We all have the same 24 hours in each day/night cycle. The Keys To Mastering a Balanced Life means we must spend that time wisely. In this post, let’s discuss 7 Keys To Mastering A Balanced Life and why you should strive to achieve it.
1. Why Mastering A Balanced Life Is So Important
In our super busy world, it’s so easy to get so caught up in a whirlwind of activity with no thought given to our need for relaxation and downtime.
Whether it’s a hectic work schedule, running kids/grandkids to various external school activities, helping with elderly parents, keeping up with social media, or even volunteering, we can burnout without realizing it.
We often don’t stop long enough to recognize the warning signs that we are reaching a tipping point, and it’s all because our life is out of balance.
Making an intentional effort to have a balanced life will lead to happiness, contentment and fulfilling your dreams.
(Related post you may like – Living With Intention & Purpose
It will allow you to recognize and fulfill your potential and get off the treadmill that so many people live their lives on.
2. Ways To Recognize An Unbalanced Life
You may not be aware that you are living an unbalanced life until you suddenly start to feel overwhelmed and stressed.
That’s when most people decide they need to take action. But recognizing the signs early can save you (and your loved ones) from a lot of frustration and unhealthy behavior.
Here are some classic signs that you are unbalanced and burning out:
- Poor health
- Feeling Frazzled
3. Time to Examine Your Life Balance
There are times in your life when you should take a step back and see where it’s out of balance and where it can be changed.
“The unexamined life is not worth living.” – Socrates
Balancing your life means looking at all aspects:
Your physical and emotional health, relationships with friends, family, your partner, staying fit and flexible, and doing work that’s fulfilling and rewarding.
Stress can be caused by any of these if your life isn’t in balance, and stress is incredibly debilitating and dangerous for your health.
It can cause you to feel your batteries have run out of power and you must recharge, but part of the problem is actually recognizing this.
Sometimes to achieve this you need to take a step back and examine all the aspects of your life to identify where any imbalances lie.
Irrespective of whether you are still employed, running your own business or retired, you need to take steps to recharge.
4. Schedule Time Specifically For You
Achieving happiness and joy in your life usually comes from enjoying activities that are creative and fulfilling. Here are some healthy ways:
Feed Your Creativity For A Balanced Life
Take up that hobby you have wanted to do for years.
Learn to cook new foods like spicy Thai, hearty Italian, or luscious French.
Maybe it’s learning another language. This will definitely occupy your brain…particularly if it’s for a country you really want to visit (or live in) at some stage in your life.
Best apps for this are:
Start painting. Try watercolors, they are so pretty, and it lends itself to so many types of things, like flowers, buildings, landscapes etc.
Anti-Stress Activities For A Balanced Life
Decide to take up meditation, yoga or pilates, anything that will get you moving gently and feeling calm and energized afterward.
Listen to your favorite music. Put headphones on and crank up the volume. Find a quiet place to be alone so you can really get into it without distractions. Wonderfully relaxing!
Schedule a weekly massage or join a dancing class. I do salsa classes here in Mexico where we are currently living, and I absolutely love it.
It’s very social, great exercise and fun…plus it’s quite sexy because the moves are seductive and playful.
Take your partner…(or maybe don’t).
I challenge you to feel stressed, moody, or frazzled after a good salsa class!
Laughter Is Great For A Balanced Life
Laughter is extremely good for your mental and physical health due to the release of endorphins like serotonin and dopamine.
These are natural ‘feel good’ chemicals produced by your body. Your reward will be a lighter mood, reduced stress, lower blood pressure, and a general feeling of wellbeing.
1. Get together with good friends to laugh and reminisce.
2. Play with your crazy dog, animals have a way of always making us laugh. They only see the fun in life and love it when you participate.
3. Watch a funny movie or favorite sitcom.
4. Read a comical book.
Some authors just have the gift to make you chuckle out loud. I remember doing this on a tram and the guy next to me said “what are you reading? I love books that make me laugh”
We all like to lose ourselves in laughter and it’s very liberating. You can’t beat it!
Exercise Is Essential For A Health Balanced Life
I know most people don’t want to hear this, including me, but there is no doubt that exercising is extremely good for your health.
