I don’t know about folks who live in the rest of the country, but in this area, at this time of year, folks tend to get a bit out of balance. It’s a combination of things. One of them is the splendid weather we have during our summers: nice dry 80 degree heat. But this good weather doesn’t last for long, so everyone scrambles to pack as much outdoor fun in as they possibly can in just a few short months. Also, I live in a tourist resort area, and the crowds come to visit during the summer, meaning long work hours and days for the people who live here. Plus we have a tendency to follow the dictates of Mother Nature, who encourages us to be busy in the summer and engage in rest and introspection during the winter.
All of that contributes to an out of balance feeling. A feeling of not enough “me” time, not enough quiet time, simply not enough time to get it all done. Balance is important in our lives, and we need to be in balance more frequently than simply swinging past it on the way from one extreme to the other!
So, how does one stay in balance, especially when you feel like you have to take advantage of the work when it’s there, and the weather when it’s nice? How do you respond to the demands of family and visiting relatives and still keep your sanity?
Maybe you don’t. Maybe you just spin faster and faster and faster, until one day, like a top, you fall to the side in a useless pile, your body demanding rest by becoming ill. Or maybe you hang in there, responding to all the demands, but become less and less efficient, until one day you stop and realize you’ve been moving around in circles all day and not accomplished a thing. Or you’ve done it incorrectly and it needs redoing.
So, obviously, balance is a good way to go. How do you stay in balance with all of that happening? It doesn’t take much and it’s easy. Here’s a few tips:
1. Take five or ten minutes out of your day to do nothing. Just sit. If weather permits, do it outdoors, but sit nonetheless. Contemplate the birds, the air, the ticking of a clock, whatever, but just sit and do nothing. Allow your body to recharge for a few minutes. All of that stuff to do will still be there when you return and you’ll be better able to handle it.
2. Meditate. Take 20 minutes out of your day. The style of meditation doesn’t matter. If you think you can’t meditate, download a guided meditation off the internet and listen to that. Some of them are free, and some are only 10 minutes long. If you have kids who are demanding of your attention, and no partner to help out, have the kids join you in meditation. Seriously. It helps them too.
3. Get a massage once in a while. Even if you only get one once during the summer, it will go great lengths to helping your sense of balance.
4. Take a day off. I know, I know, you’ve gotta take the business while it’s here, you can’t afford it, there’s too much to do, blahblahblah, yeahbut, yeahbut, yeahbut. Trust me, I know this one on personal experience: if you don’t take a day off once a week, you will become so ineffiecient that you’ll never get anything done. There’s a reason the religious folks advocate a day of rest. It’s because we need it! It doesn’t have to be Sunday, and you don’t have to go to church. Just don’t go to work on the day you have chosen.
5. Exercise. Even if it’s only a walk, just move around. The body was meant to move and you will feel better if you move it.
If you are way out of balance, it may take some extra doing to get back in the groove again, but once you are there, it’s easy to stay there. Do this for yourself, take care of yourself, and you will be much more efficient and much healthier.