‘Balance is not something you find. It is something you create’ Jana Kingsford.
They say life is about balance. Balance for our wellbeing is making sure we pay equal attention to our physical, mental and emotional needs in life. To meet these needs we must balance all aspects of our life that may include work, hobbies, parenting, family, responsibilities and other past times.
An imbalance in life can cause stress, negative feeling, depression, anxiety, frustration, anger and burn out. Giving one aspect of your life all your energy, work for example and leaving very little for your home life can have huge impacts on the quality of your relationships at home, your sleep and eating patterns as well as other aspects.
Company culture for several decades now has dictated an increase in working hours, with companies positively encouraging a longer working day in the belief that longer hours generated higher productivity. In fact studies have proven that the more hours people do the less productive they were, the more exhausted they were and the more disengaged with work they became.
Work-life balance can only be achieved if you are disciplined enough to prioritise your own time. This means saying no to things that don’t serve you, being clear on your priorities and being disciplined with your time management. Plan personal time into your calendar, establish set working hours that you stick to and set boundaries with colleagues and management. Play to your strengths and don’t try and be all things to all people, your time is precious and you must preserve it.
Focusing on something we are passionate about that balances out the things we have to do or that we are responsible for is vital. When we embrace a hobby and focus in the moment of doing the activity we find ourselves switching off from the stresses and strains of everyday life. Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present in the moment and being fully engaged in whatever you are doing in that moment. Free from distraction and judgement, and aware of our thoughts and feelings without getting caught up in them.
Identifying what your needs are
It’s important to be fully aware of what your emotional, physical and mental needs are if you are going to ensure these needs are met. Take some time to sit down with a notebook and consider all the things that are important to you, what makes you feel good, what makes you feel rested, what brings you joy and what is good for you. When you have done this exercise identify what aspects you are missing and decide whether you can find a way to fulfil the needs that are currently not being met.
Creating balance preserves your health and wellbeing. Taking time out and doing things that bring us joy such as spending time with friends and family, taking a holiday, doing exercise, eating well, focusing on sleep, doing things for your personal development, spending time in nature or just walking the dog, will contribute to balancing your emotional, mental and physical needs.
‘Balance is the key to everything. What we do, think, say, eat, feel, they all require awareness and through this awareness we can grow’ Koi Fresco
Helena Field, Founder, Action Wellbeing