In this world of doing, achieving and getting, it’s very easy for us to put far greater focus on our time spent at work than our lives outside of the office. Our quest for progress and perfection often leads us to squelch pleasure for the sake of productivity. While ambition and industriousness is admirable, often leading to great achievements and success, there is also merit in taking time to rest and recover, to pursue pleasurable avocations and to nurture relationships. The path to a fully content life is paved with the balance of work and pleasure.
Failing to maintain balance leads to burnout. Our attention and focus wavers and blurs. The flow of inspiration, creativity and motivation dwindles. Moods swing, and spirits plummet. Physical and mental fatigue overwhelms us, setting nerves on edge. Our very sense of purpose—what drives us to do what we do—falters.
A recovering workaholic, I have a clear barometer for alerting me when my life is out of balance. Living with autoimmune disease and neuromuscular condition, my body sends out warning signals, such increased pain, spasms, fatigue and infection. When my back and neck grow stiff and sore and the nerves in my arms and hands send sensations of numbness, tingling or weakness, I know that it’s time take a break from the computer. Most often, I seek balance on the yoga mat.
It is here when the movement of my body and the flow of my breath can synchronize. My body stretches and flexes. My breath evens out, releasing tension from muscles and improving my respiration and circulation. My mind becomes calm, clear and focused. Freeing my mind of the mental stress and fatigue, the hyperactivity and restlessness of busy-ness, I once again find my center and am grounded.
My purpose and my vision shimmer with clarity once again. I remember that I am more than what I do and achieve. I recognize the beauty, value and strength of be-ing—not just my limiting, solitary me-ness, but as a part of the expansive, encompassing we-ness.
One may also find this centering through meditation, other forms of exercise, various artistic expression, journaling, being out in nature or immersing in the support of loving family and life-affirming friends. The type of path is not as important as the intention and the practice. The act of seeking balance of the mind, body and spirit grounds us. It allows us to be bring more focus to the present moment, rather than mindlessly going through the motions as we churn through our to-do-list for the day.
I love that I now have a constant reminder to seek balance throughout the day—I simply look at my feet. Toe Talk is a new line of non-slip stylish socks that are woven with inspiration, with each pair bearing mantras of mindfulness. Visit toetalkmindful.com and use the discount code “SeekBalance” to save $2 off your purchase of Seek Balance socks during its Mindful Monday Sale today.
Carrie Vibert says
Those socks are so cute! Great reminder to slow down and breathe! Balance is so hard to find… the eternal challenge.
Carrie, balance is a constant challenge, for sure! I love having regular reminders to be more present in the moment and mindful
Good tips! I find that like you said, “artistic expression, journaling, (and) being out in nature” are great ways to relieve stress.
Jessie, I definitely find that things that take me “out of my head” and back “into my soul” are SO helpful for returning to balance.