Creating Balance in Our Busy Lives
Finding balance between work, a social life, physical fitness, and the activities we enjoy can be a difficult struggle for many of us. Many times we respond with comments like: “I don’t have time”, “It doesn’t fit into my schedule”, “Let me check my calendar”, or “How can I possibly fit in another [fill in the blank]”. This approach to time is linear and finite because it fails to recognize the value of activities that nourish us on multiple levels.
I will use a recent event in my own life to articulate my point. I have a fairly standard routine each week to include activities that nourish my mind, body, and spirit as well as provide me with some rest and relaxation. I swim a minimum of 3 times per week, I perform Qi Gong/Tai Chi daily, I hike outdoors weekly, and I write poetry and paint weekly. All of these activities consume approximately 10-15 hours per week which is minimal in comparison to running my business, working on a graduate thesis, attending classes, and completing clinical requirements.
I saw an opportunity to finalize some coursework and clinical requirements in one of my graduate programs as well as finishing writing and editing my book for publication. In other words, I decided to sacrifice the previously mentioned activities in the short term but for long-term gain. There were days in which I left my home at 7 am and did not return until 10 pm.
As I worked to finish these requirements, I found myself saying, “If I can only complete [fill in the blank], I can take a break.” Whenever I did complete the “fill in the blank”, I still did not return to my weekly/daily routine which contain activities that nourish me on a body, mind, and/or spirit level. By the third week, I found my sleep and eating habits began to suffer. Eventually, my overall mood began to show signs of stress. By the sixth week, I was physically and mentally exhausted as well as irritable and emotionally sensitive.
The lesson I learned is my daily and weekly routine is vital for maintaining a healthy balance in my life. These so-called “enjoyable” activities are things that help me to process the learning in both my business and coursework. In addition, these activities provide me with a form of nourishment and stamina that cannot be gained through food. Basically, I had fallen into thinking “I do not have time” for the activities that sustain me. The key to creating balance is to do exactly that – create or make time for the activities we truly enjoy.
What activities in your life leave you feeling light and refreshed? What kinds of events prepare you to take on the challenges in your life? What type of physical activity keeps you healthy and emotionally balanced? How can you create a daily or weekly schedule to include these types activities?
Adam Miramon is the owner of Ix Chel Wellness. He is an Intuitive Reiki Healer as well as a clinical acupuncture intern at Tai Sophia Institute.