In a world and culture that’s rapidly changing, you might be longing to bring more balance to your life. Quality of life is just as important as quantity, and it can be tempting to overfocus on one aspect of your being, whether it’s work, sports, family, or screen time.
It’s important to remember that there are many ways to have a balanced life — one size doesn’t fit all. You might be a high-energy, high-achieving person, a more mellow type, or a combination of both. Your optimal state of balance won’t look exactly like anyone else’s.
What’s most helpful is to prioritize regular habits that support general balance and help you generate the energy to accomplish what you want. Here are several main areas to focus on to bring your life to a more balanced place.
1. Rest and Relaxation
If you live an active lifestyle, it can be easy to fall into the trap of forgetting about hobbies you used to love, your favorite reading materials, or the places you enjoy exploring on foot — that downtime that you can spend any way you wish.
Even just staring out the window or napping — whatever your preference, it’s restorative and necessary. And if you don’t make it a non-negotiable part of your schedule, you’re likely to miss it. If it’s an ongoing priority for you to let down and relax, you’ll notice your overall energy and outlook improve.
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2. Nutrition and Hydration
Balanced nutrition and hydration mean a more balanced body. Keep your intake well-harmonized by eating mostly nutrient-dense foods like fish, vegetables, foods high in healthy fats (like avocados and eggs), low-glycemic fruits, and lean meats.
Avoid foods that make your blood sugar spike, and consume the right amount to help maintain a healthy weight. You’ll find that your mood stays more on an even keel, and that your metabolism stabilizes. Be sure that you consult a health practitioner to design an eating plan that’s right for you, including supplements if needed. It’s also important that you hydrate sufficiently. Around two to three liters a day is the standard recommendation.
Want to feel steadier, more serene, and more energetic? Want to feel refreshed and as though emotional issues are somehow worked out overnight? Get enough quality sleep! The assumption used to be that less-than-optimal sleeping habits cause emotional and mental stress, but in fact, the opposite is more on target.
While natural patterns vary from person to person, seven to eight hours per night is about the right amount for most people. You can even break up the time if you want. Allow yourself the respite from everyday concerns, physical repair, and assimilation that sleep provides.
Exercise is one of the most effective and enjoyable ways to balance all aspects of your being — physical, mental, and emotional/spiritual. To make it sustainable, it’s important to select the right kind of exercise(s) for your level of fitness and life stage.
Also, it’s fun and beneficial to change it up to give yourself a boost. You might select any combination of cardiovascular, strength training, flexibility, and agility training. Be sure to balance contraction with relaxation, high intensity with low intensity. Check with your health practitioner to determine the best way forward for you.
A sense of healthy, warm connection with friends, pets, partners, family, and coworkers is helpful for supporting a realistic perspective on your life and increasing a sense of purpose. Make the effort to cultivate your positive relationships, and put healthy limits on more difficult ones.
Stay in touch IRL if you can — presence matters — but video, phone, and text contact is valuable, too. Do your best to stay inwardly connected and balanced by maintaining some type of mindfulness or spiritual practice, and outwardly by getting involved in a community or spiritually-based group.
Bringing more balance to your life involves paying close attention to a few key items. In time, you’ll find yourself to be happier, more resilient, and more energetic as you go about your daily life.