If a group of adults was to play a game of word association for the word “balance” the majority of the group would immediately think of work-life balance. We are constantly bombarded with this concept. At the surface level, work-life balance may seem overly simple. While it is an extremely common phrase, it is important to step back and think deeper about why these few words are thrown around so often. What is the true meaning of balance?
The wellness industry has always existed. Within the last decade, thanks to social media, there have been greater conversations around mental health advocacy and the creation and rise of the wellness influencer. Doctors and influencers both prescribe and preach self-care. Work-life balance is a huge part of both adult and adolescent wellness rituals. Let’s have a conversation on why balance is so essential for your overall well-being.
The Importance of Balance for Longevity
Balance is imperative to your overall well-being for many reasons. When our lives are unbalanced, we tend to feel overwhelmed, which leads to stress. Too much stress can lead to some very serious health issues. Stress can seriously impact your mental health in severe ways. When we struggle with periods of time of poor mental health, our bodies have a hard time making good decisions, feeling confident in ourselves, and ability to concentrate. Furthermore, it can negatively affect our core relationships with our family, friends, and co-workers. Not only does stress impact our mental health, but it also impacts our physical health too. You may suffer from aches, pains, and headaches. Sometimes our stress and anxiety can physically manifest throughout the body. To keep up with your physical and mental health, really think about how to add balance to your life.
Let’s start with thinking about work-life balance. What does that look like for you? Everything in our lives holds some level of priority and urgency. For example, paying your rent on time is essential. How do you get money for rent? By working, which makes work a high priority. But, no matter what, your career should not be 100% of your life. You have other relationships that need your love and attention. Social and creative elements of your life feed your soul. A combination of work and play will help you live a fulfilled life.
A tool you can start using immediately to find balance in your life is the wellness wheel. The wellness wheel is a concept that visually displays each major chunk of your life. The wheel shows how all aspects of your life are interconnected. There are a few distinguished versions of the wellness wheel. Today we will go over the design that splits life up into seven slices. The seven slices that make up this pie are physical, emotional, intellectual, financial, spiritual, social, and environmental.
For your physical well-being, the wellness wheel tells us to hone in on regular exercise, maintain a healthy diet, and keep track of your alcohol consumption.
For your emotional well-being, the wellness wheel tells us to keep a journal, so we can track how we are feeling and when which helps us learn patterns and assess our moods over time. We should also maintain regular sleep patterns and not feel afraid to seek professional help when we need it.
For our intellectual well-being, the wellness wheel tells us to read a book every month, watch a new documentary, and be open-minded enough to challenge our belief systems.
For your financial well-being, the wellness wheel tells us to create a budget and stick to it. It also says to add to your retirement fund and to be more selective about your purchases.
For our spiritual well-being, the wellness wheel tells us to contemplate our religious and ethical beliefs daily, practice meditation and or yoga, practice other self-care rituals, and live by our beliefs every single day.
For your social well-being, the wellness wheel tells us to connect with friends and family every week, contact someone you haven’t spoken to recently, and reach out to your support network.
For our environmental well-being, the wellness wheel tells us to make our bed every day, stay clean and organized, and be mindful of our environment.
Okay now here is the hard part. To help yourself, you need to be honest with yourself and be ready to put in the work to find balance in your life. To start, make a list of each of the seven aspects of the wellness wheel. Ask yourself where you feel fulfilled and where you feel like you are lacking. If you feel overwhelmed and totally unbalanced, do not try to fix your whole wheel at once. Pick one aspect you wish to work on first. For example, if you feel you are struggling with your emotional wellness, maybe it is time to start looking for a therapist. This step can be really hard and finding a health care provider that you mesh well with can take some time with a little trial and error. However, your mental health is so important and affects each of the other slices of your wellness wheel immensely. You are strong enough to work through it, I promise you that!
Balance is so essential to your wellness journey because when we lack balance we can feel disconnected and overwhelmed. A wellness wheel is a tool that allows you to check in with yourself and how you are feeling. Making small adjustments will help you create systems to live a more balanced life naturally with time!