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My name is Amy Landino and I'm an author, influencer and keynote speaker.
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Do any of you struggle with balance? If so, can you pinpoint what exactly takes up a disproportionate amount of your time? If you feel comfortable, please share in the comments so all of us GATLUW readers can have fruitful discussion!
I’m assuming everyone reading this has an understanding of the word balance in general. However, from a mental health perspective, balance is the ability to manage time for oneself, for others, and for work equally. If one of those dominates a person’s time, that person may become stressed out, or even mentally or physically ill. So let’s dive into the following questions: why do people lose balance in their life, and how can we strike a balance?
In figuring out a lack of balance in life, we have to understand what a balanced life consists of. According to UCHealth, a balanced life consists of the following:
Do these sound like faraway, unreachable aspirations? If so, you’re in a bit of a pickle. Not to mention, you’re already violating one of the main rules (setting up manageable goals)! However, you’re in luck. We will work through developing and maintaining a sense of balance together here!
I know personally, I have a problem saying no and setting up boundaries with people. I also can work myself too hard; thankfully since quarantine started, this specific issue has let up. When one aspect of life is out of whack, it tends to spill into the others. For me, that means that my struggle with boundaries has taken time away from self-care and sometimes even sleep. I am trying to work on these, especially while I have much more time to do so. Since being laid off one job and being off for the summer with the teaching job I still have, let’s just say I’ve had lots of time to consider my own personal struggles and shortcomings.
Finding balance is good for you; great. But so what?
Before getting into the how-to’s of creating balance in life, let’s take a look at why this balance is so important:
According to BHLive Active‘s article, there are some general benefits to having balance in life:
As the world of work changes thanks to vast progressions in technology, we are seeing the negative impacts of working too much like never before. Overworking causes chronic stress, which can lead to mental and physical ailments. With this in mind, employers are looking to create healthier work environments for their employees, so as to prevent them from becoming physically or mentally ill. Work-life balance, or life balance as I like to call it, is becoming a critical aspect of leading a healthy life. If we want to do our best and achieve our dreams, we need to strive to maintain balance. The saying “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” should be cancelled!
How can we develop and maintain a sense of balance in our lives?
The thing about balance, according to this man’s story on Psychology Today, is that the idea of “working toward balance” isn’t the right frame of mind. Rather, finding balance is a state of mind; it’s not racing to the finish line, but how we actually run the race. The author of this piece claims that because life keeps moving, and it is inevitably going to throw curve-balls, one must keep moving in order to maintain balance. He also says that balance is not constant. If life feels out of balance during hectic times, it’s OK! We’re all only human.
Mental Health America breaks down how to create balance in work and home life more specifically:
Psychology Today‘s article states that “balance is not a final goal, but an ongoing process”. Every single one of these steps requires a continuous effort. Nothing in life that matters can be accomplished once, and without any updating.
For example, living a healthy life: if we were to eat right, drink lots of water, exercise regularly, and sleep well for a few months, would we be set for the rest of our days? Absolutely not! How about our relationships: can we just be nice to people once and expect them to be lifelong friends? Nope.
Balance follows the same idea. The “work” to find and maintain balance is never done. Including some of these tactics into our lives will help us get there, but they will not stay if one day we decide that we’ve done it for long enough. In the long-run, these changes may make us happier, healthier, and more successful in whatever we decide to do. This is a lifelong journey, and we all will fall off at times. And that’s OK! That’s to be expected. However, these tips may help us create a structure for ourselves that will allow us to pick ourselves back up when those hiccups pop up. I am looking forward to incorporating these into my life and seeing the positive changes fall into place!
I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their weekend! Much love to you all.
Clare Stopher is a part-time blogger writing about her physical and mental health journey with autoimmune disease. After years of having Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, she realized that many people suffer from autoimmunity, yet there aren’t many people speaking up or writing about it. One day, she hopes to eventually have a YouTube channel and nutrition coaching qualifications to better support these individuals throughout their health journey. You can visit her site at www.clarestopher.com.
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