By Lystia Putranto
Many of us have bought into this absurd idea that in order for one to have a balanced life, one would need to be either a ‘Superman’ or a ‘Superwoman’. We have been led to believe that we could only attain balance if we were to simultaneously and effortlessly have it together in ALL aspects of our lives. But is this really true?
Well, lucky for us, a balanced life is not impossible to achieve. In fact, it’s very much attainable. However, it does mandate us to free ourselves from the false belief that a balanced life means that we need to be able to balance 1001 things on our plate without even breaking a sweat. More importantly, it requires us to take charge of our lives, to become more mindful, and make necessary life changes.
With that, here are 5 practical tips and strategies that, when incorporated on a daily basis, may just help you achieve a more balanced life!
1. Sort Your Tasks & Responsibilities
Sharing the wisdom of David Allen, a renowned productivity consultant and author, who said “You can do anything- but not everything”, though we do have the capabilities of doing just about anything we set our minds to, we cannot do everything and certainly not all at once.
It sounds simple enough but amidst the hecticness of life, we can easily think of all of the tasks/responsibilities/ goals that demand our time and effort as equally important.
However, in order to step closer to a life of balance, we would need to take an honest look of all of our responsibilities/tasks/goals and take out any that are not essential and do not add value to our lives.
Remember that we only get 24 hours each day to cater to all life’s demands. Unless you want to continue to spread yourself too thin, cutting off anything that is not important from your list of priorities is simply a must. Be mindful and ensure that your priorities reflect what is truly important to you instead of everyone else’s needs.
2. Get More Sleep
Countless research found that we feel most energized and at our best when we get enough sleep on a daily basis. Though the amount of sleep needed to differ from one person another, in general, we would need about 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night to function optimally and be in a prime state of mind to make important decisions.
If you haven’t been able to get adequate sleep in years, I recommend beginning by adding 30 minutes of sleep to what you’re currently getting. Make it a priority to either go to bed half an hour earlier or, if possible, wake up 30 minutes later than usual. Once you are able to establish a routine, you can gradually increase the amount of sleep.
Finding it tough to alter your circadian rhythm? Here are some useful tips you can try to get a longer, good night’s sleep!
3. Practice Healthy Eating
For most of us, it’s safe to say that when things get hectic, we often let the quality of our food intake slide. I know first-hand that during busy times, it’s much easier and more practical to opt for fast or processed food instead of opting for healthier options and/or preparing our own meals. However, note that whatever we choose to consume on a regular basis has a huge impact on body, mind, and soul.
Just like your car, your brain needs quality fuel to run efficiently. One study found that eating unhealthy food puts you at a 66% of productivity loss. In contrast, a healthy, balanced diet, coupled with regular physical exercise leaves you feeling great, more energized and boost your mood.
If healthy eating is not something you’re already incorporating into your daily routine, taking a detox retreat can help you to make this lifestyle change more manageable. You’ll have access to the knowledge and support of professionals and be surrounded with others who are also working on the same goals.
Alternatively, you can also take baby steps – such as adding a salad to your diet once a day within your week. When done consistently, these small changes become a habit and you can continue to add more healthy choices as time goes on.
4. Set Aside Some “Me” Time
Spending time alone is a crucial component in becoming more balanced. It has been proven to help lower stress, increase happiness and encourage creativity. However, when we have too much on our plate, chances are, the first thing to go is usually any downtime we set aside for ourselves.
You don’t have to do anything extravagant or take hours from each day to have a proper “me” time. In fact, you can simply set aside a minimum of 10 minutes a day to be alone and to do things that give you joy. Use this time to meditate, to take a leisurely walk around a nearby park or an indulgent bubble bath.
5. Take Some Time to Unplug
In today’s world, so much of our time are wasted on being digitally connected that we ended up neglecting the importance and value of real connection. So, whenever you can, preferably on weekends, give yourself ample time off from your gadgets and computer.
At the end of the day, it is our relationships we have with those we love that truly matters most. Make some time to unplug and choose to be truly present while you spend time better connecting with your friends and family. Use this time to strengthen your relationships and create priceless memories.
In order to ensure that your efforts are sustainable, incorporate these changes over time to determine what works best for you. Remember that life balance will not be achieved overnight. That said, if you continue to commit the time and effort to progress, you’ll discover that you are well on your way to a balanced life you are genuinely happy to wake up to every day!
Lystia is a personal & professional development blogger who seeks to inspire and to motivate people to create and to live out their best lives. A proponent of meditation, she actively encourages those who seek to become their best selves to integrate meditation as part of their daily routine.