One really important part of wellness is finding a sense of balance in your life. Without it, it’s impossible to be well. When I was studying postgraduate nutrition, I thought I could study full time, work 30 hours a week, exercise and have a social life on top of all that. Well – it didn’t go very well. I was exhausted, stressed and tearful – so in the end I had to cut my work hours down. And while I had less money, I was so much happier, less stressed and balanced.
Even today, finding balance between my full time job, private consulting, writing work, home life, social life and exercise can be hard. I think the best thing to do is have a plan that works for you and listen to what your body needs. Here’s how I find balance:
1. Getting enough sleep
Making sure I get enough sleep is vital for me feeling at my best. I wish I could feel good with 6 hours, but I need 8-9 hours of sleep every night or I feel lethargic, sluggish and irritable. Without enough sleep I find it really hard to stay focused and find my mind wandering. So while I might get more done if I stay up an extra couple of hours, it’s not worth it in productivity lost over the next few days.
2. Setting times/days for exercise
Exercise is a priority for me in terms of feeling and being well. I have set days where I schedule in exercise so I know it will happen. On Monday and Friday I do crossfit. On Wednesday I either go for a run, or do cross fit. Tuesday is yoga or a day off and Saturday I try and get a long run in or take the dog for a walk. Exercise makes me feel great. I know I’m doing something good for my body, it gives me time out and is a awesome for relieving stress. If I’ve had a bad day or I’m grumpy, I always feel better after a good run.
3. Not over-committing
Once upon a time I’d say yes to everything. Now, I’m trying hard not to – committing to things I really want to do rather than things I feel I should do.
4. Avoiding distractions
I could easily waste a whole day on the internet – reading blogs, scrolling through Pinterest, checking out Facebook… The internet is so full of distractions! Now I make sure I have a set amount of time for doing these things, and when I’m working, avoid going on anything that is not relevant to what I’m working on.
5. Me time
Time alone is really important for me to feel balanced. Some people thrive on being constantly busy and around others,. And while I do love socialising, I need time alone to potter around and recharge my batteries.
How do you find balance in your life?