Keeping our life in balance can be difficult at times when you feel like some areas should be more important than others. Maybe you are sacrificing sleep for solitude, or healthy meals for convenience. Whatever is out of balance, asking yourself an important question can help.
Recently, I was inspired by an older blog post by Faith Janes over at MinimalistAtHome. Her post asks the question “why do you do the things you do?” She mentions living in a ‘constant state of exhaustion’ herself, which is one of the main reasons why she is asking this question, to see if she can simplify some area of her life and allow herself more sleep.
I faced this exact scenario at the beginning of the summer, tired most of the time and feeling like I just needed to sleep more. I decided to take a break from doing several things each day, including getting up so early, exercising daily and writing as often.
What I found is that giving up those things that I spent my ‘extra’ time on meant I started getting 8 hours of sleep, then 9, then 10 hours a day (the kids were out of school too, making sleeping in much easier to do).
I also wasn’t feeling as happy, productive or energetic as I had hoped. Even with 8 hours of sleep, my body was sluggish and with even more than 8, my will power to exercise and write was pretty much gone. The kids were eating cereal every morning for breakfast and I was still feeling sluggish by lunch.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because balance is important in life. Yes, I need more than 5 or 6 hours of sleep each night, but for me, there is a line between too little and too much. Crossing over the line to too much of anything throws me completely off balance in nearly every area of my life, making it difficult to do even the simplest daily tasks well.
Balance for each one of us looks different. Some of us need more rest, others need more activity. There are those of us who need to eat more protein and others who need more carbs. It is up to each of us to take the time and figure out where that balance is in the most meaningful areas of our lives.
When I think about balance in my life, I usually look at these areas in particular-
-Time spent working versus time spent with my family and friends.
-Amount of junk food eaten versus how many healthy meals I consume.
–Money spent versus money saved and donated.
-Amount of time exercising versus time spent lounging.
-How long I sleep compared to how long I need to sleep.
“Life is a balancing act,” isn’t just a nice little phrase, it’s a very real part of our existence and requires regular contemplation and adjustment.
Using Faith’s question, “Why do you do what you do?” can give important insight into what is in balance or out of balance in your life. It’s very easy to get out of balance in one area (like sleep), which in turn will affect other areas.
Take a few minutes and think about something in life you would like to do more of, and see if there is an area you need to bring back in to balance to allow it to happen.