In this day and age when most people are frantically rushing to and from work, it is important to stop and take stock of what you are doing with your life and your body. If life is all work or chores at home like doing the gardening or attending to carpet cleaning – and no play, then you are likely to suffer burnout, get sick more often, feel unable to cope and generally not enjoy life any more. Your relationships will suffer if you spend all your time on work. Spouses and children deserve and need your input into their lives, otherwise they will grow away from you – and when the rubber hits the road, work is a poor substitute for family.
So how do you balance your life for optimum health? Remember that optimum health is not only physical health, but mental health and emotional health as well. When you work too hard and for long hours your body is under a great deal of stress, both physically and mentally – and often emotionally as well.
It is important to cut back on working hours and devote time to fitness, nutrition, leisure time and family – not necessarily in that order. The truth is if you neglect yourself there will come a time when it is too late to recover your health, your fitness or your family. To prevent this unfortunate state of affairs you may have to draw lines in the sand about what you will and will not do at work.
Many people don’t take time off that the company owes them. If that is you, start to take it now. You may want to take it all at once, or spread lesser amounts over a longer period. During this time do not be available for work calls, even if it means switching off your phone.
To ensure you can fit family in with other things such as fitness and leisure, do these things together. Take the family for a day at the beach or a picnic, hiking, camping or visits to things like the museum. You can all get in some exercise walking around. Start a sport or go to the gym as a family or as a couple if you have no children. Include some social interaction with friends during this time, as this too, is an important part of a balanced life.
Stay at home mothers often have an unbalanced life too. If the children are small it is highly likely that they are stuck at home with no chance of good conversation or of keeping up with friends. Very few mums have ‘me time’ because child-care is costly. You may be able to swap baby-sitting with a friend you can trust while you go shopping, enjoy a spa treatment or play a sport. If that is not possible, join a support group or invite some friends over every so often for a coffee. You’ll enjoy life much more.