Last post we discussed the importance of balance in our daily lives, and how to begin the process of achieving or maintaining that balance. I associate balance with inner peace, and inner peace with a deep sense of content and appreciation of the little joys of life we experience when we pay attention. Here are a few more ways to feel more balanced.
- Being engaged and present can be effective even in day-to-day chores. Sometimes I am amazed how much I can get done on one task in just a short amount of time. A personal positive habit of mine is setting a timer when I need to do a least favorite chore. When I commit myself to even just 15 minutes of a task, like washing pots and pans, I am amazed at how much I can get done. Plus, with a timer, you can ensure that you move a little faster than you might have otherwise. If you are feeling REALLY ambitious, you can also try this. http://moneysavingmom.com/2011/12/whip-your-house-into-shape-in-2-hours-plus-a-free-downloadable-checklist.html
- Realize that you don’t have to respond to everything immediately. We live in an age where due to technology, we are always available- by phone, email, social media, etc. There can be a pressure to respond right away. But ask yourself if you could check your email a few times less a day, wait a little longer to respond to a text, or delay returning a phone call. Somethings may need to be taken care of quickly, but most things can wait. If you don’t occasionally set boundaries with others about how quickly you will respond to them, you may find yourself overwhelmed with other people’s expectations. Notice if you find yourself responding to everything as if it is an emergency.
- If you so desire, pray and/or meditate. While not everyone considers themselves a spiritual or religious person, almost anyone can benefit from the practice of meditation. While I believe prayer or meditation to always be useful, this can be especially helpful when you have a sense of inner fuzziness, of really not being sure what you want or what is most important to you. Both practices allow a person to get in touch with their deepest self and feel a sense of spiritual connection with the world around them. Many people find great comfort as well as guidance through these practices.
- It’s often helpful to set yourself some goals so you can check in with yourself on occasion and see if you are truly doing what you set out to do ( I like to use the method of S.M.A.R.T. goals- Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.)
- One of the key factors in balance, to me, is remembering that we have different seasons of life. I often think back on certain periods of my life positively and with admiration and think “how did I do that?” Or, negatively, “what was I thinking?” What works for us at one point in our life isn’t always going to work in another time in our life. Major transitions that may involve a major shift in priorities are a death of a loved one, a sick child or family member, birth of a child or adopting a child, a job change, move, divorce, or many others. Part of balance may even be the acceptance that sometimes our life is going to challenge us, and that maybe sometimes things will be off balance for a bit.
If this is something you struggle with and you’d like to find more peace and balance in your life, contact Laura Novak, LCSW, CADC at X151 for an appointment.