Is Your Life Feeling Out of Balance?
I have had plenty to fret about for the past couple of weeks. First my laptop crashed and died. At a VERY critical time. I thought I lost everything (all my work, all my programs for next year, all my clients’ info). Then, after purchasing a new laptop and, thankfully, retrieving all my info, a storm hit Toronto and as of yet, we are without internet access at home.
And so as I sat fretting, and fretting some more, and as I devoured yet another bowl of chocolate pudding (yes, I still binge when I am very stressed and can’t seem to find a solution to a pressing problem. The difference is that instead of countless bars of Fruit and Nut Toblerones and Bounty, I now binge on homemade chocolate pudding made from avocado/banana/water/raw cocoa powder and raw honey topped with organic shredded coconut and blueberries. Zero guilt and zero damage.), it occurred to me how hard I was being on myself. My internal conversations were just…mean. Even though the events that were causing my frustration were out of my control my head was still on repeat “Well…if you had backed up your laptop…” “OK. OK. I GET IT. From now on I’m backing up.”
So why was I beating myself up like this? And I’m guessing, why do most of us beat ourselves up?
Human nature. Sigh.
And so I decided on this. For you and for me:
As 2013 winds down and you take stock of your life over the past year, I want you to do 2 things:
First, take a moment and remember who you are and where you are in your life (Even if you are completely running out of steam. The new year is literally days away and the feeling of being drained is universal). Think about where you were last year and how far you have come this year whether in your personal or professional life. And only focus on the POSITIVE.
Second, and more importantly, I want you to think about self compassion. Since clearly, too often when we evaluate ourselves we focus on what we DIDN’T accomplish instead of praising ourselves for our successes.
So practice self compassion. Be kind to YOURSELF the same way you would others. If you find yourself thinking “I wanted to do this…but I couldn’t make it happen…” retrain your mind to treat yourself well. Reverse your thought process and instead of thinking about what DIDN’T happen, write down 3 things that DID happen.
Here are a few key areas for you to consider when thinking about balancing your life. To help you gauge yourself more accurately and to begin seeing yourself with more self compassion as you go into the new year with your prospects and goals, take a look at the following basic needs and different ways of finding true and positive fulfillment.
Keep in mind that no matter what we use as criteria when it comes to experiencing balance in our lives, we have certain needs that need to be filled throughout our lives and the more balanced our fulfillment of these needs, the smoother our boat will sail and the closer to balance we will get.
And always remember: If our life is not in balance then we are in trouble.
Self actualization: morality, creativity, problem solving,
learning, lack of prejudice and acceptance of facts
Esteem: self esteem, confidence, respect
Love and belonging: friendship, family and intimacy
Safety: security of body, health, family, property, employment, resources and morality
Physiological: breathing, food, water, sex, sleep, homeostasis, excretion
Everyone can rank these in a different order of importance. At the same time, we may each rank them differently at different times in our lives. And that is perfectly normal.
What is certain? If one of the above is lacking and another is over emphasized, then we are out of balance. In trouble.
We are all works in progress. Remember that you are human and we are not perfect. (Even though it seems we are always striving for perfection.) Remember instead that life is about the journey and the mistakes and learn from your mistakes to move on instead of begrudging yourself.
Give gratitude for who you are and be compassionate with yourself!
Dana Dinnawi is an Integrative Nutrition health coach specializing in empowering women to improve their health and family life. She received her training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where she studied more than one hundred dietary theories and a variety of practical lifestyle coaching methods. She can be reached through her website and Facebook page.