It’s obvious that moving your body on a regular basis will benefit you physically, but did you know that exercise also has a powerful effect on your mental health?
This is due to the release endorphins…the same feel-good chemicals you experience during laughter.
It’s difficult to feel unhappy when your brain is being flooded with ‘positive’ mood-boosting chemicals.
There are other major benefits as well:
You will feel more empowered. This is because you realize that you are in charge of your own destiny leading to a desire to improve other aspects of your life.
Exercise seems to inspire confidence that all things are attainable. It’s the same feeling you get when you lose the weight you have struggled with for years.
Doors seem to open in your mind, giving you the feeling that you can take on the world. BTW, the two go hand-in-hand. Exercise usually leads to weight loss.
The aforementioned salsa dancing is wonderful exercise and super invigorating. It’s also great for weight loss and toning your body.
It’s one of those win-win situations.
Eating A Healthy Diet Leads Helps With A Balanced Life
Here’s a great flow-on effect from exercise and laughter. You will find it so much easier to eat more healthily.
A wonderful upside to feeling energized, losing some weight, and having positivity is that you will naturally want to take better care of yourself, especially when you can see the results.
One leads to the other like so many changes in life.
Try the Mediterranean diet for wonderful, healthy and balanced eating plan that you can safely stick with for the rest of your life.
Getting Adequate Sleep Is Critical For A Balanced Life
Getting the correct amount of sleep can’t be overstated…it isn’t a luxury.
The average adult needs 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night. The emphasis here is on ‘quality’ sleep.
Busy people can sometimes view sleep as an interruption to their schedule, but the sleep process is very complex and vital for physical and mental rejuvenation.
While your body doesn’t move much at night, your brain is super active. It assimilates the days’ activities and forms memories. It allows your body to repair cells and regulates your hormones.
The two categories of sleep known as Rapid Eye Movement (REM) and non-REM each have different functions and are both vital for your short and long-term health.
Making an effort to prioritize your downtime, will allow you to relax, and greatly assist this process.
5. Finding A Work/Life Balance
Life isn’t about being so one-sided that we lose sight of why we work in the first place.
Yes, obviously we need to earn money, feel fulfilled by our career, gain that sense of achievement. But there is so much more to living than just work.
It took me years of being in a stressful corporate career to realize this. The truth is that you can become so caught up in this cycle that one day you wake up and you’re 50.
You look back and wonder where all the years went, and that you didn’t achieve half of what you planned in your life.
This is where the concept of work/life balance is so important.
If I had known this simple idea when I was younger, I can tell you that my life would have been VERY different. I would have found a way to master a balanced life and spared myself years of frustration, stress and unhappiness
But, it’s never too late. You can start implementing this concept at any time. Especially now, later in life when the kids may have flown the nest and you are considering what comes next.
6. Important Ways To Master Work/Life Balance
Make sure your lunch break at work means just that, a break.
Get outside (weather permitting) and take a walk, read a book, do some breathing and stretching exercises.
Avoid the temptation to chow down at your desk, with one hand holding your lunch, while the other scrolls on your computer.
Not at all healthy or productive!
Leave Work At Work
Don’t think about or talk about work in your personal time. This is when you know it’s starting to dominate your life.
When you’re speaking with friends or family, does your work always get brought into the conversation?
When you finish your workday, leave all work-related concerns behind and concentrate on your personal time.
Unless you’re running your own business where you may need to take work home, remember that you are not responsible for your boss’s or your company’s success or failure.
Too many people make this mistake, by allow themselves or their employer to make them feel that way.
You are an employee, and you still need your downtime. Sounds tough, but this is what’s required to maintain your work/life balance.
Remote Working from Home
In the past there were fewer people working from home, and most were considered to be freelancers. Working for your employer from home wasn’t common.
Now, the pandemic has given rise to so many more opportunities to do this. However, this has caused an issue where you may feel you can’t escape your work.
The way to help resolve this and maintain a healthy work/life balance is to schedule strict working hours. Maintain a standard 9-5 workday and stick to it.
This way, you can put the work away outside of those hours, allowing for quality down-time with family, friends and yourself.
Failure to do this will eventually catch up with you, leaving you unable to relax, exhausted and probably resenting your job and/or family.
