that you know will allow you to find yourself on a regular basis, make time for them, know what they are and even share in the experience with someone else. Equally, work hard and allow yourself to get lost in a day, disconnect temporarily but always come back to yourself. Keeping healthy isn't just about eating your 3+2 and fitting in a gym session each morning, it's about maintaining control of the precarious balance of being lost and found.
Resources to rebalance
Meditation - Connect back to yourself. On your mobile and tablet, you can listen to Headspace on the go and download sessions to use offline. On your computer, you can play any session, any time https://www.headspace.com/how-it-works
Vagabonding - Listen to this podcast on converting travel fantasies into realities. Deconstructing and defining success, money, and freedom http://fourhourworkweek.com/2014/11/04/rolf-potts/
Journal writing - Write about your experiences. The passion planner is one place to store everything. Tasks, appointments, class schedules, notes, doodles, journal entries, goals. http://www.passionplanner.com/
Visit a naturopath - they will provide you with the tools to find your balance
Jennifer Ward Adv Dip Nat, Bcom Econ
Jennifer is a qualified naturopath trained in herbal medicine, nutritional medicine and health coaching. Consultations available by appointment.
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