Maintaining a well-balanced life is not always easy. Responsibilities pull us in all directions and we compensate by making sacrifices. Balancing what we want to do with what we need to do is tricky, but ultimately, balance leads to a healthier life.
Leading a balanced life means taking care of physical, mental and emotional health. When these areas are in synch, we reduce our stress, improve our relationships, and live invigorating, happy lives.
Here are 10 tips for restoring balance in your life:
- Wake with the sun. According to a study by the University of Toronto, a dose of Vitamin D in the morning helps elevate your mood. Early risers report increased levels of happiness and productivity throughout the day compared to snoozers.
- Acknowledge. What areas in your life are you focusing too much or too little on? What is drawing your attention? Acknowledge in what areas of life you’re spending the most time on, and seek to reset the scale and priorities.
- Reflect. Studies show journaling is a great tool to help gain control over emotions, and help manage stress, depression, and anxiety. Journaling helps prioritize thoughts, goals and hopes, and can help us recognize patterns of negativity. As a form of meditation, journaling is not about tuning out, but tuning in for a greater sense of awareness. Awareness helps us to feel centered and calm regardless of circumstance.
- Empower. Believe that in this very moment, you are enough. Stop the self-sabotage and start the self-love and support. Mental models are the core belief systems that define our personal realities. Get to know what mental models you have constructed and reprogram them to be positive influences in your life. Instead of “I’m not smart enough” think “I have so much intellectual potential”. Changing mental models is the single most powerful thing you can do to change your life.
- Get to know your green thumb. Gardening is shown to reduce stress, improve brain function, and promote relaxation through sights, smells, sounds, and tastes. Gardeners tend to eat more fruits and veggies than non-gardeners because of their accessibility. Having a home garden promotes organic, local, and seasonal eating.
- Spend time in nature. We spend most of our time indoors, detached from the natural world. Stanford University studies show that a 90-minute walk in nature helps reduce rumination (a pattern of negative thoughts about oneself). Thus, unplugging in nature may help one have a healthier self-image and practice self-love. Engage the senses and observe how your body, mind and soul feel in the power of nature.
- Reduce Clutter. Studies show that excessive clutter overloads our minds with stimuli, making us anxious and unable to relax physically or mentally because it signals there is always work to be done. Clutter free environments lead to a clutter free and focused mind.
- Exercise. Exercise is shown to release endorphins good for our body, mind and soul. Experts say it takes around 21 days to form a habit. Need inspiration? Here are some links: Yoga, Running, Strength Building
- Laugh. The Mayo Clinic credits laughter as one of the best stress-busters around. Giggling boosts our immunity and infection-fighting antibodies making us more resilient to disease. The endorphins released by laughter promote a general feeling of wellness and can help diminish short-term pain.
- Unplug at night. Harvard University links a disruption in our circadian rhythm (biological clock) to artificial light at night. Research shows blue wavelengths after dark, like the screens on our phones, tablets and computers to be the most disruptive. Exposure to light suppresses the secretion of melatonin, making us more susceptible to illnesses. Limit technology use before bedtime giving your body and mind the rest they need to wake refreshed and well-rested.
Thoughts From the Field is a blog written entirely by Pure Life field guides. Through their knowledge, wisdom, and passion, our talented guide team forms the backbone of our program as they work tirelessly to help our students. We hope you learn as much from them as we do. They are truly amazing and inspiring people.