Balanced Life

Author: Byron Pulsifer, 2012


The
achievement of a balanced life is a theme for many thousands of people. Why is the issue of a balanced life so important now?

Part of the answer to our present concerns regarding the need to establish or create a balanced life is due in part to the social and
family obligations that embroil or surround a tremendously demanding lifestyle. This lifestyle often sees parents with children, for example, both working outside of the home in order to meet the steadily increasing financial obligations of today's societies.

This financial need is also due in part to the increased cost of living from the purchase of a home, especially in large cities, to the cost of food and clothing. As well, there is the rampant connectivity of people including
work place communications occurring outside of what was in the past termed as the normal workday.

In order for a person to devise a balanced life that helps them to cope with the increased stressors in today's modern society, it is important to recognize what one can choose to adopt certain behaviors that help in this quest.

1. Physical Health
One of the first things that an individual can take control of is to focus on their physical
health. Iis tremendously difficult to be able to enjoy any aspect of work without feeling good. If you are having health issues of any kind, it is a matter of finding out what it would take to bring you to a better state of health. Sometimes, it can be as uncomplicated as ensuring that you take time to go for a walk.

It doesn't cost you anything other than a few minutes out of your day but has tremendous value to your overall physical health. And, it isn't necessary to obtain a gym membership either to enjoy a fast paced walk. You can walk after you get home from work as a method to reduce
stress from the day, or you can go for a short walk during your lunch break to help revitalize your blood flow and stay more alert during the rest of the day.

2. Work Place Balance
Another thing to consider to bring balance to your life is that you should not place yourself in a position where you are consumed by your work. You may have started out in your job being very excited and willing and capable of doing more and more. But, there is a balance necessary between work and play and a balance that must be part of your dedication.

If you put yourself into a position where work dominates your life, you could easily end up jeopardizing your health both physically and mentally. Moreover, poor health would certainly impact your ability to enjoy your job. Keep work and life balance a priority.

In addition, allowing your work to dominate your life precludes you from devoting the time necessary for family relationships. Work place issues, while important, should not be allowed to penetrate you time away from work where it is incumbent on you to not only participate in down time away from the rigors of work but to contribute to the love and nurturing needed to create a robust family life.

3. Social Connections
Do you have a network of
friends, or people that you enjoy spending with? If not, you are jeopardizing the satisfaction and enjoyment that can help reduce some of the stress that creeps into your life when your focus is singularly directed inside the home. This social network helps you to gain a new perspective, a fun evening with friends that has nothing to do with any workplace obligations, or a time with your extended family that has components of both giving support and receiving it.

The more often you decline invitations to spend time with friends or family because you are too busy with either work or other activities, the more you should realize that your life is not in balance. The old saying has a lot of merit where it says that everything should be done in moderation.

4. Spiritual Investment
One aspect of a balanced life is your spiritual health. This could involve anything from taking a walk in the woods, a short canoe ride around a quiet lake or to making a trip to church on Sunday. The real point here is to do whatever it takes to fill up your spiritual reservoir. Any or all of the aforementioned is a method of renewal for your inner peace of mind and is so often neglected amidst the hustle and bustle that is all around us. If you have found that you are neglecting your spiritual well-being, take the time to rethink your personal connections to
God, to nature, or to quiet solitude. You'll feel much more refreshed when you do and will be better prepared to tackle awaiting issues.

5. Financial Considerations
Is your life all about increasing your financial
wealth? Do you see wants out weigh needs? Are you spending more than you make and creating a deep hole of debt that keeps you bound to a fast paced and dog eat dog world to try and repay what you don't have? The real question is this: whom are you really working for? Are you working to impress others or are you working so you can adequately provide for your family's needs?

The balance, or imbalance, you create is to first understand the reasons you work. If work drives you to money so you can get and have acquisitions, than you are living in a false reality. Things and possessions do not create
happiness nor can they buy love nor can they replace the attention and time taken away from family needs and growth. If you find yourself with less and less time and more and more possessions, you may need to reexamine your balanced life criteria before it's too late.

Satisfaction and Appreciation

There is also the need in any kind of work to feel and know that you have done a great job. There is nothing more debilitating to your psychic than toiling over a job without ever hearing that what you do is appreciated or even that it is in anyway recognized.

You do not need to have great compliments passed to you for every job either, but even if it is just a once in a while recognition to keep the energy flowing.

Enjoy Your Work

Each one of these needs is a necessary part of really enjoying your work. Remember that you will spend more waking time at work than you will anyplace else for the rest of your working career so the sooner you can bring all these into balance, the better you will enjoy work.

Wisdom In This Poem

Find wisdom and reminders in this motivational poem about taking time to play. You will find frustration, but also realization that just working all the time is not a good thing. We hope it encourages you to take time for you!

The Park Bench

Poet: Julie Hebert, 2012

On a typically hard work day,
A break is often a need.
A few minutes to myself to think and unwind,
I walk at quite a low speed.

I walk and I walk until I tire,
Then look for a little park bench.
It is then that my mind races on through,
Until each of my thoughts have been quenched.

I think about how this is not where I wanted to be,
Come this day and age.
This often makes me feel depressed,
And soon after turns into rage.

So I sit and I watch as the children play,
On the field that is in my view.
Running and jumping and swinging with laughter,
Innocence and freedom shows through.

It is then that I realize that children have it right,
No matter what's going on they still stop and play.
As adults we forget and let our work consume us,
And never allow ourselves to have a good day.

It's up to us to allow ourselves to just stop,
And take time to just stop and play.
If we don't find the time to unwind and have fun,
It will be ourselves that will be the one to pay.

Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:

" As I see it, every day you do one of two things: build health or produce disease in yourself." Adelle Davis

"Balance is not better time management, but better boundary management. Balance means making choices and enjoying those choices." Betsy Jacobson

"Our life becomes happier when we learn to appreciate all that we have rather than letting our focus be on what we do not have." Catherine Pulsifer


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