Ingredients of a Balanced Life

We all want it.  But what is a balanced life?

Naturally, getting enough sleep, eating appropriate quantities of healthy food, drinking sufficient water, exercising regularly – all of these are goals we should aspire to.

But what else is balance?

One cannot always live life perfectly.  In fact, perfection itself is not balance.  Occasionally rebelling and staying up late or sleeping in and skipping that walk can actually assist in maintaining balance over the long haul.  If you tell yourself that you are hence forth going to be a purist and never have an ounce of chocolate again in your life, chances are you will rebound into crazy binging.  However, eating it slowly and with enjoyment and mindfulness is a different matter.  Life is a marathon, not a sprint.

How about interactions with others?

Yes, ideally one would always be polite and patient.  And yet, there are times when the (appropriately assertively) squeaky wheel gets the grease.

There are times when we need to let others know that they have gotten on our last nerve, and we need a break.

There are times when we need to hibernate for a while, recognizing that our energy is not always up and perky, but that sometimes we need to go dormant to replenish our energy or allow the seed of something new to germina


We need to socialize, and we need alone time.  And what is balanced for you might not be balanced for me.

In fact, some of us need assistance with rebalancing brain chemistry.  If you notice that you are ALWAYS irritable or down, you might want to discuss it with your doctor.  It could be something as simple as a Vitamin D or B-Complex deficiency.  A book that discusses this subject is The Way Up from Down by Priscilla Slagle, MD.

Or maybe those feelings of discontent are signaling that it’s time to change some of the things in your life that aren’t working for you.

For everything, there is a season.  A time to cry and a time to laugh.  Only saying yes and never saying no will not lead to balance, nor will only accumulating and not de-cluttering.

This is a season of retrenchment for many of us.  The economy is allowing us time to reflect upon what truly matters the most – our time, our energy, our ability to take care of ourselves so that we can take care of others – or slavishly following habitual ways of being that deplete us and fray tempers.

Arrange to take a day for yourself.  Do something that you ordinarily would not allow yourself to do (staying within the bounds of legality and common sense).  Or just nap.  Recharge, rebalance, and then reconnect with life.  You’ll be surprised at how rejuvenating this is.