2016 was a year of balance for me. I felt anxious and stressed in most scenarios, and I knew that change was needed. The thing is, I didn’t want to make any drastic changes, nor turn into a person that wasn’t really, well, me. The answer? Balance.
What do I mean by ‘finding balance’?
Finding balance is quite a loose term, and can be interpreted in many different ways from person to person. For me, it was all about returning to my happy equilibrium; the point at which I was living my happiest life without latching too extremely on to something.
In what ways did I find balance?
The first thing I did was note down what was bothering me, and the list generally comprised of these following items:
- No stable control over food/diet
- No stable control over fitness, health and wellbeing
- Not getting enough sleep and feeling stressed out when something was keeping me up
- Spending too much money on the weekly food shop
- Not looking after myself enough
- Too much anxiety and exhaustion
I then listed ways in which I could at least slightly improve the situation:
- Try to eat more healthily without giving up anything, and don’t eat foods you don’t like (lettuce and cucumber salad = BORING. Hello there, roasted Mediterranean veg!)
- Try to exercise a little more than you are now, but only do exercise that you actually enjoy e.g. Zumba, dog walking etc
- Aim to get in bed 30 minutes earlier, rather than sitting downstairs wasting time on your phone
- See if there are any unnecessary items that can be removed from the shopping list, and try not to worry too much about spending money on good food if it is nourishing your body
- Get your hair cut when it feels scraggy, have a hot bath when you’re feeling cold, invest in some nice clothes
- Swap caffeinated drinks for decaf and, again, go to bed earlier
This was the start of my journey. There are no radical changes here, just miniscule shifts in my every day routine. I didn’t give up tea, I just switched to decaf. I didn’t embark on an extreme 6 week juice and insanity fitness regime, I just made a vow to do a little more than what I was already doing.
It’s not possible to give yourself a long-lasting ‘happy makeover’ in just a day; the benefits of these changes may take a little time, but the payout will be permanent, and SO worth it.
How else can your incorporate balance in to your daily life?
Had a stressful week at work?
Make sure to have fun at the weekend.
Eaten an indulgent, all-consuming, button-popping dinner?
Have a healthy breakfast and make a mental note to ease up tomorrow.
Been eating super healthily all week and smashed out three hardcore workouts?
Have that chocolate bar.
Spent months neglecting yourself and giving out love to others instead?
Treat yourself to an evening of TLC, book a haircut, and enjoy your own company for a weekend. Love yourself!
Stayed up late for four nights in a row?
Go to bed a little earlier for the next couple of nights.
Lacked motivation and not done any exercise?
Take the dog out for a walk and do 10 minutes of Pilates.
Remember, your tastes and interests are completely unique to you. So many blogs will translate TLC as ‘run a nice hot bath’ or ‘treat yourself to a pamper evening’, but these may not particularly appeal to you. If you’re more about gaming, or comics, or sprinting, or cooking, or swimming, or Netflix-bingeing (you get my drift), then make sure that you are relaxing and enjoying yourself in the ways that you love.
Try and find one area of your life today where you can find balance, and I promise you will start reaping the benefits immediately.