Most of us have a lot going on in our lives: work, family, friends, health, and more. It’s understandably hard to juggle all of it with a perfect, healthy balance.
When you start feeling off-balance in your life, try these 9 ideas to regain your balance and get back to thriving in perfect harmony.
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Find your priorities
No one can be everything to everyone. There’s nothing to be ashamed about if you feel like you just can’t do it all. You aren’t superhuman 一 it’s completely normal to feel out-of-balance when you’re taking too much onto your plate. Sometimes, there’s no way to find balance in your life as it currently is. You might simply be doing too much.
Usually, the only solution to this is to cut back (or cut out) on certain activities that are taking up your time. If you’re finding it hard to decide, find your priorities. At the end of the day, what is really important to you? What are the things you do because they align with your values, and what are the things you do for other reasons, like pressure from those around you?
Prioritize the activities that fill you up and energize you. Work towards being able to let go of certain parts of your life without feeling guilty.
Be clear about your boundaries
You may be feeling out-of-balance because you’re being spread too thin. So many of us have a hard time saying no. What happens when we say “yes” to everything, however, is that others learn that they can push our boundaries when it suits them.
Be brave, and learn how to say no. Be clear about what your boundaries are, especially in the workplace. Do you have a clear boundary around your working hours? Then stop picking up calls and answering emails after those hours. People will push your boundaries until you make it clear that you won’t stand for it.
Grounding is the act of connecting to the here and now 一 to what’s right in front of you at this very moment. So often, when life is out-of-balance, we feel like our minds are everywhere at once. You might have finished work for the day, for example, and be spending time with your family 一 but your mind is still whirling around about work stresses. You aren’t in the here and now; your mind is still at the office, even though your body may be home with loved ones.
To combat this, practice grounding exercises. A well-known exercise is the 5-4-3-2-1 grounding activity which invites you to get in touch with all 5 senses. Mindfulness meditation can also be a very grounding experience.
Engage in self-reflection
The first step to getting your life back in balance is often to figure out what the root of the problem is. What, exactly, has knocked you off course? And what, exactly, would bring balance back to your life? Engage in some self-reflection to find your own answers to these questions.
Journaling can be a great way to engage in this type of deep self-reflection. To start, respond to the following prompts:
- What do I need right now?
- When I really listen to it, what is my body craving?
- When do I feel at my best?
Be realistic about your limits
Again, we can’t stress this enough: no one can do everything all the time. It’s normal to feel like your life is unbalanced if you’re doing too much.
It’s hard, but important, to be realistic (with yourself) about your own limits. Just because you need to take a break, ask for help, or take some things off your plate doesn’t mean that you’re weak or fragile. It takes a lot of courage and strength to be able to be real with yourself about how much you can realistically take on 一 and to put your well-being first when you need to.
Practice basic self-care
We often think of luxuries like bath bombs and massages when we think of self-care. In reality, the most important self-care activities are the most basic ones.
Are you getting enough restful sleep every night? Eating healthy, nourishing meals? Finding ways to move your body every day? Your body and your mind are connected. When you aren’t taking care of yourself in the most basic of ways, everything can start to feel off-balance. If you’re not sleeping, eating, or moving enough, start there. You might find that it makes a bigger difference than you thought it would.
Live with purpose
It’s easy to start feeling out-of-balance if you don’t know what you’re living for. What is your purpose? What keeps you going, even when life is chaotic and hard? When you have a larger purpose in your life, it’s easier to remember what makes the difficulties worth it. That, in turn, can put you back into balance.
If you’re not sure what your life purpose is or how to start looking for it, check out this blog on questions to ask yourself to find your life purpose.
Related Blog: "5 Questions to Ask Yourself to Find your Purpose"
Press the pause button
Sometimes, life feels so unbalanced that no amount of boundary-setting or restful sleep can make us feel okay again. In these cases, it might be best to hit the pause button on life 一 and take a mental health break.
Of course, you might not be able to pause on life altogether. Parents, for example, may still need to be responsible for watching their children. But to the extent you can, take some time off. Cash in those vacation hours at work. Drop your kids off at grandma’s for the weekend if that’s an option for you. Do whatever it takes to have some time for you.
Get a therapist’s support
Lastly, a mental health therapist can be a great support to have in your life when you feel like your life is unbalanced. Therapy is a place where you can be vulnerable as your complete self without fearing judgment. A therapist can help you figure out why you’re feeling off-balance in your life, and help you make a plan for how to address the problem.