Monday, October 19, 2009

Creating Balance

Sometimes it feels like there is just not enough time to take care of ourselves. Parents are often exhausted from running children from one activity to another. Children are already on the treadmill of almost non-stop activity and “busy-ness”. In general, Americans tend to work long and hard, eat poorly, and exercise too little. And our mental wellness is often the last rung on the ladder.

One of the best life skills educational lessons I had occurred when I was an eighteen year-old college student. I attempted to join a sorority; however, I ultimately quit. First of all, I discovered how much I preferred individuality over belonging. I found that I could not subscribe to the uniform attitudes, behaviors, and insularity of a group of people. I hated having people tell me what to do and when to do it, which is a huge part of the initiation process. Submission was definitely not for me, so I politely turned in my badge and pledge book.

However, I did come away with a lesson that has stuck with me to this day. Throughout the admittance phase to the sisterhood, fledgling members had to document daily how they attended to their growth and personal development. It was required that each aspiring member write in a journal what they did for themselves physically, spiritually, intellectually, and socially each day. This concept of holistic wellness set me on a path that I never strayed too far from ever since. Even when things get hectic, I try my best to make sure I am getting a balanced diet of life.

I do feel a greater sense of wellness when I maintain this balance. I find that I get sick less and have more energy. There is a plethora of research that supports the body-mind-spirit connection. The roots of many common conditions and diseases are being traced to stress which is really the imbalance between the demands of life and the coping resources one has.

I encourage you to ask yourself this question each day and maybe even write down your answers. “What did I do for myself today physically, spiritually, intellectually, and socially?”

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