One of the most relevant topics we spend time talking to our clients about is balance. In our clinical experience, balance is one of those things that help us maintain our lifestyle. Many of us attempt to maintain daily interactions with things, such as: self-care, work and work interactions, time with family, social engagement with friends, housekeeping, paying bills, time with extended family, and for some of us, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Many people have lost sight of why balance in life is so important. Having effective balance in life helps us to:
Risk of burnout is decreased
In today’s world, where we are consistently over-committed and constantly overstimulated, finding a way to ascertain balance is more important than ever. Some of the ways that we recommend clients consider implementing techniques that ensure balance include:
Set Boundaries: Typically when we are working with clients, we encourage them to write down a list of boundaries on paper.
These boundaries typically include concepts surrounding: what is acceptable in regard to treatment and interaction from and with others, what you need to do for yourself and what are reasonable expectations for other people to have of you, as well as what you will not tolerate.
Many times, I also talk to my clients about how to set reasonable boundaries of themselves in regard to how much time and energy they will spend at work, time for self, time with family, and time with friends.
Use A Schedule: This is one of those concepts that we have experienced as somewhat of a lost art.
Years ago, people carried around paper calendars with them and were known to schedule everything in their life. From laundry, to work, including paying bills and social engagements.
Whenever any of our clients are overwhelmed, we typically recommend that they invest in a paper calendar and write down their obligations and activities. We have noticed that this activity is shown to make people more selective about what they are willing to commit to as well as what they are willing to invest time and energy in.
Increase Your Self-Care: Contrary to some popular misconceptions, self-care is not just “another thing” that you need to do.
It’s actually the place to start. When we engage in regular self-care, it allows us to make sure that when we show up and interact with other people we have more to give. Otherwise we tend to over commit and are trying to give to people when we are operating from an empty or exhausted place.
This really calls for a change of priorities. When we are the number one priority in our own lives, it helps us to begin taking better care of ourselves that we can show up and be present in more of our activities and obligations.
Avoid Negativity: There’s nothing that drains the excitement, energy and passion out of us like being surrounded by negativity.
For some of us, when people easily offer their negative perception or view of something that we are doing or excited about it feels as if all the hope and joy we were experiencing is suddenly just absolutely sucked out.
The prime example of this is the rice experiment.
There are three jars of cooked rice. One rice jar, you simply set to the side and ignore it. The second rice jar, you say only positive, wonderful, and glowing things to. All of the positive words and phrases get spoken to this jar. The third jar of rice you are expected to speak horrible, mean, and negative words to.This experiment highlights the power of your words and the impact that negativity has on us.
So we suggest that our clients do all they can to avoid being in situations where they are aware that negativity is going to be the overall emotion.
Prioritize: Many of our clients benefit from making a list of all of their priorities.
Then we encourage them to place them in order of importance. At which point, we typically begin talking about how much time and energy they are spending investing in things that are very low on their own priority list.
Another perspective on developing priorities, is to identify what your goals are and how much of a commitment you are willing to make in order to accomplish those goals.
At The Mental Wellness Center, Inc. we believe that balance is a crucial art that promotes health and wellness. We are ready and prepared to help you achieve balance in your life.