So many of us crave more balance in our lives, with the ultimate goal of bringing balance to each day. In our hectic, fast-paced lives, we run at a breakneck speed. We juggle work schedules, kids, carpools, volunteering, and keeping up with the chores of our households. We judge others if they aren’t keeping up with us. Even worse, we judge ourselves if we aren’t keeping up with them. I have so often found myself falling into the trap of running to the point of exhaustion. Then—if I am lucky—I try to plan an escape to detox and bring balance back into my life. And while I am all for breaks, vacations, spa days, and retreats, I often wonder if this is really balance. Will it really give my body, mind, and spirit the break and reset it needs?
Little by little I have learned that part of living a balanced life is taking time EACH DAY to restore ourselves. And, yes, I know this might seem daunting or even impossible. And, yes, it’s true that each day is different. But, even a small amount of time—even a few minutes—when taken on a regular basis can begin to yield large results. Here are some of my favorite techniques:
Start with a short meditation, maybe 3 or 5 minutes.. Set a timer on your phone, close your eyes, and take deep breaths. That’s it! Don’t worry if you are “doing it right”. There is not a wrong way. Gradually you might want to increase your time and the depth of your practice. If not, that’s fine too. This is for you!
Walk in Nature:
Getting outside can be greatly restorative. Take in your surroundings. Appreciate the trees. Notice changes in the sky. If walking or jogging is not your thing, just sit for a few minutes and feel the breeze.
Write it Out:
Start keeping a journal. When you put your thoughts to paper, you will be surprised by how often you are able to gain a greater perspective on all aspects of your life. You might even work out the answers to your greatest worries, just by seeing them laid out in front of you.
Infuse your space with some of your favorite fragrances. We all love candles—don’t just save them for entertaining or special occassions! And with the growing popularity of essential oil diffusers, you can keep a variety of fragrances to address the needs of the day, from sandalwood to help focus on that big project that has you stressed to tea tee for boosting immunity during cold and flu season to lavender to help you unwind at the end of the day.
Evening Bubble Bath:
When the day has gotten the better of you, there is nothing much better to soothe your cares away than a warm bath. Add a favorite playlist or watch an episode of your favorite Netflix binge on your tablet and create your own stress-free zone.
Whether you unwind with yoga, align your body with Pilates, or rock it out in a high-energy spin class, movement is a key ingredient to a balanced lifestyle. And not only do you get the stress-fighting benefits of releasing endorphins or slipping into a perfect Zen-zone, you will also reap the health benefits to keep you strong and ready to face each day’s challenges.
Don’t underestimate or undervalue the benefit of having fun! This might mean a few minutes of coloring, dancing, or working crossword puzzles (my current obsession!), or it might mean a funny movie or dinner with friends. It’s important to remember the things that bring you joy and spend time doing them. You are worth it!
Relax, take a breath, and enjoy the exploration of bringing balance to each day!