Have you ever felt as though you are surviving through your daily life instead of living it?
Do you find yourself yearning for balance in your life?
Becoming aware of the mind-body-spirit connection is our most powerful tool in fostering life balance. It is through this connection we find strength, love, inner peace, courage, wellness and can be whole in the most important areas of life. When one is out of balance, the others are affected. We discover this connection by looking inward and beginning to listen more closely to what our bodies are telling us. We can begin by learning to put ourselves back into our lives.
The most common answer to the question “How are you?” is “Busy”. In the process of managing the increasing events filling our calendars, we are steadily decreasing our well-being by putting ourselves last. Our calendars are filled with what we believe is most important only to discover that we are too exhausted to find time for the one thing that is keeping it all together. Ourselves. Instead, we are reacting, exhausted, stuck, and trying to make it to the weekend. We are left dreaming of a balance that allows time to do what we desire and more importantly, what we need.
Living a busy, stressful life has a plethora of negative impacts on the body physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. The body will communicate it’s suffering until we pay attention. This S.O.S may include such symptoms as sleeplessness, anxiety, depression, headaches, body aches, illness and disease. The body is resilient and as long as we pay attention, we can intentionally promote optimal wellness.
Here are 6 whole-body wellness strategies to incorporate today:
1. Breathe! Bring awareness to your breathing by noticing how you breathe subconsciously. Is it shallow? Do you hold it? Practice breathing from your diaphragm and letting it flow through your whole body. Breathe consciously. This is not only an excellent way to bring more oxygen into your body, but also a way to give your mind a break from interfering thoughts.
Try Dr. Andrew Weil’s breathing exercises
2. Drink! Dehydration is a major contributor to stress, exhaustion, skin conditions, sleeplessness, and even why we hang onto stubborn weight. Drink half of your body weight in ounces every day. Need help remembering to drink water?
Check out this article on the top water reminder apps
3. Eat! Fuel your body properly with nourishing foods that grow from the earth. Start by adding in one more vegetable per day and removing one unhealthy food/drink. Fill your plate with vegetables!
Phase out sugar, hydrogenated oils, fried foods, refined grains, artificial additives and sweeteners, alcohol, and processed foods.
4. Move! Exercise is an incredible stress reliever, both mentally and physically. Start by adding one additional movement into your day. An easy way to incorporate more exercise is to add a movement (squats, plank, push ups, lunges, etc.) each time the phone rings, you get a text message or you use the restroom.
Aim for 20-30 minutes of exercise per day. Find something you enjoy doing!
5. Rest! Rest is mental and physical. It includes sleep, meditation, a steam bath, a mindless walk or sit in nature, stretching, journaling, drawing or anything that connects you to yourself. Managing stress becomes easier when you are well rested.
Aim for 6-8 hours of sleep each night. Turn off electronics 1-2 hours before going to bed.
6. Get Organized! Schedule what is important first. Declutter physical and mental space. Letting go of what is not serving our purpose has a powerful impact on how we manage stress.
Search the many organization challenges found with a simple Google search!
What if we thought about the solution to finding balance within the chaos of everyday life from a different perspective? What if we put ourselves in our schedules FIRST?
The outside world is full of ups and downs that are out of our control. Focusing on our spirit and nurturing happiness is where life feels good! This is where our internal authority has power in discovering who we authentically are and what makes us feel joyfully whole. Through this, we learn to give the outside world less dominance and start directing that power back to ourselves where it is most useful in our overall wellness. Developing a deeper understanding and awareness of what spirit and happiness mean personally will allow us to focus on and nurture them more effectively. These are the supporting pieces of our daily routines necessary in living amongst the everyday chaos in balance.
Scheduling yourself first requires entering the non-negotiables into your calendar first. Non-negotiables are vital to YOUR wellness.
- Unscheduled time for yourself is number one. Adding in 1 hour per week (or more) for you to enjoy any activity of your liking will have you craving more.
- Physical activity is non-negotiable. Think of it as an appointment that you will not cancel. What you create time for you will complete. Take action here and life-long habits will develop.
- Loved ones. Schedule time with your significant other, children and friends separately. Fostering relationships is important in finding balance and nurturing your spirit.
- You may want to add the 6 whole-body wellness strategies into your schedule to ensure they are being included. External non-negotiables will follow these.
- Work will fill up a large portion of your week. The more detailed you are within your work day, the more productive you will be and the less wasted time you will have.
- Planning and reflecting. Having a clear direction and evaluating the effectiveness of your strategies are the keys to success. Determine what is not working and readjust. Life-long learning is the ticket to success!
- Additional non-negotiables may be children’s activities, budget planning, appointments, meetings, or anything else you determine as a non-negotiable.
Is this peaceful, life balance actually possible?
In order to regain control over our busy lives, it is important to realize the control already exists in our hands. Here are a few helpful tips:
- Stay focused on what you can control. Try removing the emotion from your decisions and use logic instead.
- Stay organized with your schedule and your clutter. Habits take time to engrain, so make it as easy on yourself as possible by maintaining a realistic schedule and a clean mental and physical space. Take 10 minutes before you go to bed to tidy up before you wind down. Take a quick glance at your schedule for the following day. Begin a meditation practice!
- Say no, guilt free. We go through seasons in our lives. During some seasons saying yes will feel more authentic, while in others, we simply need to say no. Volunteering for the bake sale will fit better into our schedule more comfortably at some times than others. Say yes to these tasks when they are more authentic and less guilt-driven.
- When making a decision, move on instead of inviting unnecessary worry. If your decision created an obstacle, focus on a solution to the new obstacle, not on wishing you had made a different choice.
- There is no such life as one without struggle. If your goal is set on making it to a content, happy, stress-free life, you are striving for something that does not exist. Accept that there will be challenges, embrace them and look forward to their passing. Taking each moment as it comes, whether positive or negative, is the key to finding balance in the chaos.
What if you chose to start fitting yourself into your life today?
It may be the most important decision you have ever made! You may even discover your deepest desires falling directly onto your path. Travel into this next season living consciously and joyfully present. Why not?