November 3, 2015

5 Tips to Help You Find the Perfect Balance in Life

by Amanda Fernandes, Project Happiness Regional Director, Caribbean

Life can be a balancing act, and the older you get the more weights are added to your scale.  Your boss expects you to meet tight deadlines; your kids expect you to help them with their homework; and your significant other expects to spend quality time together. Meanwhile the traffic situation continues to worsen and the household chores have your name written all over them.

Your mind and your body are constantly going and it feels as though you’ll never complete all the items on your never ending To-Do list. So, in this increasingly demanding world, here’s how you can find that happy, healthy balance in life.

1. Breathe

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It may sound cliché but breathing has proven to have both biological and mental benefits. It allows you to switch off for a few moments and escape to a peaceful place where your mind can be at ease. Practicing this basic type of meditation is a great first step in defusing a tense situation. Next time you feel overwhelmed, try closing your eyes and taking three deep breaths. You’ll be surprised at how much more manageable the obstacle in front of you will appear.

2. Prioritise

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Make a list of all that you need to achieve in order of priority. These can be itemised on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, depending on the nature of the task or activity. You can go old school with pen and paper or take things further by using one of the many apps available that do an amazing job of breaking your life down for you. Here is a comprehensive list of scheduling apps from Tom’s Guide, for both iOS and Android phones. Scheduling what needs to get done has proven to not only help keep you on track, but also alleviate some anxiety.

3. Schedule Fun-Time

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When creating your schedule be sure to include some times for rest, relaxation and fun! It’s easy to get caught up in all of your responsibilities, but it’s important to remember that having time to unwind and de-stress is one of the most important things you need to do for yourself and those around you. At least once a month make a point of scheduling a “fun day” where you can become your top priority and do something you enjoy.

4. Live in the now

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Many people get into the habit of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. That type of thinking on a constant basis tends to result in high levels of regret and stress. Instead, develop the practice of embracing the present. Make the best of the ‘now’ rather than focusing on what could have been or pondering what might be. Direct your energy toward what can be done to make right here and right now the best it can possibly be and you’ll feel a whole lot better about life.

5. Be Realistic

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We often feel obligated to meet all of our deadlines – even the impractical ones – and live up to people’s expectations. But sometimes the best thing to do is to just admit that you need help or that you are unable to complete a task by a specific time. Don’t feel pressured to take on more than you can handle, because in the end you’ll only succeed in stressing yourself out and disappointing others.

Next time you are caught in the midst of all of life’s responsibilities, try using these tips to get to a calm, happy place. If you have any other special habit you’ve cultivated to help you achieve that balance in live, we’d love to hear about them so feel free to share them in the comments!