How to Lead a More Balanced Life
The word “balance” seems to be making an appearance more and more these days. Whether it is something you’ve been longing for yourself or something you encourage others to be mindful of, it is a common theme when it comes to mental health and taking care of yourself. The idea may seem easy for some, but I find most of the clients I work with find the idea to be overwhelming.
When you are juggling so many daily tasks and responsibilities, how is it possible to implement healthy balance into your life?
A healthy first step to implementing balance into your life is to understand the different components of wellness. Tending to different areas of your wellness can make the idea of balance seem less overwhelming and overtime you will find yourself feeling more grounded. Each dimension of wellness can affect your overall mental health, physical health, and quality of life.
There are eight main components of wellness.
Let’s break them down to better understand how you can implement healthy change in each area, leading to a more balanced and fulfilled lifestyle.
Emotional wellness encompasses many elements but highlights the importance of being able to effectively cope in life. Whether it’s life events, personal relationships, or your own personal feelings, it is important to be aware and effectively cope with your emotions. Being able to acknowledge and handle your emotional reactions to people and situations increases personal awareness and decreases anxiety.
Tips for tending to your emotional wellness:
Set up weekly therapy appointments with a trained mental health professional
Journal daily (thoughts, feelings, gratitude, and/or affirmations)
Implement breathing and relaxation techniques
Environmental wellness can sometimes be explained by taking care of our planet, but when it comes to balance in life it is best described as tending to the environment that you immerse yourself in daily.
This environment can include where you live, where you work, and who you spend your time with. Creating a safe and positive space for you to spend your time in can significantly improve your mental health. Making it a point to surround yourself with good energy and good company is key when it comes to this element of wellness.
Tips for tending to your environmental wellness:
Declutter/tidy your living space
Reorganize your office and add calming elements (artwork, oils, etc.)
Reach out and make plans with people who lift you up
Financial wellness focuses on satisfaction with both your current and future financial state. Finances are the source of stress for many people and feeling off in this element can cause a lack of balance in other areas of your life.
Implementing financial wellness doesn’t have to equate to making a huge salary, but instead focuses on being able to live comfortably and focusing on a plan for the future. When money isn’t your sole focus and isn’t mentally dragging you down, it is a sign that you’re successfully tending to your financial wellness.
Tips for tending to financial wellness:
Create a budget spreadsheet
Meet with a financial advisor to discuss options for the future
Set both short-term and long-term financial goals
Intellectual wellness highlights the importance of nourishing your mind. Continuing to learn, expanding your mindset, and feeding your brain are all parts of this element. Exercising your mind is a key element to tending to your mental health and not feeling stagnant in life. Whether you are learning a new language or skill, or reading for pleasure, it is important to keep your brain active and stimulated.
Tips for tending to intellectual wellness:
Attend trainings, lectures, or seminars
Read books or blog posts
Enroll in classes that spark your interest
Occupational wellness encompasses elements pertaining to personal satisfaction and fulfillment from your job/career. Most people spend more time at their job than they do at home, so lacking fulfillment in this area throws off balance when it comes to your overall wellness.
Not all individuals have the luxury of doing what they love as a career, but you can avoid being miserable or feeling mentally drained at your workplace. If you are that person who dreads going to work each day, it is time to look at how this is affecting your overall mental health. Having a job or career that gives you purpose or is a step towards a larger goal can have a positive impact on mindset and lifestyle.
Tips for tending to occupational wellness:
Explore career opportunities you are passionate about
Work part time while you tend to long term career goals
Attend workshops that excite you
Physical wellness is often underestimated when it comes to how much it can impact your mental health. If you are not taking care of your body physically, your mental state will also take a hit. Physical wellness focuses on physical activity and exercise, diet and nutrition, and healthy sleep habits.
Taking care of your body physically can help reduce anxiety, improve self-esteem, and increase positive mindsets. Many people use physical exercise as a healthy coping mechanism, which is a great way to implement the idea of balanced wellness into your life. Being aware of how you treat your body and what you put into your body is an important step to feeling more balanced in your life.
Tips for tending to physical wellness:
Exercise for 30 minutes, 4-5 times per week
Avoid excessive sugars, alcohol, and other unhealthy habits
Get 7-8 hours of sleep per night depending on what your body needs
When you are juggling a lot in life, social wellness can often take the backburner. Making improvements in this area can improve many other aspects of life. Social wellness focuses on connection and support. Having healthy and meaningful relationships often gives people more fulfillment in life.
Individuals who struggle with social anxiety may cringe at the idea of tending to this area of wellness, but it can be catered to what works for you. Social wellness isn’t about hanging out with a large group of people, it’s about being around those who matter to you. When you find yourself isolating more and not leaning on your support system, it is a sign that social wellness needs to move up on your priority list.
Tips for tending to social wellness:
Plan a weekly date night with your significant other or a small group of friends
Join a club or organization at work or school
Make it a point to spend time with the people you love
Spiritual wellness is aimed at exploring and expanding your sense of meaning and purpose in life. Although sometimes paired with religion, there is much more to the idea of spirituality. You don’t have to belong to a specific religion to explore your values in life. Tending to this area of your wellness allows you to explore the idea of being grounded and mindful in your life and relationships. Self-reflection is a large part of spiritual wellness, which can be practiced in many of the other elements of wellness as well.
Tips for tending to spiritual wellness:
Look into attending a meditation retreat
Implement mindfulness practices into your daily routine (breathing, yoga, etc.)
Engage in actions that aid in fulfillment and purpose
As with most things, balance takes time. With more understanding of each element of wellness comes more of an opportunity to implement healthy changes into your life. Picking a few tips from the lists above to implement in your routine is a great first step towards living a more balanced lifestyle. When you are actively taking care of yourself, the stressful things become more manageable and the goals you’ve set for yourself become more attainable.
If you need additional support on your journey towards wellness and living a more balanced life, we’re here to help! Contact Alyssa Woolslair, LMHC for your complimentary consultation at 954.391.5305.
Alyssa provides counseling for adults at our beautiful Plantation office (near Davie, Weston, Pembroke Pines, Southwest Ranches, and Sunrise, Florida). She also provides online counseling via our secure telehealth platform.
For more information about Alyssa’s approach to counseling, click here.