A Balanced Life
Even sitting here now typing out the text to this article, listening to some soothing smooth tunes to get me in a writing frame of mind, I still feel like I should be doing something else. Many of us find it hard to simply sit and do nothing. There are so many demands placed on us on a daily basis, often a minute by minute basis, that we feel guilty if we just sit down, lean our head back, close our eyes and relax.
There are only 24 hours in a day. Fact, yet how often have you said, “there’s just not enough hours in the day” to do all I’ve got to do.” Since we have a finite, definite number of hours to work with, then it becomes imperative to set priorities. Setting priorities can simply your task and give you that much needed “sense of accomplishment” at the end of the day.
So what does a balanced life look like? First, we have to identify the primary areas of our lives that need to be considered. They are Self (personal health, interests, friends, etc.), Family (developing, maintaining, strengthening relationships) and Work (activities that generate income and possibly a level of satisfaction).
From day to day the amount of time and consideration allocated to each of these may vary, but at the end of the week, you should feel that you’ve given a fair amount of attention to each in order to feel the effects of a balanced lifestyle. If you can visualize a scale, think of it this way…putting nothing but work on one side brings self and family out of balance…focusing only on self not only puts your work out of balance, it also can jeopardize your relationships with family.
A “Balanced Life” is the foundation of a healthy lifestyle? Simply put, when things get out of balance, everything in your life is affected. The affect on your health can be more frequent colds, headaches, depression and mysterious aches and pains. I could go on and on. A life out of balance can disturb your immune system and make you vulnerable for a variety of irritating and sometimes fatal illnesses and diseases.
Make time each week to do something that you enjoy, whether it’s reading a magazine, listening to a new CD or taking a long leisurely bubble bath…you choose, and then do.
Call a family member that you have talked with in a while, just to check them out and say hello.
Leave work at work. For some of us, being on call is a part of what we do, however it is healthy to give your brain a break when you leave the job for the day. Use time after work to focus on self and family.
I’m not a doctor or a counselor, I am simply one who has lived this stuff and claimed the victory. Some weeks I get it right and some weeks things get out of balance, but as long as I can remember the example of Mary who chose to sit at Jesus feet instead of busying herself with lesser important things like her sister Martha, then I can quickly shift and alter the balance.
Even the Bible speaks of balancing devotion and duty in the example of Mary and Martha. These sisters served Jesus. On one occasion during Jesus’ visit, Martha opted to tend to the domestic duties associated with having a guest while Mary chose to sit and listen to Jesus. Martha complained needing help from Mary, however in this instance Mary set “being with Jesus” as a priority over “helping in the kitchen.” Given the same choice, would we choose to be with Jesus or clean out closets.