Balance. Such an easy word to say, yet such a hard thing to achieve.
Balance is so important in life. Without it we cannot ever truly be satisfied. Let’s take work and leisure for example.
Too much work? Not enough enjoyment, can lead to depression.
Too much leisure? Not enough work and you don’t get where you want to be, can lead to depression.
Sometimes it seems like you just can’t win! The answer is of course a mixture of both of them; to work hard but also allow yourself important relaxation and leisure time.
According to the Oxford dictionary, balance is:
1) To offset or compare the value of (one thing) with another.
2) To put (something) in a steady position so that it does not fall
I believe that balance in terms of physical and mental wellbeing is both of these things.
If we achieve balance in terms of (1), where we weigh up importance of events and do both of them but according to importance, we will be putting ourselves in a steady position for the future, also definition (2).
So how do we do this?
We need to find what’s known as ‘the middle ground’.
(If my old psychologist is reading this she would be laughing at the irony of it, I was always awful at finding the middle ground. But don’t you worry, I am trying and I haven’t forgotten!)
My top tips on finding the middle ground and keeping yourself well:
• Always find time for yourself, even something small like having a bubble bath or sitting down with a cup of tea and a book for half an hour. Those small things really can make a difference.
• Work is important, but your mental and physical health is and always will be the most important. It’s okay to take time out to look after yourself.
• Get enough sleep; no one can function efficiently if they’re tired, it’s much better to sleep as long as you need and have less time working than to hardly sleep and work for ages; you’ll find the quality of your work will be so much better when you’ve actually had a decent amount of sleep!
• When stressing about something always make sure to take a step back, a deep breath, and to consider how important it really is. Are you being balanced? It may sound stupid but sometimes it can help to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
FOOD: balanced eating
Food is also a place where the word balance is key. As someone who has suffered from an eating disorder, I know how your brain can warp your perceptions. I know what it feels like for every mouthful to be ‘too much’. But learning about food has been really helpful, true it hasn’t exactly changed anything, but it has helped me realise that I also need to see food in a bigger picture and have a more balanced view.
There has been a huge craze about ‘clean eating recently’. But is purely eating foods that are considered ‘healthy’ balanced? In my opinion, no.
To start with, I don’t believe there is such thing as a ‘healthy’ or ‘unhealthy’ food. In my eyes, everything is healthy in moderation. One chocolate bar will not make you fat. Nor equally will one carrot make you healthy. It’s all about getting a balance of all 5 of the food groups and also having freedom in what you eat. Yes you must nourish your body, but as long as you don’t eat chips every single day then chips will not hurt you! Everything in moderation. You need to eat what you enjoy and what you like, as well as making sure you’re eating a well-balanced diet.
When I see these people who only eat superfood salads and wouldn’t dream of touching a chocolate bar, to me that isn’t balanced. It’s disordered eating, not necessarily an eating disorder (depending on the mentality behind it) but it definitely is a disordered habit. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate that we are all different and some people love clean eating, I am simply saying be careful of these things and consider why it is you want to go down that route if you chose to do so.
I hope you have enjoyed this post, I know I only skimmed over a whole variety of topics, but if you want to know more or have any questions please do feel free to comment below.
Thanks for reading.