As I was slogging my way through the “seasonal” traffic in Southwest Florida this morning and welcoming “snowbirds” back to the yoga studio, the following eight steps to create balance in life occurred to me. Try them when you begin to feel rushed, pushed and in a hurry.
- Value yourself: Treat yourself with kindness and respect. Make time for your hobbies and favorite projects and a day off.
- Take care of your body: Taking care of yourself physically can improve your mental health. Be sure to: eat nutritious meals, drink plenty of water, exercise to help decrease depression and anxiety and improve moods, get enough sleep, no matter how much you feel you have to get done
- Surround yourself with supportive people: People with strong family or social connections are generally healthier than those who lack a support network. Make plans with supportive family members and friends, or seek out activities where you can meet new people.
- Give of yourself: Volunteer your time and energy to help someone else. You’ll feel good about doing something tangible to help someone in need — and it’s a great way to meet new people.
- Learn how to deal with stress: Like it or not, stress is a part of life. Practice good coping skills: Try a restoratives yoga class, take a nature walk, play with your pet or try journal writing as a stress reducer. Also, remember to smile and see the humor in life. Research shows that laughter can boost your immune system, ease pain, relax your body and reduce stress.
- Quiet your mind: Try meditation and/or prayer. They can improve your state of mind and outlook on life.
- Break up the monotony: Although our routines make us more efficient and enhance our feelings of security and safety, a little change of pace can perk up a tedious schedule. Alter your jogging route, plan a weekend road-trip, take a walk in a different park, hang some new pictures or try a new restaurant.
- Get help when you need it: Seeking help is a sign of strength — not a weakness.