Life is all about balance. We've all heard the term "work hard, play harder", which I believe is a simple but important phrase to remember. Maintaining a balance between work and pleasure is the key to a stable life. So how do we really know if our life is in balance?
One of the major ways we are able to tell if our life is unbalanced, is by listening to our body. Feelings of stress, anxiety, or even depression can stem from focusing too much on one aspect of our life. This may be from a lack of work in any area of your life, or leaving yourself with no down time to relax if you're working too often. When you focus too much on one aspect of your life, it leads you to neglect other areas that make you a well-rounded individual. We have to deal with these areas that are taking up a majority of our energy by putting them back into alignment, allowing us to have more energy for the other areas of our life. However, no one can do this for us. We have to commit to changing habits by first acknowledging that we are out of balance, and more importantly understanding why we have to change the way we live. So where do we start?
First, there needs to be an assessment of how your life is currently. You may ask yourself if you feel physically exhausted or drained, mentally stagnant, or losing touch with close relationships. You may also consider yourself a "workaholic". If any of these things resonate with you, you may certainly be living an unbalanced lifestyle. On the other hand you may feel that you don't work enough. A lack of ambition or goal setting can come from giving ourselves too much leeway. Whether we are focused too much on comfort or pleasure, or simply not putting enough time into the work that we do, having a lot of downtime can be more common than some may think. Once you have come to this realization, you simply need to make the conscious decision to change.
You are now forced to become realistic with yourself. There is no "perfect" life balance. You want to strive for a realistic schedule, not a perfect one. Some days you may focus more on work, while others you may focus more on time for yourself or your family. A good life balance is created over time, not each day. The most important thing to remember is to make sure you are vigilantly assessing where you are in your life, and recognizing when to focus on certain areas that may need more attention at this particular time or another. You must be able to notice when certain areas of your life need more of your attention whether it be health related, unplugging from work, or maybe actually getting away from your every day life by going on a vacation.
Once you have gotten relatively good at recognizing how to shift your habits back into a healthy balance, you may want to set boundaries in the areas you tend to loose yourself in. For example, if you are more of the "workaholic" person, then it may be critical for you to set specific times of when you start work and when you finish. As well as not letting work thoughts trickle into the other areas of your life that you try to be present in after work. Or if you tend to be lazy and unmotivated, you can generate routines and relationships that can help you stay motivated and working.
It is easy to find yourself in a state of feeling over worked and stressed, or lacking ambition and motivation. However, it is not as easy to recognize that an unbalanced lifestyle may be the root cause. Once you are able to establish what needs to be changed within your behaviors and habits, you will see how your daily life will feel more at ease and how you will feel balanced mentally and physically in your life.