Life's Balancing Act
How often do you find yourself struggling to find or maintain that elusive “Balance” we all long for? Most of us chase it all our lives and some of us are fortunate enough to find it—at least for a little while. The fact of the matter is, that we can find it and maintain it once we understand what balance is. Balance means something different for each and every person. In my search for finding information to share with my patients, friends, and family, I have discovered that balance requires effort and constant flow. Balance is not a steady state and it requires some resistance. For instance, if you are standing or sitting still—completely still—your body is balanced. Once you take a step forward or rise from your seat, you have created a state of temporary imbalance and gravity, your muscles, bones, brain, equilibrium all go to work to help you maintain that balance as you move about.
Feeling out of control and unbalanced usually occurs when some areas of our lives demand or require more of our time than others do. With myself, and my patients, I stress eight major areas of our lives that require attention for our body, mind, and spiritual growth and wellbeing. These areas are:
Health and Wellness Romance/Intimacy Family and Friends (Social) Spiritual and Personal Growth Career Fun and Recreation Finances Physical Environment
If you were to rate each of these areas of your life on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being completely fulfilled in that area of your life, then you probably will find some “low” areas that need some attention. What means balance and peace to you might be totally chaotic for someone else. For years I have misunderstood what true balance was. I felt like a “Plate Spinner” or someone playing the old children’s game “Whack a Mole”. I couldn’t balance it all. What was missing was socialization, fun and recreation, and health. Outwardly I appeared healthy, but inwardly I was a hormonal, emotional wreck. We fool ourselves when we try to lump everything into just four or five categories as if we can multi-task our way into balance. Simply enjoying our families and our work doesn’t usually count as “Fun and Recreation” unless we are actually doing something for fun—something we ourselves enjoy.
I don’t know that anyone can ever have a perfect ten in all eight categories listed above—at least not for long. However, we can do a little here and there to raise our lowest scores so that we feel more balanced. The most helpful tip for finding balance is to give yourself permission to be out of balance for periods of time. Sometimes your physical environment will be a mess, your bank accounts might not always reflect what you would like to see there, and your family duties might not allow for as much fun and recreation as you long for. I urge you to sit quietly for a few minutes to assess how balanced your life is and decide what balance looks like for you. Then make a plan to create more balance.
For more information on Finding Your Life Balance and getting help to balance your health, call Legacy Health Center at 601-620-0370. We are located at 16 Bellegrass Boulevard, Hattiesburg, MS 39402.