We've all heard that the elusive work life balance is important for health and well-being, but what is it and how does one attain it?
Balance exists when all aspects of ourselves are addressed and integrated into our daily lives. From my training as a life coach, therapist, and massage therapist, I have concluded that a holistic approach to learning and development includes honoring six areas: the intellectual, emotional, physical, spiritual, social, and creative aspects of our Being. Each aspect contributes something unique to our lives. In other words we are complex, multi-dimensional creatures, and reaching our full potential includes the alignment of all these parts.
Most people are good at a couple of these areas, so-so with a few, and completely negligent on one or another area. However, as you can imagine, all parts are interrelated in striking the right work life balance. Your physical health affects your emotional well-being. If you're not feeling connected to something greater than yourself, you may lack creative inspiration.
For optimum performance, each area needs to be addressed if you are committed to balance and well-being.
As a life coach I've developed the phrase "just touch it." This means that just acknowledging a neglected area is all it takes. So whatever aspect of your life you may be avoiding, just touch it! Instead of waiting until you can hire a physical trainer four times a week, just bend down and touch your toes! Doing this each day can have a significant impact after a while.
Here are a few suggestions if any one aspect of your brilliant being is experiencing neglect:
- Touch your toes. Morning and night. If you feel really ambitious reach up high then bend down and touch your toes
- Get a monthly massage. You don't work out? No problem. Start by letting someone else do the work for you. It's just as effective. I promise!
- Walk around the block
- Go out dancing instead of to the movies
- DRINK WATER – 1 liter a day
- BREATHE: Take 5 long, slow, deep breaths all the way down to your toes
- Go to a GOOD movie
- Read something OTHER than how to build your business
- Learn a word or two in a foreign language! Determine where your company is likely to go globally and begin learning the basics: hello, thank you, my name is – priceless!
- BREATHE: Stop! Meditate. Empty your mind
- Journal – get it out of the mind and onto paper
- Have the conversation(s) you've been avoiding
- Check in with loved ones and make note of their life condition
- Be frank with yourself and ask, "how is my life condition?"
- Light a candle
- Listen to nature
- Pray, meditate, or be silent for one precious minute before getting out of your car
- Water the plants
- Talk to your neighbor
- Donate money to a non-profit
- Stop taking things personally-the person who cut you off on the highway just got off a 24 hour nursing shift
- Cook dinner…slowly
- Dance, sing, or just hum your own tune
- Make up a bedtime story for the kids – they won't care if it's any good! (Ask them to join in. You say a line; they say a line; you say a line; they say a line)
- Doodle with your non-dominant hand – ABSTRACT ART!
Chances are your business will grow. Demands and responsibilities will increase. You probably won't find the time for your well-being, so learn to make time . Just for each day this week practice taking one minute dedicated to your well-being. You'll see that work life balance start to take shape, and chances are this will be the best-spent minute of the day.
Elizabeth Topp is a development coach and contributor to StartupNation.