As part of my journey, I have been searching for balance. Balance in many different areas of my life such as a work-life balance or between social and alone time and I think everyone is always looking for balance within relationships too, but can we truly find balance?
The meaning of balance
To be honest, I don’t think such a thing as a well-balanced life exists, at least not for me. Let’s have a quick look at the meaning of balance “an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.” Alright, that makes sense! But here is another meaning for balance “a situation in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.” Translating this to our life, sounds desirable, right? Even if we look further, it also mentions “mental or emotional stability”.
Ok ok, enough fancy talk, basically what I’m trying to say is that over the past couple of years I have been working on trying to feel calm and in control of my life, thinking that BALANCE was key. This makes sense, ensuring that all aspects of our life are in the correct proportion will lead to feeling happy and fulfilled. But is this really possible? I mean, some month’s work is more demanding than others which can tip the scales resulting in feeling bad, thinking that we are out of balance. There are many tips on the web to help you find balance such as setting boundaries, delegate, be realistic, let go of perfectionism, unplug, which can help to some degree. However, for me most of the time it just felt like extra pressure, and especially when I tried to incorporate it, but it didn’t work, it backfired.
How did I make this idea of balance work for me?
Straight to the point, I changed my mindset. It’s not about correct proportion, it’s about what do I need right now? What matters to me most right now? Looking at it this way, allowed me to find peace and control as I knew I focussed on the right thing. Achieving this renewed balance allowed me to look at it over time instead of daily, which makes more sense. Now, to adapt to this new mindset, I had to remind myself of a few things to make this work. Now, you gotta keep in mind that we are all different and because this worked for me, doesn’t mean it will for you. Reach out if you want to brainstorm strategies that might work for you! But below are my key findings.
With anything, I find it super important to think small, looking for tiny changes we can make or mini things we can add. When we go for big, we often don’t persist, it takes too much energy or is demanding too much time. We gotta break it down, this will allow you to feel a sense of accomplishment and will motivate you to stick with it or go on to the next. For example, a home-cooked meal, 5-minute meditation before bed, or a 30minute work catch up on the weekend are small things that can make a big difference but don’t feel overwhelming.
Understand your values
Deep, I know! But it is very important to spend time on realising what your core values are. Once you know the answer, it is easier to choose what matters to you. Your goals can be set with more clarity, motivation is easier to find and priorities will shine. We have to define what we like to do, who serves us and what do we find important? But, you gotta keep in mind that these values can change over time so reevaluation is key! This is a work in progress at all times!
Check-in with yourself
Every day I set aside some time, some days it could be 2 minutes other days it could be longer, whatever works for me that day. Some days it is part of my morning routine while other times it is done in the evening or both. I look at what my current goals and responsibilities are, what do I want to focus on today? What matters most to me today? (Work, Family, Relationships, Hobbies, Health, Me) With the answer in mind, I can start my day knowing that it is ok to spend more time on certain things. I find it important that in the evening, I take a little time to reflect and assess my needs and redirect if necessary. I remind myself to be flexible and that I shouldn’t be too hard on myself, I keep my goals and priorities in mind.
Tracking for me is an eye-opening tool! Honestly, when I track my eating habits or screen time it is often very confronting to see the results. Man, I live in a dream world, only watching 2 hours of TV a day? Yeah Nah. It makes me realize what’s really going on and it kinda changes my perspective. You become more aware of yourself and your behavior which will lead to making better choices. It improves your self-control.
So, I can talk about tidying all day! It’s just crazy how clutter affects us. FASCINATING. Isn’t it? Or is it just me? Anyway, I always make sure that by the end of the day my home/work environment is tidy and ready to go for the next day. It takes 5 minutes, but oh boy it does make a big impact on my day. Waking up in a clutter-free home is so calming and just sets the mood for the day. Give it a try, let me know what you think!
Ok so Tea-time, I associate this with ME time. Being more aware of my time spent alone (aka tracking) makes me feel more energized. As an introvert, I need quiet alone time to recharge. Because often self-care is forgotten, I find that it is an important habit to incorporate and a reminder that self-love matters all the time! This is the exception to the rule and should be practiced each day. But to highlight, the amount of time spend on self comes back to the question of what matters most right now?
*Drops the mic* I know right, mind-blowing! Now, as my blog is called “Truthful Tea Talks” I have to mention that this is something I strive for. As we all know, this doesn’t happen every day and YES that is OK! Because that means that something else matters more at that moment! Got it? Reminding myself of these 6 pillars of mindful balance keeps me grounded. Being aware of the new meaning of balance, puts it all to ease. What works for you? How do you achieve this renewed balance? Love to know!
Balance is not something you find, it’s something you create.– Jana Kingsford