Balance doesn't mean we equally give attention to every aspect of our life. It is about knowing what matters to us, and what our needs, values, and priorities are. The below suggestions are based on my personal 'rules' so feel free to take what resonates and adapt them in a way that makes sense to you. Redefining balance is not about forcing yourself to mimic someone else's way of living, but creating your own so it is sustainable with your lifestyle.
1. Start with daily non-negotiables.
These are daily habits that create the foundation for your mental and physical health. I try to prioritize these regardless of how busy or unpredictable other areas of my life are. I look at this as the foundation around which everything is arranged.
2. Spend more time on fulfilling experiences, people, and activities, and spend less time on soul sucking ones.
Knowing what energizes you and what drains you AND intentionally making decisions from this awareness is crucial. Notice your energy levels at different times of the day, around various people, activities, experiences, topics, places, etc.
3. Ask yourself what matters to you in this season.
For example, if I notice a lack of enthusiasm for something I enjoyed doing, or if it feels like I'm forcing myself to pursue a goal I set a while back, I reevaluate whether it still has the same importance to me and if it doesn't, I give myself the option to take a break from it or spend less time on it. Our priorities will shift as we change and evolve.
4. Minimize reliance on coping strategies for immediate relief and satisfaction.
We all have our habitual ways of responding to distress, but coping strategies that are geared towards escaping our experience and quickly feeling better, often leave us feeling worse in the long term or they tend to create an additional problem. Instead, learn how to be with and tolerate distress and seek to find more grounding and creative ways of coping with it.
Our imagination is so much more powerful than our reality. By imagining something that's not real, we create real feelings in the present moment. Let's say you imagine a future outcome not going your way, or if you think about an uncomfortable memory that took place at some point, you will start to evoke feelings as if that event is happening in the present moment.
Any feelings we evoke by imagining, either positive or negative situations, are real.
The same goes for something that's wanted, something that you desire. So when you imagine desired outcome or an experience that you really want to manifest in your life, you're going to start creating those feelings that will match that event you’re imagining.
By knowing how powerful our imagination is , you can be intentional about where you let your mind focus.
The Importance of a Morning Routine
As soon as you wake up, you are starting to create a momentum. You start creating energy that will persist throughout your entire day.
If you’re not aware that you’re creating a momentum, it just means that you’re creating it by default.
It means you’re letting random thoughts and feelings to dictate your internal experience and your actions. You’re unconsciously reacting and when you’re doing that, you’re creating a negative momentum. And once it gets going it takes great amount of energy and emotional resource to interrupt it and change it.
Morning is the time when it’s the easiest to create on purpose instead of by default.
Does your morning routine feel calm and grounding or chaotic? Is it setting you up for a great day or for overwhelm?
Don’t overthink this. Don’t worry about having to do things like everyone else is suggesting. Think about how would you like to feel throughout the day and what would help you connect to that feeling as soon as you wake up.
You don’t need to change your whole routine if that feels overwhelming. Introduce small changes and build on them
Are You Living By Old Rules?
We often follow rules for life that don’t belong to us. They have been passed onto us at an early age, but these are not our rules.
We didn’t create them from our desires, curiosities and wants. We simply had to adapt to and follow them in order to fit in and survive.
When we live by someone else’s rules, we keep ourself in situations that drain us, we pressure ourselves to work for something that’s doesn’t give us fulfillment, and we force ourselves to want something that doesn’t make us happy.
We have the responsibility to examine the parts of our lives in which we blindly follow rules that don’t support our self-determination and freedom.
Now we get to decide what rules no longer apply to who we are today. We get to create our own blueprint based on our real curiosities and desires.
Here are some questions that will help you identify old rules you might be living by. These are great for reflection and journaling:
If you feel stuck in a never ending loop of self-analysis and trying to move forward, it’s a good time to bring in a fresh perspective.
Therapy is a great place to be challenged to face what’s not working and to be encouraged to discover what does.