Stop Checking Work Emails At Home
This is so incredibly common. We are so conditioned to constantly check our emails that we don’t know when to stop.
By all means check your personal ones but, please give the work-related ones a rest. Nothing is going to change overnight, and it’s your time off.
Set up an ‘out of office’ reply so you don’t appear to ignore the sender, but you don’t need to be available outside normal office hours.
Are your Relationships Suffering?
Something to think about…
When you do all the above things, you are sending an unspoken message to your loved ones and friends that they aren’t as important to you as your work is.
You are also giving yourself the same message. This will impact your relationships with others AND yourself.
One important part to finding a balance is to prioritize your interaction with family and friends when you aren’t at work.
This way, they will feel appreciated and valued, rather than playing second fiddle to your job.
Learning to relax and making the most of your personal time also allows for taking care of your own needs for relaxation and self-care.
7. Cleaning Out Your Life
There may be times when you need to re-examine your life’s strategy. Sometimes we find our life is so out of balance that we have totally lost direction.
Cleaning out your life is a big undertaking and there are so many things to consider…but these six questions can help you to determine the future direction you want to take:
What Are My Goals?
While you can’t predict where you will be in 1 year, 5 years or 10 years from now, it’s really important that you have a plan.
Asking yourself what your future goals are will help you to clean out your life, to decide what’s important and what needs to change so that you can achieve your goals.
Without goals, you won’t have any blueprint to follow or reasons for following it. Working out your goals and planning how to follow them is the first step to moving towards what you want in your coming years.
Also, make sure that you have strong reasons for your goals otherwise you won’t have the motivation for pursuing and achieving them.
Am I Being True To My Values?
Take the time to decide what your values are. Then decide whether or not your approach to life is aligned with your values.
This is critical, because so many people live a life that isn’t really aligned with their values, and they can never be truly happy…it’s almost impossible.
Your values define who you are and help you decide what is most important to you.
By asking yourself this question, you remove the clutter from your life. You learn to recognize what is important and let go of anything that is not.
Do I Worry About What Others Think?
It’s a natural human trait to want to be accepted. This leads us to think we should conform in a way that is expected of us.
The problem is that behaving in this way is rarely in line with our own values, and this will have an impact on our lives.
This may prevent you from making the decisions that are right for you.
Trying to please others is pointless because it’s impossible to please everyone all the time.
Decide not to be concerned with what other people think. You don’t need to please anyone but yourself. Sounds selfish, but it’s your life to live. They need to get on with living their own.
What Is My Why?
Like just about everything in life, you need a reason to do it. Otherwise, there’s no motivation to continue.
When you evaluate your life, determine your reasons for doing certain things. If they serve no real purpose, don’t align with your values and don’t factor into your goals, then it’s time to ditch them.
Is My Social Circle A Friend Or Foe?
Do your friendships support you or leave you feeling isolated and unappreciated?
This is a very important question, and one that we often don’t ask ourselves.
Friendships change throughout our lives. It perfectly natural. Some last your whole life but many don’t.
Also, our friends experience changes in their own lives which can color their views and judgements, further leading to differing ideas and directions.
When you are clearing out your life, there may be some friendships that are no longer productive and fulfilling to have anymore. It’s time to let them go.
Why I Need To Say ‘No’
This can be difficult.
We don’t like to hurt people’s feelings, appear to be ungracious, or uncooperative. But, what is to be gained by doing things you don’t want to?
Quite often, these things aren’t tied in with your own values…otherwise you wouldn’t even think of saying no.
So, learn to say no anytime something doesn’t fit your values or goals. You can explain why but don’t apologize because you don’t need to.
Once you get over the societal expectation, I guarantee that you will feel happier, much less compromised, and more in control of your life. This will contribute greatly to achieving your life balance.
Living an unbalanced life is bad for us in so many ways.
If your life is unbalanced, there will always be an area that is unfulfilled, and this will lead to a lack of joy and contentment.
Plus, an unbalanced life increases stress levels, which ends up causing health issues…which causes more stress and the cycle continues.
Taking the time to find the balance we need, ditching what we don’t need, and planning for the future is always going to be a strategy for living our best life.
I really hope you enjoyed this post and that I have encouraged you to find your life balance.
Now it’s up to you.