Five tips for living a more balanced life
1. Try to dedicate 20 minutes a day to yourself and no one else
Sometimes we are so busy taking care of others and listening to the noise of life that we forget we need attention too. How can we be there for those around us unless we take the time to listen to our own inner-voice? Find somewhere quiet where you can sit, breath, and switch your mind off. For me, this means meditation or yoga, but for you it could be watching a television episode, reading a book, or taking a bath, remembering to lock the door from children or your partner. Anything that switches your mind off and allows the world around you to slowly ebb away.
2. How organised and tidy is your home, your car, even your office?
The chaos around us can lead to a messy mind. Sometimes we put things off and off rather than having to deal with it, but the more chaotic our environment becomes, so does our peace of mind. Think of all that wardrobe space you could free up for new clothes if you cleared out the ones you never wear? You could give them to charity or even make some money on eBay from them to put towards something nice - a treat for yourself.
What about that pile of unopened, unanswered mail in the office? Wouldn’t it be nice to start the weekend without that hanging over you? It’s amazing how starting small makes big changes in our overall well-being. One of the prolific coach John Wooden’s favourite maxims was: “Acquire peace of mind by making the effort to become the best of which you are capable”. By creating balance around us, we allow for a clearer sense of self.
3. Eat healthy, stay healthy
In today’s economy, eating fresh, non-processed meals isn’t always easy to do, especially if you have a big family and/or work long hours. However, eating healthy and exercising really is important to leading a balanced lifestyle. Try swapping your sweet sugary lunchtime snacks for fruit. You’ll still get that sugar hit, but it will be a longer lasting, sustaining hit.
Again, you only need to give 20 mins a day to exercise to keep fit. Gym subscriptions are a great way to get out and also meet new people, but not always the most affordable option. So, if money is tight, make sure to take the stairs and not the lift. Go out for a 20-minute walk and, when you can, leave the car at home. Not only is the latter better for your health, but it’s also better on the environment.
4. Relationships; here’s a biggie.
Truly, no man is an island. As the poem goes:
“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less... as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were” – John Donne.
In today’s society, we are so locked into our busy lives and online interactions that real-world connections are becoming less and less. This is sadly leading to a lot of lonely people in society. Whilst having hundreds of social media connections is great for making business connections and promoting products, they don’t always lead to fulfilling relationships.
There are a lot of great friendship apps out there for both male and females looking to find local friends. These apps are great for moving online interactions to real-world ones. As human beings, we fundamentally need meaningful connections and human touch. There’s nothing better than turning to a friend for a hug when life shoots you down.
Remember - if you are feeling alone, please reach out to those around you. There is always someone in exactly the same place who wishes they had the strength to reach out too.
5. Lastly, learn to trust the journey.
All too often we fight against the ebb and flow in life without listening to what it is really trying to tell us. Often, when something is not working out, we push and fight against it to make it work. It is only when you get older and look back on a life that you realise, if you had listened to the universe, things could have been different.
In saying that, I wouldn’t change any of my past as it has made me who I am today. So perhaps part of my journey was to look back and learn to listen to the universe by realising my past mistakes in order to get to this point of trusting the universe.
We all have a different path in life, and different lessons to learn in order to move forward. It is only when we listen and learn from each lesson that we can truly move forward to the next. The Buddhists believe in cause and effect, and the actual word Buddha means ‘one who has become enlightened’.
"It is only by going through the negativity of a situation that we are motivated to learn and grow" – Buddha.