The term ‘finding balance’ means something different for everyone. Balance, for a single mother of three, might mean taking a few minutes longer in the shower to rejuvenate for the rest of the day. For a college student, it might me a night out with friends to off-set the constant stress of school. For someone in their eighties, it might mean a slow walk, followed by feet up on the couch for the rest of the afternoon.
The point is, there isn’t one set definition of ‘balance.’ You have to figure out what it means for you.
In a world where pushing yourself, meeting your goals, and being the best ‘you’ that you can be is highly emphasized, sometimes it might feel like you’re falling behind if you choose to take a break.
Truthfully, though, balance is the key to success.
When you work on finding a balance between pushing yourself and taking it slow, working out hardcore and resting, encouraging yourself to use a higher weight and listening to your body, etc., you’ll see greater results. Balance isn’t about doing one thing and then doing the opposite—it’s about finding what works for your body and soul and making peace with your personal routine.
Some days you’ll be at the top of your game; some days it will be hard to get out of bed. But when you pursue your own sense of balance you’ll learn to forgive yourself for the hard days and look forward to the good ones.
Here are some tips for finding balance in your own life:
1. First, stop comparing.
You can’t determine your abilities by looking at the person next to you. You don’t know their story, their past, or their body composition. You don’t know whether they’ve struggled with body image, whether they’ve worked out or played sports before, or what they’ve personally overcome.
When you focus your attention less on others and more on you you’ll discover what feels right. (And you’ll realize it doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing anyways.
2. Listen to yourself.
If you’re dead tired, don’t always feel the need to push yourself. Sometimes taking it slow, taking a day off, or just plain listening to your body can change everything. You know what you need. Be empowered to make that decision(s) for yourself.
3. Set a schedule (and stick to it).
If you find that you struggle with keeping yourself on track, balanced, or taking breaks, set a schedule. Choose certain days in the week to be your workout days and certain ones for rest. Pencil in time with friends vs. alone time. Create a time on your weekly schedule just for yourself without family/child obligations.
Being mindful of the time and actively scheduling it will help you create more rest time in your daily life.
4. Do the little things to make your life less stressful.
If you know you don’t have time during the week to cook healthy meals, do yourself a favor and start meal-prepping the Saturday or Sunday before. If your weakness is chocolate, try not to buy it so that you’ll avoid temptation. If you have an important meeting, set out your clothes the night before so you don’t have to be worried picking them out and potentially running late.
These seem like silly changes, but sometimes making those little changes can help reduce your overall stress and keep you balanced, focused, and positive throughout the week.