All things in moderation. It’s a common phrase, and it’s usually paired with dieting advice regarding sweet treats and snacks. However, what if all things – even fitness and healthy eating – are better in moderation.
It’s typical for fitness-minded people to go through periodic phases of being “obsessed” with things regarding their health. Whether it’s eating healthy or exercising, it’s human nature to place all our energy into something on which we’re currently fixated. However, just because society labels something “healthy” doesn’t mean that going to extremes to achieve it is healthy.
Life is not about restricting calories and exercising for three hours a day, and in reality, neither of those things is sustainable for the long haul. Aiming for balance with work, exercise, and nutrition is the key to living a happy, healthy life.
How to Find Balance
If the idea of balance is new to you, you might be wracking your brain right now. What does a balanced life look like? The idea of balance might be different for every person. However, determining what your balanced life looks like is essential for living well and maintaining your health.
This journey might take some soul-searching and self-discovery, as well as some revisions along the way. Balance might mean something different to you in different phases of your life.
Where to Start
1. Nurture Yourself First
You cannot take care of others if you are running on empty, especially if you are responsible for other people, kids, or elderly parents. It’s essential to determine what you need to refill and recharge. Perhaps it’s a coffee break alone or time for daily exercising or stretching.
Determining what makes you feel refreshed is only half the battle. Now you must carve out time to regularly do these things. If you consistently nurture yourself, you can always deliver the best care to those you’re responsible for.
2. Get Clear about Your Priorities
Each person has priorities, and they might vary at different times, but acknowledging that your family and your health are your top priorities makes it easier to manage your time in a way that makes you feel fulfilled.
Each of us is only gifted with limited minutes in a day. So, planning time for your highest priorities ensures you won’t feel guilty about spending too much time in areas that don’t matter to you.
3. Plan, Schedule, or Set Goals
Once you’re clear on your priorities, create a schedule for yourself. Plan out specific times for family time and exercise or meal planning.
Some people are more free-spirited and have a hard time setting a schedule and sticking to it. If this is you, try setting daily goals instead. Determining which method works for you personally will allow you to achieve the things that matter and those that need to get done.
4. Acknowledge, Reflect, and Adapt
Part of feeling balanced means embracing change. Life is imperfect, and situations change. We must be willing to adapt on any given day, especially if you don’t feel balanced after a couple of weeks of planning and preparing. Perhaps you need to sit back down, reevaluate your priorities, and adapt your daily plans and goals.
No matter how independent you think you are, human connection is essential for a balanced life. Finding people who support you can make all the difference with your balance and wellbeing. If you recently moved or don’t have many friends, consider counseling or a pet. A trained support person can help in ways you may not realize you need, and animals have a way of providing unwavering companionship.
It is human nature to obsess. Eating healthy, exercising, working—we must do these things, but even the “healthiest” habits can become detrimental if you get too fixated. Instead of focusing on how we can be healthier and work harder, perhaps the key to happiness lies in finding our sense of balance.