The Teeter Totter.
Remember being a little kid on a teeter totter? So long as the kid on the other side was relatively the same size, you could bounce up and down endlessly. It was a grand time. If you were like me, however, you had a dad who liked to hop on the other side and drop the teeter totter so suddenly that you flew up into the air on the other side.
This is basically how our life balance works. Sometimes we’re rocking both sides of that teeter totter like a champ, back and forth between work and life, relationships and personal time. Other times, you’re jolted out of your seat. Finding balance is much like finding happiness. It is a journey, not a destination. Finding balance is a practice.
Here are a few ways I’ve found to keep the balance. The preface is this: My life does not equal balanced. I do my best with good days and bad days just like all of us. I just want a way to connect and give a little help to those who struggle like I do.
7 Ways to Keep The Balance
Define a balanced life. Figure out what a balanced life means to you. A spoonful of peanut butter in one hand and a banana in the other? Four days of running a week and a yoga sesh? Twenty minutes of personal reading or writing time each night? Once you can identify your own meaning of balance, it will be a lot easier to make an actionable plan.
Set goals. With balance defined, you can now create a plan on how to maintain balance. It is an ongoing process, a practice, remember? So, give yourself grace. But set measurable goals.
Cut out the extras. One of the biggest quotes that has stuck with me in my personal development reading lately is this: On any given day, you only have 100% to give. Cut out the crap. Assign percentages accordingly to find balance.
Unplug and disconnect. Set aside the phone and focus on your current surroundings. Turn off the tv, the computer and focus on the present. I’ve decided to create designated times to check the news, my phone, Netflix and email. Pay attention to how many times you mindlessly pick up the phone to check news/email/social media. It’s actually amazing. I’m fairly certain there are apps out there that will tell you how many minutes per day you spend on your phone. I’m almost afraid to try one.
Take you time. This can also fall under unplugging and disconnecting. Take time out of your day to do something for yourself. Drink your coffee in the quiet of the morning, read for 20 minutes, do a yoga sequence to calm your brain. Whatever it is, invest in self-care and slow down enough to listen to your body. I don’t mean that in a weird way, but I promise you, when you slow down, (dare I say, relax) it becomes a lot more clear what your brain and body need versus what you want. You are number one in your life. Filling your cup comes first. And that is so easy to forget.
Nurture relationships. This ties into preceding points, but warrants its own bullet point. Balance comes from investing in yourself and in others. Nurture the relationships that mean the most to you. You best friend, your partner, your family, your children.
Move. Get outside. Go for a walk. Do jump squats in your living room or office. Moving out of your current state or activity can give your head a chance to clear. Just move.
With that, one more reminder. Accomplishments and failures are both a part of balance, a part of life. Get on that teeter totter and keep it rocking.