Lifestyle Balance

Many people are unaware of how completely out-of-balance their lives are, or what is even meant by living a balanced lifestyle. Let’s imagine our life being supported by a wheel with five strong spokes. It’s easy to see that if one or more of the spokes are weak or broken our lives could be a struggle.

The Five Spokes

These five spokes can be identified as our physical health, emotional well-being, healthy relationships, job satisfaction and community involvement.

Evaluating and maintaining our individual spokes is a positive and easy way to strengthen your life and take you where you want to go. Think of this self-check the same as if you were checking your car’s tires, water and oil levels just before taking a trip.

1. Physical Health

Just as bad habits, such as smoking, substance and alcohol use, and staying out late can weaken your physical health, making an effort to actively participate in beneficial activities will keep you healthy.

Some form of daily exercise, such as jogging, gardening, swimming and playing tennis or ball with your kids will give you more energy, more self-confidence, lower blood pressure and a good night’s sleep.

A good diet is even more beneficial and should include foods that are high in fiber and nutrients such as grains, fruits, a variety of vegetables, meat, beans and some dairy products. You should minimize foods that are high in fat, sugar, calories, salt, cholesterol and artificial additives.

The final but certainly not the least important aspect of your physical health, is a consistently good night’s sleep – every night including weekends. Avoid using stimulants such as coffee, colas, chocolate and late night snacks should be a no-no. Don’t exercise in the evening. Don’t dwell on your problems. Don’t take afternoon naps. Go to bed and rise at the same time everyday, weekends included. Do something relaxing before going to bed like reading a good book. All of these are good rules to get a good night’s sleep.

2. Emotional Well-Being

Now that we’ve addressed the physical health portion of our lives, let’s evaluate our emotional well-being. For many people, discussing our emotions is just not done, or at best, talked about the least. But a well-balanced life should include discussing and managing our emotions. Your life experiences, drug and alcohol use, abusive relationships – all may have contributed to numbing your emotions. You may even have lost most feelings.

Repairing and strengthening your emotional well-being may take some time. It is important to stay focused, use positive self-talk and most importantly, identify your uncomfortable emotions. Your feelings and emotions are a result of your beliefs, thoughts and attitudes. As you force yourself into replacing your irrational thoughts with more rational thoughts, your feelings and emotions will become more positive. Think positively and you will become a positive, well-balanced person.

3. Healthy Relationships

Just as your emotional well-being is important, healthy relationships play a major role in your lifestyle balance. To strengthen this spoke, you should constantly demonstrate the positive attitudes of caring, honesty, humility and respect to all those with which you share close relationships. It is important to remember that what you receive from your relationships depends greatly on what you put into them.

4. Job Satisfaction

Job satisfaction is another of the spokes that supports a balanced lifestyle. The vast majority of people work at unfulfilling jobs. Yes their jobs provide income and stability, but the right job offers more than a paycheck. A good job or career provides a level of accomplishment, self-respect and a challenge that gives you the energy that pushes you everyday. Each day should fill you with a sense of pride in what you’ve accomplished, the responsibilities you undertake and the decisions you make.

5. Community Involvement

Positive relationships, physical and emotional health and job satisfaction all contribute to your happiness which will lead you to becoming involved in your community. Think of all the ways you can become involved and contribute, from attending PTA, your children’s school activities and sporting events, the annual 5k and 10k race, the holiday parades, to cleaning the park on a Saturday morning with all of your neighbors. Community involvement greatly adds to your lifestyle balance, and this will lead to self-actualization.

This report is not a diagnosis. We hope this information can guide you toward improving your life.

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