“It’s not just about balance, it’s about designing a work-home-family life that makes you feel good.” J. Fisch
We’ve all heard the message that a healthy life balance is essential for happiness and well-being. The big question is…
What does life balance actually mean?
Most importantly, how do we maintain it in the midst of our busy schedules? The pressure to attain balance can feel like just another demand on an already too long ‘to do’ list.
Life Balance is better considered as a daily practice, rather than a destination.
If life has been feeling a bit off kilter, then getting perspective on what matters to you will keep you moving forward in a meaningful way.
So what does a balanced life look like?
Living life in a balanced way leaves you feeling more in control. Your needs are met more often across various domains of life. You don’t feel that your heart or mind are being pulled too hard in any direction. You are more likely to feel calm, grounded, clear-headed and motivated.
We can all design and build our way to a well-balanced life, that is satisfying and continually evolving – a life filled with the constant possibility of what could be better.
Where to start
To get your life in balance, begin with a clear idea of which areas of your life are getting adequate attention and which are missing out. A balanced life isn’t allocating equal slices of time or energy to each domain of your life.
To meet your personal needs, each area of your life needs what you feel to be sufficient time and energy – there’s not a simple recipe for everyone.
Are your needs being met in these 10 essential life domains? You may wish to pick up your journal or piece of paper to record your responses and begin drawing up a plan for your balanced life.
1. Health: Your physical health including what you consume; body weight, exercise and rest.
2. Family: Time together for emotional connection, play and the fulfilment of responsibilities.
3. Friendships: Having mutually fulfilling and dependable relationships.
4. Romantic love: Marriage or committed partnerships.
5. Fun: Recreation, travel, sports and anything else you enjoy.
6. Spirituality: Prayer, meditation, or time in nature.
7. Work and Study: A sense of meaning, satisfaction and purpose through work.
8. Money: Adequate income to give a sense of financial security.
9. Home: Peace, comfort and security in your living situation.
10. Service: Social contribution for the greater good of others.
This list is a good starter kit to identify the areas of life that need your time and energy in order to experience well-being. When you recognise the areas of your life that are not currently so satisfying, you can then take steps to change what isn’t working.
Don’t feel under pressure to change too much at once, but make small adjustments and find what works for you – remember, small things often.
If life balance is something you crave but it seems elusive due to too many competing demands or you’re just feeling stuck, you needn’t give up!
Working with a clinical psychologist can equip you to create a life that is meaningful to you and move you toward your equilibrium. Afterall, life is too short to live anything less, than your Best Life.