And if you’ve read the FREE Life Planning Program available in the ToolBOX, you’ll be aware of the section on how to determine what you really want. Use this as a tool for you to identify what your balance should be – and use this as the basis for setting your life goals.
The program has been designed, researched and tested in collaboration with stress experts at University College London.
Rest and Relaxation
It is important that you get enough rest and relaxation to give your body time to repair itself and give your mind time to de-clutter and unwind. This is a part of achieving life balance.
Rest and relaxation isn’t just about lazing about on the beach – of, course that sounds pretty good too! It’s about taking “Me Time” out of your day and doing something for you and your life balance – a favourite hobby, reading a good book, taking a trip to the country, going for a bike ride – whatever works for your life balance.
The “Personal Goals” tab on the NavBar covers this topic in more detail, but the important thing is to find something that works for you.
We all know that if we don’t get enough sleep, we get snappy and irritable and perhaps don’t perform as well the next day, but sleep does more than that.
Sleep allows our body time to repair or replace dead cells and injuries, and time to maintain our muscles and vital organs. And chemicals vital to the immune system are released when we sleep, so sleep is important for maintaining our immune systems and general health.
It also gives our brain a break and allows it to organise itself – that’s why if you go to bed with a problem on your mind, you’ll often wake up feeling better and more grounded. It’s the old adage of “to sleep on it”. So sleep is vital in healing stress and mental trauma.
Sleep is even more important for children as growth hormones are released when they sleep. Kids you don’t get enough sleep may end up with stunted growth or development.
Obviously the odd sleepless night here or there won’t affect your long term health, but if sleep deprivation is a common event, your health – not to mention your sanity – will being to suffer.
And too much sleep isn’t good for you either – too much sleep will leave you feeling sluggish and tired.
So how much sleep do you need? The amount of sleep we all need differs from person to person, but is typically 7 to 9 good quality hours every night – and this decreases as you get older. Obviously if you have a disturbed night from newborn babies or other disturbance, you’ll need longer to get the quality of sleep you need.
Tips for getting a good nights sleep for life balance include:
There are many other relaxation techniques such as meditation, visualisation, progressive muscle relaxation and self-hypnosis that can help get you off to sleep if the above techniques don’t work. Avoid long term use of sleeping tablets as your body will become dependent on them.
But if you are having prolonged problems getting to sleep or staying asleep, or if you have a snoring problem, seek medical advice on how you can achieve better sleep.
Stress and Mental Health
Stress in some form is a natural part of modern life, whether it be the rush of getting the kids ready for school, a tight deadline at work, sitting in a traffic jam or stress resulting from a traumatic event.
And stress isn’t always a bad thing.
Studies of workplaces and schools have shown that there is an optimal stress level that gives optimal performance – below this stress level, people don’t feel “pressured’’ and therefore become lazy. However above that level of stress, performance can decline through flustered employees making mistakes and inability to make decisions.
So the key is to know when we are under too much stress and learn how to manage it. Some suggestions include:
If your stress is making you overly anxious or giving you panic attacks, seek medical advice on how you can manage your particular stress.
Stress resulting from a traumatic event is a different kettle of fish, and needs to be treated by professionals. Post-traumatic stress can be very debilitating and can manifest itself in a number of ways, so if you suspect someone is suffering from this type of stress, suggest they seek medical advice.
Your brain will heal from traumatic events and you will feel better down the track – but it can take some effort and a lot of pain to get there. The important thing is to give yourself time to heal – seek advice, and DON’T DRINK ALCOHOL (it interferes with the brains ability to heal itself, and you’ll never get over it if you turn to the bottle).
Stress itself isn’t a mental health issue, but mental health is also something we need to take seriously. The number of cases of depression is rapidly increasing – I think all of us know someone who has medical depression [my father for one] - so it’s not an isolated issue.
While people are becoming more aware of depression and other mental illnesses, there is still a somewhat ‘taboo’ approach to the topic – and there shouldn’t be. In a lot of cases, mental illnesses including depression are due to chemical or hormonal imbalances in the brain, and aren’t due to the person being ‘soft’.
Again, the important thing is to get professional help. There are many medications that can successfully deal with clinical depression and other mental illnesses.
10 Minute Guide to Stress Management
There are lots of alternative therapies available for relaxation, stress relief and life balance. So if you’re looking for a different way to unwind, try one of these:
And some people even use clairvoyancy to help them achieve life balance – not because they believe in the predictions, but as a tool for questioning where they are in their life.
Alternative therapies may or may not be your thing for helping with your goal setting or life balance – but give them ago if you’re looking for some inspiration.
Achieving life balance is about getting the right mix of career, family time, rest and relaxation.
Too often the pressures of managing at career and making money dominate our lives – so take some time out and think about how you can achieve your own personal life balance.
How to Make Every Day A Terrific Day - Proven Life Skills for Creating Balance, Happiness, and a Positive Mental Attitude