Have you ever tried standing a balance board?
If you hold you position exactly, you’ll fall off. You constantly need to make little adjustments, nudges here and there, to keep upright.
Balance isn’t a permanently fixed state, especially in a busy, ever-changing life.
(And life is always changing, isn’t it? Try as we might to ignore that fact!)
I’m thinking a lot about balance these days, as my life has changed so greatly in the past year. As I try to cultivate more spaciousness in my life, I find myself either overbooked or bored. (And I’m rarely bored.) so I know I don’t have it quite right yet for this new life. I’ve had it in the past, but without the framework of a job and this newfound flexibility in my life, I need a new version. Here’s what I’ve learned about balance over the years, and where I’ll be starting to adjust mine… (and you can too!)
The elements of balance
A balanced life looks completely different for everyone. It depends on your priorities, on your values – and what you have going on at that time.
It changes as your life changes. Your ideal balance at 23 is going to be different than when you’re 27 or 36 or 52.
It’s helpful to look at the various areas of your life, and see how you want to feel and be in each:
- relationships (friends + significant other)
- creative pursuits
Where are you currently out of alignment? What small steps can you take to have more of what you want, and less of what you don’t?
Some balance-seeking tips that work for me.
- Start your day right. That means NOT checking email from bed, and instead setting my top 3 goals for the day. Then having a healthy breakfast and a stretch. Then getting dressed. Then completing my most important task. And THEN checking email. I find email distracts me with other people’s priorities. I’ve written about creating a morning routine here.
- Schedule in your priorities. What are the most un-balanced areas for you? Creative time? Exercise? Seeing your friends? Actually block this time into your schedule every week so it happens.
- Nourishing your body is key. It’s impossible to feel balanced if your body is deprived of nutrients and exhausted. By taking care of yourself, you’ll have more energy to give to others. It’s the foundation for creating what you want in your life. Here are my thoughts on Nourishment.
- Ask for help. This is a hard one for many of us. We think we should be able to do it all. But humans are built for connection and community, and asking for help brings us closer together (and creates space for new opportunities in your life!) Ask your kids to set the table. Hire a cleaner. Ask a friend to listen + support you. Hire a Virtual Assistant to help with your business. Ask your husband to empty the dishwasher. You don’t have to do it all.
- Pause and reflect. Balance is an ever-shifting mix – in order to maintain it, we need time for reflection and adjustment. What is working and what needs more attention? You might write in your journal (my favorite practice!) or meditate on it or muse on it during a run, just make sure you take some time to reflect.
How do you find balance in your life? Let us know in the comments!