What is Balance?
Balance is a difficult word to briefly define. As a verb, to balance is to arrange, adjust, or proportion the parts of something symmetrically. Additionally, it’s to be equal or proportionate to something. It’s an Accounting term, a Dance term, an Audio term, and it’s a term used in weights and measures. As a noun, balance is the name used for a scale. Balance is also a state of equilibrium. And it’s a term used to refer to the remainder of or the rest of something, as in the balance of time remaining.
Related words for the noun form of balance include equilibrium, symmetry, harmony, and poise. For the verb form of balance, synonyms are reconcile, keep, combine, equalize, and maintain.
In my humble opinion, the secret of life is learning to balance. This can be applied to a toddler learning to walk or an adult juggling choices, responsibilities, and leisure activities. Work-life balance is a phrase often used to depict the juggling act.
From the Cambridge dictionary, work-life balance is briefly defined as the amount of time you spend doing your job compared with the amount of time you spend with your family and doing things you enjoy. The Balance Careers website states work-life balance is the desirable scenario in which an individual can divide time and energy between his or her job and other important aspects of personal life. Two important components of a positive work-life balance are time management and commitment to your personal life.
At work, you need to balance your energies between different tasks, assignments, and projects. Work may seem easier to balance priorities because of incentives such as teamwork, deadlines, and a paycheck. Balance in your personal life may not have the same discipline or focus as you have at work. It can be more of a challenge. With today’s technology, many of us find blurred lines between work and home life.
Personal life priorities may include family obligations, time with friends, and volunteering in your community. For many, spirituality, personal growth, and other leisure activities are necessary. These important parts of your life are often sacrificed or neglected whether or not a full-time job interferes. At times, it’s difficult to find balance in your personal life.
To find a balance, it’s necessary to place the same importance and level of prioritization on your personal life as you do with your professional life, if not more. There’s an unwritten rule that I call the Ten Dollar Rule. Time is money. If you only have $10 to spend, how would you proportion the funds?
What’s most important to you? Family, pets, fitness, health, spirituality? There seems to be a trending and increasingly popular term you may have heard, it’s self-care. Perhaps you can find your personal-life balance by integrating self-care.
Work-life imbalances or disruptions in your personal-life balance can lead to unwanted stress, anxiety, and unhappiness. Self-care just may be the answer. It seems self-care has become more mainstream; the term has been used so frequently that it’s difficult to know precisely what it is.
World Health Organization (WHO) defines self-care as “the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.” The International Self-Care Foundation (ISF) recognizes there are different definitions and the definitions change over time. The WHO published three different definitions over a 16-year period. ISF understands that the differing interpretations apply to different elements of self-care and proposed a framework of seven pillars to help in the categorizations of self-care. These pillars or domains of self-care include: 1) health literacy, 2) mental wellbeing, 3) physical activity, 4) healthy eating, 5) risk avoidance, 6) good hygiene, and 7) responsible use of products, services, diagnostics, and medicines. Verywellmind.com classifies self-care into five different types, physical, social, mental, spiritual, and emotional.
There are many examples of what you can do for your self-care. A good start is to get plenty of sleep, eat a healthy, well-balanced diet, and exercise regularly. Try meditation, practice yoga, schedule a massage, and spend time outdoors with nature to enrich your mental wellbeing. Try to limit alcohol use, quit smoking, get vaccinated, apply sunscreen, avoid harmful and hazardous activities. Furthermore, the valuable connections with close friends and family are helpful for your emotional self-care.
Self-care is not self-indulgence or acting with selfish behavior. Self-care means taking care of yourself. Self-care is an important element of personal-life balance. Self-care can be just about anything you do for yourself so that you can stay well – physically, socially, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.
The secret to life just might be learning to balance. Find a delicate balance with self-care in your personal life. And, find a positive balance between work-life and personal life that is rewarding to you.
Peace, Love & Balance
“Getting in balance is not so much about adopting new strategies to change your behaviors, as it is about realigning yourself in all of your thoughts so as to create a balance between what you desire and how you conduct your life on a daily basis.”
“Balance, peace, and joy are the fruit of a successful life. It starts with recognizing your talents and finding ways to serve others by using them.”
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”