Advice & Features Articles

Finding Balance

It’s a thin line, but it’s out there.

by Kristin Cicciarelli

Are you doing too much? Do you:

• Feel exhausted at the end of every day?

• Resent things you used to enjoy?

• Rely on food, alcohol, etc. to help you “de-stress?”

If so, it’s time to find more balance. However, many of us ignore our body’s warning signs, opting instead for imbalance in every category. As Dr. Sandy Gluckman, a Functional Behavior and Health Coach for parents at www.parentstakecharge.com says, “We’re born with an amazing gift—a body that knows exactly how to be perfectly healthy and balanced. Yet, for some odd reason, we choose to ignore this God-given gift and instead push ourselves unnaturally until we become ill. Why would we do this?”

Managing Your Ego

Oftentimes, finding balance begins with letting go of our inner critic. Dr. Gluckman says, “It’s our ego that tells us that we should be strong and perfect. Listening to it causes us to behave in ways that undermine the magnificent natural balance of our spirit, body and brain.” So, try giving your “ego” a day or week off now and then.

Establishing Priorities

If you’re frustrated that you can’t give 100% to your job, family, and social connections, try asking, What’s the most important thing to me right now? More time with family? Socializing? Getting ahead? Doing work I enjoy? Write down your top three priorities. Don’t judge them; just get clear on them. Once you’ve done that, finding balance starts to get easier.

Boundary Setting and Asking for Help

You can also find more balance by managing boundaries with your tasks.  It’s ok to ask for help. Ask a co-worker to take on a task that’s become burdensome. Get your kids to pitch in more so that you’re not folding laundry at midnight.

The same concept applies to many other areas where balance is a challenge, including taking time for your partner or an aging parent while raising kids. Requesting help wherever possible is an integral part of staying sane when life gets hectic.

Managing Expectations

If you love entertaining, but find throwing lavish dinner parties stressful, don’t put your passion on hold. Host a simple potluck instead. If traveling gives you joy, but college tuition makes vacations seem out of reach, rethink your destination. You can still live loudly, as they say, on a budget. This may not be your year for a month in Europe, but you can find an affordable, memorable get-away that you and your spouse or family will love.

There are only 24 hours in a day and we still need sleep, exercise, and relaxation. Let go of your ego, be honest about your priorities, ask for more help, and manage expectations. You just might find yourself with a little more balance.

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