I fully believe that we are coming to a time where traditional diets have had their day, and where the unrealistic ultra-aspirational approach to wellness is unravelling. In its place surely must come more balance, something that really has become the foundation of my approach for the last few years.
For me, balance is the place where health, wellbeing, body positivity, self love and self care meet. Naturally that’s a lot of areas to juggle, and as I’ve said before, balance is something to be practised, not some state to be reached and firmly maintained without flexibility. There are some simple things you can do to welcome more balance into your life while you work on finding out what balance looks like for you.
Here are 10 ways to bring more balance into your life:
Count nutrients, not calories or points
I genuinely believe it’s very hard to reach a place of balance when you’re obsessing over every calorie or point you eat. However, I know that many of us need some kind of structure to facilitate balance and that’s where tracking comes in for me. Keep a basic food diary and assess it based on how many whole nutrient dense foods you’ve eaten. Keep a basic tracking sheet to keep the focus on the foundational building blocks of a healthy diet, such as vegetables and protein.
Listen to your body
After years of dieting, listening to and interpreting your body’s hunger messages can be very hard. To be honest, I think I’ll always struggle with completely intuitive eating, however that’s not stopping me from listening to my body when it comes to food, exercise and everything else. Listening to your body is a skill to be learned, as is acting upon its wishes. Just start by tuning in to how you feel. I rate my mood each day in my habit tracker as part of my bullet journal. This has really helped me know when to push and when to rest back with things like productivity and exercise.
Be Treat Smart
This comes up in almost every post like this that I write, but I can’t stress enough how helpful it is when you practise being treat smart. Basically, it’s only eating treats that you know you’ll really enjoy, rather than mindlessly eating crap. Find out more here.
Track your cycle
Women, as most things in nature, are cyclical in that we all have our own cycle that affects energy and mood as well as what food we crave and how we behave. Try tracking your menstrual cycle and how you feel at different times of the month. I track mine alongside the moon cycle and find it really helps me balance when to be more outgoing and when to turn inward and relax. Lunar Abundance has some brilliant resources around tracking the moon.
Spend time alone
Whether you’re an extrovert or introvert I think that spending some time alone is always a good thing! So often we don’t have the time to be alone with our own thoughts. Feelings are pushed away to be dealt with another time which inevitably never arrives. Schedule in some ‘white space’ if you can, even just 30 minutes to be on your own will work wonders.
Tend to your sisterhood
I am so incredibly grateful for my girlfriends. As much as spending time alone is important, so too is socialising with the right group of people. Having a cup of tea and belly laughs with a good friend is the best therapy ever and without a doubt works wonders for your mental health and wellbeing. If you crave that kind of circle of friends then actively look for them. Try signing up for an evening class or seeking out friends online in groups based around things you’re interested in.
Curate your social media
Something I learned from the #HigherSelfie duo is to think of your social media accounts like a house party. You have the right to chuck out whoever you want! If you’re seeing stuff that makes you feel negative or even mildly irritated, unfollow, unfollow, unfollow! On Facebook it’s easy to unfollow someone without unfriending them if you want to avoid drama. Your social media should be a place that inspires and motivates you, not makes you feel like crap!
Less screen time, more book time
When you’re online so much information is being thrown at you. It can become crazily overwhelming to consume so much content each day. Switching some of that screen time to book time is a good way to welcome more relaxation into your life and reduce stimulation and stress.
You know I had to mention sleep right? In my experience as a sleep deprived mother I know this one thing: everything is harder without sleep. Eating well, exercising, being productive, thinking clearly, etc. If there’s a reason you can’t increase your sleep then read this post for tips on dealing with it. Look honestly at the quality of your sleep and if it’s lacking make some effort to improve it. Avoiding screens in the hour before bed, making sure the room is dark, finishing your last meal before bedtime, etc can all help!
Adopt an ‘I Matter’ mindset
This is probably the most important point of all, and will make all the other tips easier to incorporate into your life. You must start adopting an ‘I Matter’ mindset where you value your own wellbeing. I know people bang on about understanding that you have to be served first to be able to help others but it’s true! You are so much less in all aspects of your life when you aren’t being taken care of, and unless you’re a child, taking care of yourself falls down to one person, you!
These can be as big or as simple to implement into life as you see fit, but even just doing one will help add a little more of that health, wellbeing, body positivity, self care and self love needed to create more balance in your life.
How do you work on bringing more balance into your life?
I love this Laura, I can feel your passion coming through the post on this! I completely agree that cups of tea and belly laughs with your friends are the best :)
Thanks Lauren :-)
Love this, it’s only in the last few that I’ve really started to value my friendships as being good for the soul and not just people to spend time / eat food with! x
Haha, I know what you mean, I think my friends are quite good at keeping me in check when my balance goes off as well!
Do you know I have only just listened to your latest podcast, (not sure why I didn’t realise I had one un-listened to) and those messages were coming through- especially about having a social media clear out. Work at this time of year is crazy (actually, I am not sure when it isn’t any more) but I have been trying to not bring work home at the weekends, although I will fail that this weekend, because I need a break to get through the week. I like the saying “you can’t pour from an empty cup”- look after yourself before you can look after others.
I bet you’re looking forward to the summer holidays! Totally agree about that saying, it’s so very true x
Such great points, Laura! I love that you pointed out how it’s important to take time for ourselves; so true!
Edye | gracefulcoffee.wordpress.com