Balance is the Key to Unlocking Your Best Life: Here’s How to Find It

I see you… You’re trying to keep up with the hectic pace of life. You wake up at 6 am to your buzzing alarm, chug a cup of coffee, and rush out the door to make it to work on time. 

You spend the next eight hours juggling deadlines, meetings, and emails, all while trying to maintain some semblance of professionalism and sanity. As the day wears on, you can’t help but think about the laundry pile that’s been sitting in your apartment for days, the happy hour you’re supposed to attend, and the phone call to your family that you keep putting off. 

By the time you leave work, you’re exhausted, stressed, and wondering if things will ever slow down.

But don’t worry – you’re not alone, and there are ways to find balance in the chaos. In this blog post, we’ll explore some tips and tricks for creating more balance in your life, and hopefully, make the journey a little bit easier and more enjoyable. 

woman on phone with healthy snacks around and another woman overwhelmed at her desk. text reads balance is the key: how to find health and happiness in a hectic world

The Importance of Balance 

Finding balance is the key to overall health and wellness. It’s not just about having enough time to finish everything on your to-do list, but about taking care of yourself and prioritizing all aspects of your well-being, so that you can handle everything that you want and need to do.

Sound familiar? If so, you know all too well the challenges of juggling work, family, social life, and personal goals. It’s a lot to handle, and it can take a toll on your health and well-being. 

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Experts in the field of health and wellness have long stressed the importance of balance, and the benefits are backed up by scientific research.

Rumi quote - Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.

When we neglect any one area of wellness, it can lead to stress, anxiety, and physical illness. In fact, studies have shown that finding balance can improve physical health by reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other chronic conditions.

Finding balance can also have a significant impact on our mental health. Researchers have found that people who practice mindfulness and self-care techniques experience reduced stress and anxiety levels

Taking care of ourselves can also lead to increased productivity, as we can better focus and perform at our best when we feel our best.

But despite the benefits, finding balance is easier said than done. In a world where we are constantly bombarded by distractions and demands, it’s hard to carve out time for self-care and relaxation. However, it’s worth the effort. 

Jana Kingsford quote- Balance is not something you find. It's something you create.

So, whether it’s taking a yoga class, going for a walk outside, or simply taking a few minutes to check in with a friend, finding ways to achieve balance is worth it.

The Dangers of Burnout

Balance is the key to good health and wellness, however, finding balance isn’t just about time management or setting boundaries. It’s also about preventing burnout. 

Burnout happens when you’re constantly stressed and overworked. It’s when you feel physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted. Unfortunately, this can wreak havoc on your health, relationships, and career.

Symptoms of Burnout

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Getting sick often
  • Physical pain like headaches or muscle aches
  • Digestive problems
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Feeling detached and helpless 
  • Negativity
  • Difficulty completing tasks
  • Withdrawing from others and responsibilities
  • Coping with alcohol, food, or drugs

The World Health Organization even recognizes burnout as an occupational phenomenon that impacts well-being.

While creating balance in your own life is a powerful way to prevent burnout, it’s important to recognize that burnout is not only an individual problem but rather a societal issue. There are often expectations of high productivity and long hours, which can lead to chronic stress and burnout. 

However, while we may not be able to change these systemic issues overnight, we can still take responsibility for our own health and well-being. By prioritizing self-care and setting healthy boundaries, we can impact our own lives.

How to Find Balance

Finding balance in a busy life may seem like an impossible task, but try approaching it by making small changes, one at a time. 

Prioritize Self-Care

Self-care is an essential part of finding balance in your life. It’s how to recharge, reduce stress, and feel like your best self.

  • Make a list of self-care activities that you enjoy and try to incorporate them into your daily routine. This could be anything from going for a walk, reading a book, or listening to music.
  • Schedule time for self-care activities into your calendar, just as you would for work or social commitments. This will help you to remember to actually make time for them.
  • Don’t feel guilty for taking time for yourself. Remember that self-care is essential for your overall health and well-being, and it’s okay to prioritize it.

Set Boundaries

Setting boundaries is an important part of creating balance in your life. It helps you avoid overcommitting and feeling overwhelmed.

  • Learn to say “no” to extra work or social commitments when you need to. It’s okay to prioritize your own needs and say no to things that don’t align with your goals or values.
  • Establish a clear separation between work and personal time. This could mean setting specific work hours or not checking work email during non-work hours.
  • Communicate your boundaries clearly to others. Let them know what you need in order to maintain balance in your life.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a great way to promote balance and reduce stress in your daily life. 

  • Take short breaks throughout the day to focus on your breathing and be present in the moment. This could be as simple as taking a few deep breaths before a meeting or taking a walk outside during your lunch break.
  • Practice meditation or yoga to help calm your mind and reduce stress.
  • Set aside time each day for a gratitude practice. This could be writing down three things you’re grateful for each day or simply taking a moment to reflect on what you’re thankful for.

Remember, finding balance is an ongoing process, and it may take some trial and error to find what works best for you. But by prioritizing self-care, setting boundaries, and practicing mindfulness, you can create a healthier, more balanced life. 

Jack Kornfield quote - When we get too caught up in the busyness of the world, we lose connection with one another - and ourselves.

What Experts Say

Even though it isn’t easy, health professionals agree that balance is the key to a healthy, happy life. I asked some dietitian health experts for their thoughts on how they create balance in their personal lives. Here are a few of their insights.

Kickstart my day with joyful movement, take a stretch break at some point in the day, meal prep for success and optimize timing, and create short social connections.

Kathryn Martinez, RD, CEDS-S –

I feel unbalanced when I do not include some type of exercise in my day. It cannot always be something as intense as a run, but even a short walk or 10-15 minute stretches on the elliptical machine when I have time definitely counts and helps.

Sheri Berger, RDN, CDCES –

We all have so much to do at home and in the world. Layer on top of that a chronic illness and it can quickly become overwhelming. The key skill to finding balance in any area of life is mindfulness. I’ve done mindfulness meditation, and while it was helpful, I find it much more powerful when I integrate it into my life – mindful eating, mindful movement, and being aware of my body throughout the day so I can know when to take an intentional break. It helps simplify decisions and ground me so I can feel my best each day!

Samantha Holmgren, RD –

I like to combine a few of my favourite self-care activities into an enjoyable daily walk: walking for exercise, walking the dog for pet therapy, listening to an audiobook for entertainment, being outside in nature for fresh air, sunlight, and nature therapy. Combining them all helps me stick with the habit because even if I don’t feel like doing one of the things, most likely some of the other things will motivate me!

Bri Bell, RD –

Practicing thankfulness. I try to reflect on the things I am grateful for every day. That helps put me in a more positive mood when life feels crazy!

Christine Milmine, RDN –

Balance is the Key

Burnout is a real danger when we neglect self-care, and it is important to recognize the symptoms and take steps to prevent it. While it’s the systemic issues that largely contribute to burnout, we can still take responsibility for our own health and well-being.

As tough as it is in practice, balance is the key to most good things in life, especially our health. With some effort to prioritize self-care, set boundaries, and practice mindfulness, you can create a balance in life that feels good and works for you!

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