WEEK 7 – Ensure life balance to reduce anxiety and stress

Tam Johnston

Wednesday Worry tips

How do you spend your time? Are you a workaholic? Or do you perhaps spend excessive amounts of time alone, isolated or focused one thing? Stress and anxiety can naturally build up if we don’t have balance in our lives. Let’s look at why.

As human beings, we need balance across our in order to maintain health and well-being. It’s something that we generally admit to knowing, and yet how often do we put that knowing into action by ensuring that we get it.

Think about this question from moment…where do you place your attention over the course of a week? What gets your time? If you were to draw it as proportionate circles on a piece of paper that represents your life, would there be any surprises? What are the areas that you would long to spend more time or give more attention? Should any other circles be smaller and others be larger?

There are so many areas of our lives that deserve our attention, and by doing so mean that we get a better perspective across them all. Think about it for a moment…. family, friends, having fun, hobbies and being social, exercise and physical activity, work, developing career or studies… Maintaining our health, growing and developing within ourselves, spirituality, earning money, romantic relationships… The list goes on.

If you’re being brutally honest with yourself, would you consider that all of these areas or more get the attention they (and you) deserve from you over the course of a week?

So much the time I hear from my clients that they are spending a disproportionate amount of time at work, so that naturally the problems, stresses and challenges there grow in magnitude and can easily become all-encompassing leaving them susceptible to the effects of stress, burnout and worry. Too little time is spent having fun, with loved ones, out in nature and doing activities and generally things that make them feel content and fulfilled.

Naturally, what would ease this is the one thing that seems to drop down the priority list as they get caught in a downward spiral of firefighting, exhaustion and overwhelm. What is needed as a top priority is TIMEOUT. Things that will create a focus beyond the stresses and worries, create helpful distraction and purposely look after the body and lead to a different state of mind and mood. I get how it spirals out of control and there seems no way out. I’ve been there, stuck down my own rabbit hole. The learning from me that has now become top priority my life….is that it’s all about life balance. No excuses. The excuses are the cause of a vicious circle. There is a way out, it just needs to be found.

Likewise, some people spend an excessive amount of time alone-something that has become commonplace in society and with people that suffer anxiety. The consequence of this becomes a vicious circle whereby there is in any distraction from ourselves and our worries and stresses or what is going on inside our head.

I get and appreciate that there will be a million reasons as to why things can’t be different. A bullying or highly expectant boss.  An ongoing project at work where the timelines keep shifting. Meeting the demands of children leaving no time for anything else. The idea of socialising or getting out of the house just seems exhausting and overwhelming. I know.

Yet imagine what happens if this continues. You will not be able to be there in any capacity for the things that you prioritise and value so much. Something has to give. And that’s something is purposefully creating balance for yourself where all areas that are important to you in your life including essential self-care get some of your time and focus.

We all need to surround ourselves with people that care for us, make us laugh, that are a source of support, strength and perspective. People that can help see the wood when we can only see the trees. We need regenerative time on our own, as well as looking after the body and mind with activity, good food and a change of environment. We need a purpose that gets us up in the morning that isn’t just about work. We need to do things that we enjoy, tap into our creativity and imagination. Give us a sense of achievement.

Can’t get all of that we don’t… just… STOP. Re-evaluate and commit to finding a way to create a healthy balance.

If you’re not sure where you’re at, you can grab my free tool here that will help you evaluate and come up with a plan to get you back on track.

Free printables

In future weeks I’ll go into these areas in more detail but for now, what’s the one area that by changing it would have the biggest impact on feeling more balanced and fulfilled.

Take this area and decide… what do you want instead of how things are currently are, how can you get that in a way that is right for you. It’s time to start re-evaluating. Baby steps. One bite of the elephant at a time. Unless you’re vegetarian or like elephants (who doesn’t?!). In which case it’s back to the baby steps.

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