8 Tips on How to Live a More Balanced Life
Updated: Jan 2
1. Figure out what balance looks like for you- I feel a bit like I’m stating the obvious, but it is so important to figure out what balance looks like for you. What does it feel like when your cup is full? Do you feel well rested? Feel like your work flows
easily? Or maybe you feel at peace even when in stressful situations? Take some time to sit down and write this out. What does your life feel like on your best days? Then it's just a matter of putting systems in place to set yourself up to have as many of those days as possible.
2. Balance looks different in different seasons- I recently read back over a piece I wrote shortly after I opened Pure Balance, about what balance looked like for me at the time. While some of it still rings true, many of my ideas about self care and
finding balance have changed over the past few years. Not only have I personally grown and changed a lot since then, but my life looks a lot different, therefore balance and self care look different too. In some seasons of life you may have more time for yourself and self care can look very luxurious, like massages and weekend vacations. Other times when your life get more busy, its ok if self care looks more like taking 5 minutes away from your kids to drink your morning coffee and plan your day, or getting up 20 minutes earlier to get in a quick workout. The point is that balance looks different in all seasons, and that’s ok. There is grace in all of it. Don’t beat up on yourself if your capacity to care for yourself and others is different now than it was a year ago. Life ebbs and flows and your time will come back around too. Just figure out what you need right now at this time and don’t worry about what it looked like in the past.
3. Learn to know when you’re off balance- sounds like it should be easy right? But I’ve found that the symptoms of stress, burnout and an empty cup look different in different seasons, just as balance, inspired action, and a full cup do. Stress can look like overwhelm, panic, and anxiety. But stress can also look like feeling disconnected from the things you usually love- your work, your family, your friends. It can look like shutting down or withdrawing, not wanting to do much of anything. Stress can come out in your body, through sickness and fatigue. Sometimes it even makes self care and cup fillers difficult to do. Paying attention to what it looks like for you is important because when you can identify that your cup is empty, you can start to take actions to fill it back up. But don’t forget to give yourself some grace first- Just find the first step to start with and go from there. You don’t have to fill your cup back up all in one day. Give yourself time and work your way to where you want to be.
4. Figure out your non-negotiables- We all have been there before- we have great intentions of taking care of ourselves, but then life gets busy and without fail we knock ourselves down to the bottom of our to do lists. While it is absolutely ok to have some seasons demand more of our attention elsewhere, remember that you cannot give from an empty cup. Figure out a few tried and true things that you know refill your cup without fail, and make them non negotiable in your schedule. It can be anything from working out, to finding laughter with friends 3 days a week, to getting enough rest each night. Figure out what works for you and don’t let them fall through the cracks. It doesn’t have to be some long list of things that you’ll never have the time for. Just make sure you are being intentional with doing 2-3 things a week to keep your cup full, so you can keep showing up for your life the way you want and need to in this busy season.
5. Don’t make it just another thing on your to do list- Trust me- I am an obsessive list maker- I get it. But taking care of yourself should never be just another thing you do half-heartedly every week just to check it off the list. For one, your non-negotiables should be things that you are excited about doing. However, over time this excitement frequently fades, and we start just going through the motions. Instead- remind yourself of your why? Why did you want to spend nightly time with your kids every day? Why did you want to make sure you got in some joyful movement 3 times a week? Why do you want to get 8 hours of sleep every night? Write down all of the benefits you get from doing these things, and then write down what negative effect you feel when you don’t do them. Come back to this every time it feels hard to remind yourself not only what you have to gain, but what you have to lose.
6. Self care isn’t always pretty or easy- When you say the words self care, rest, or finding balance, people usually think of luxurious bubble baths and massages- which can be a part of self care. But if you think all self care is rainbows and butterflies, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. Self care can also be doing the dishes or laundry at the end of a long day. Self care is learning to say no. Self care can be setting boundaries with a friend or family member who you love dearly but tends to leave you feeling drained. It can even be removing yourself from a person or situation completely in order to protect yourself. Self care can be uncomfortable at times- but remember that the short term discomfort can lead to long term happiness. Reconnect with your why, and keep pushing forward.
7. Remember that balance is an act of motion, not a destination of perfection- You have to learn that balance isn’t some mystical destination that promises a perfect life forever. Balance is an act of motion- its always changing, ebbing and flowing just like life. We have periods of growth and change, and periods of reflection and settling. We have periods of excitement and busyness, and periods of slow and calm. And as I said before, balance (or lack thereof) will feel different in all of these seasons. The quicker you accept this truth, and learn to give yourself grace when you aren’t feeling so balanced, the more peace and ease your life will have. Its ok to feel unbalanced- in fact it's the nature of life. Stop beating yourself up and instead give yourself grace, and know that a period of balance will come back around soon. Quit fighting with the nature of life- it’s a losing battle.
8. Regardless of how you feel about yourself, you’re worthy of self care- Feeling unproductive? You’re still worthy of self care. Feel like you’re failing at life? Still worthy. Feeling like you just aren’t doing good enough? Guess what?! Still
worthy! You are worthy of being cared for- regardless of how you feel about yourself in any particularly moment. So before you decide to throw in the towel and let it all go to hell, remind yourself of this truth. YOU ARE WORTHY, and nothing can ever change that.