Balance. The word is thrown around a lot on social media. Your Instagram fitness favs rant about balance being that they eat donuts and don’t feel bad. Yogi’s say that balance is looking in at who they are and finding the balance within. I however see balance as this; the ability to juggle a million (or so it seems) tasks without wearing myself thin. For many years this has been a problem for me. I always seemed to have something on, never taking the time to just stop and listen to what my body and my mind actually wanted. Eventually becoming so exhausted that I felt like I couldn’t carry on. I’d then spend two days being incredibly unproductive, feel bad for being unproductive and then the cycle would start again. I myself didn’t realise how much this affected not only my mental health but my physical health as well. My sleep cycle was incredibly messed up, I was constantly irritable and I felt bloated all the time. I myself didn’t actually realise this. My friend pointed it out to me and I slowly began to see that what she said was true. I still had no idea how to balance out my life so I carried on juggling school, work, friends, fitness and sleep. I began struggling to carry it all. My grades slipped and I stopped seeing my friends. It was a conversation with my mum that made me snap out of my ways.
I had to sit and look at where my priorities lay and then look at how I divide my time. I started by really organising my day. A weekly planner became my best friend, if something was not on my plan for the day that I got into my head that it wasn’t extremely important. My days revolved around having allocated times to work, walk my dog, write essays and workout. I found that not only was I less stressed but I was becoming more productive every day. I found that by 8pm I had ticked everything off my to do list and had time to fill. So I sat and thought about what would be beneficial for me to do with this time. I could do more work but I didn’t want to start something to be tired and not finish it within the hour. I decided that this time before bed would be for me. My time to truly find balance in my life. If you read my last post you will probably know that I started stretching and meditating before bed. So with the hour that I had free at the end of the day, I began to spend time listening to my body. The time out to properly listen to my body meant that I was able to focus more on what I needed to do to reduce my stress levels. Every night I would stretch and listen to where all my aches where. Whether it would be aches from sitting hunched at a desk all day or from hitting the gym, it was nice to sit and relieve the days physical stresses. Meditation then allowed me to focus on the mental stresses of the day. Shutting off my mind and really focusing on me and my breath allowed me to truly relax at the end of a long day. My stress levels reduced quiet quickly, I was sleeping better and being more productive. I began to feel like I had balance in my life. I had actually changed my life around. As I was now more organised I was happier and less stressed.
As I became less stressed with my workload I became less stressed in other aspects of my life. I seemed more able to tolerate those that I didn’t enjoy being around. I had more energy and strength in my workouts and I know longer stressed over whether I was eating good or bad foods. By finding my version of balance I introduced a happiness into my life that I hadn’t felt in a long time. As I write this I’m sat eating a bag of sweet potato chips with my dog sat on my feet, looking at a pile of completed work. I don’t know about you guys but to me that is a pretty satisfying end to the day.
I would love to know how you guys find balance in your life.