Back to Balance-Mental Health Tip

Back to Balance-Mental Health Tip

March 31, 2016

Once upon a time, Rabbi was asked, “I break every New Year’s resolution I make.  What can I do about this?  The Rabbi answered, “ “Resolve to break all of your New Year’s resolutions.  That way, if you break all of them, you will have kept this one.  And if you break this one you will have kept the rest.  You can’t lose.”

If you’re still making and breaking your resolutions, I have a suggestion. Knowing myself and listening to so many people each day, I suspect my suggestion will fit just about all of us.  It’s called balance.  While balance is crucial to all of us, that’s where the similarity ends.

Each of us needs to determine specifically what balance looks like.  To define what will work for you, take into consideration that life is constantly changing.  The right balance for today may not be the right balance for tomorrow.  But for now, if you’re feeling pulled in too many directions, feel there is never enough time or life is out of control, consider implementing one, and only one, of the following suggestions.  You can try another later.

  1. No is a complete sentence.  We all have the same 24 hours.  And we can’t possibly do everything we want to do and everything that everyone else wants us to do.  A major part of a leading a more balanced life is to cut own on unnecessary tasks and protect our priorities. You don’t do anyone a favor by trying to please others at your own expense.
  2. Understand and accept that you’re not a superhero.  Having a balanced life means being realistic about the fact that some things are just not going to get done and being ok with that.
  3. Relationships matter.  Set aside quality time with loved ones.  Really connect and pay attention to those you care about.  Unplug.
  4. Boundaries are elusive, fluid and change from person to person and from time to time.  In general, boundaries are limits.  They are like corridors through which life freely moves.  Give thought to the boundaries or lack of boundaries around such things as time commitments, relationships, work, Internet, food, alcohol etc.  Are my relationships in these areas free flowing?
  5. Remember fun. Find your sense of humor.  Nothing makes us feel better faster that a good laugh.
  6. Awareness and Mindfulness are recent buzzwords in the mental health community.  Buzz words that are long overdue.  Awareness lets us see every moment of life and appreciate it.  A mindful person lives in the present, does not brood over the past or live in anxiety about the future.
  7. Nurture yourself.  Eat a healthy diet, including physical activity in your daily routine and get enough sleep.  Set aside time each day for an activity that you enjoy.

If you’re reading this and saying to yourself,  “Been there, done that.  Nothing works,” consider inviting someone to challenge your negative thinking and help you to find that balanced life.  Research has proven over and over that balance is not only essential for happiness and well being, it is a significant boost to productivity and business success.  A well-balanced person has a far greater ability to focus attention and energy on attaining their goals, taking productive actions and moving forward in a meaningful way.

This Mental Health Tip comes from Sr. Barbara Kennedy, OSM, LPC.  Sr. Barbara is a co-founder of NCC.