Where, When And What We Lose The Most
Ever notice how you can never find your keys in the morning? Or your phone after dinner? Do you always find yourself searching for your TV remote over the weekend?
It’s a cliché but spending time in nature really does recharge your internal batteries. The change to your lifestyle doesn’t need to be monumental, and you don’t need to take long hikes or climb a mountain (although those are highly beneficial to your health), it can be as simple as taking a walk to the nearest park.
Make an honest self-assessment
Think about what changes you want to make. The key is to start small and not plan goals you cannot achieve, or you’ll just be setting yourself up for failure.
Turn it off
Disconnect from your phone, your tablet or smart watch for a few hours on the weekend. What good is it taking a hike, if all you do is check your phone all the time? Give your brain a break and get lost in thought while you exercise.
A sound mind in a sound body
This should be your mantra. If you only need a short break to recharge and balance yourself, then do exactly that. Don’t overexert yourself to achieve an imaginary goal. We’re all unique and what works for others might not be the best solution for you. Listen to what your own body is saying.
Whatever activity in nature you do end up doing, just make sure you keep doing it, that’s the only way to achieve a balanced life in the long run.
Some benefits of regular exercise in nature:
Would you compare your life to an intricate balancing act or even a tightrope walk where you need to keep everything under constant control? If your answer is yes, you might want to consider a different approach.
The trick is not to try and control different aspects of your life, because that is simply not possible in the long run.
Embrace the chaos that is your life and work to find your composure within that.
At times, you will find yourself pulled more in one direction or another and instead of struggling to maintain the same schedule you usually do, embrace the change and find balance within that.
Learn to say NO.
What you don’t do is as important as what you do. Trim your daily to-do list to the have-to’s and want to’s and learn how to say no to the rest. A balanced life requires a daily, healthy mix of tasks you must do and things you do because they bring you joy.
Say NO to things that don’t bring some value to your life and instead build on the things that make it better.
Prioritize what really matters.
We all tend to bite off more than we can chew and overwhelm ourselves with everything we could do, instead of focusing on what we actually need to do.
Here’s a short checklist to help you figure out what clutter you can get rid of to balance your life more easily:
1. Asses your day-to-day
How much time do you spend on different areas of your life?
Are you happy with that?
Is anything taking more time or energy than it should?
2. Put things into perspective
Then ask yourself: ‘Will this matter or benefit me in 5 years?’
If the answer is ‘no’, take a long hard look at why you’re wasting your time and energy doing it at all.
3. Plan tasks and set goals
Set your goals and outline a list of tasks that will help you achieve them. Want to spend more time with your family? Get out of the house more? Do more at work? Plan activities for each aspect of your life, both weekly and monthly, and most importantly, stick by them.
Keep in mind that the ultimate goal is balance in life, not to do as much as you possibly can.
4. Ask for help
Achieving personal balance is always easier when we have someone we can turn to for support. Balancing everything on your own is nearly impossible and definitely too much stress for one person to carry alone.
Reaching out and asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it’s just plain being human.
When was the last time you thought to yourself:
‘O, I love doing that, I’ll do that today’
‘This must be done, so I’ll do that today’
Chances are you did the latter today, and the first one sometime over a weekend, when you didn’t have any family obligations, or you didn’t need to clean your flat.
What makes you happy? Now go do more of that.
We’re constantly reminded of everything we must do and it’s really easy to forget the things we love to do. But those are the most important ones and really, the ones we should be doing more of.
So, here’s our advice:
Make time and make it happen
If you think of an activity and it makes you smile or you daydream about it at work, then make time to do that. Doing things we love will still take time and energy, but it will boost your mood and bring balance to your day-to-day. Doing something you must do is much easier when you have something to look forward to as well.
Try something new
Take risks and remember that everything interesting starts when we’re slightly outside our comfort zone. Venture outside of your comfort zone every day, even if it’s only one little thing. You’ll love some new experiences and you’ll hate others. And here’s the beauty of it – the ones you hate, you never have to experience again.
When it comes to personal balance, there is no right or wrong answer. What works wonders for some, might not work for you, so it’s important to take time and find your own balance that you enjoy.
Be kind to yourself
It’s far too easy to see an image on Facebook or Instagram and think that it represents a whole when in truth it’s just a moment frozen in time that was most likely heavily staged. Don’t be hard on yourself if your own journey takes longer or doesn’t yield the same results. Instead, take time to reflect on what you’ve already achieved and how far you’ve already come.
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving. -Albert Einstein
Finding your balance takes planning, consistency and some self-discipline and each little change we make will make a difference. Keep in mind that it's not a static goal you can achieve, it’s a journey of positive and negative aspects, all designed to make our lives an interesting experience.