For years now, we’ve heard about the necessity of striving for life balance to achieve overall health and vitality. But in the routine of everyday life – what does that really mean?

Avoid the painful experience of burn-out by assessing the following areas of your life and making positive adjustments.

1. Am I getting an adequate amount of restful sleep?
2. Do I have difficulty leaving work at the end of an eight hour day?
3. Do I frequently work more than 45 hours per week?
4. During free time am I watching excessive amounts of television?
5. Do I suffer from fatigue most of the time?
6. Am I frequently choosing comfort food to give myself a perk?
7. Am I neglecting physical exercise?
8. Do I find myself getting easily irritated or angry over petty annoyances?
9. Is my fatigue causing me to neglect tasks, i.e. laundry, house chores, car maintenance?
10. Have I stopped participating in social activities or hobbies that once brought pleasure and relaxation
11. Do I have difficulty concentrating fully when reading or listening?

If you’re concerned about the way you’re feeling – or if it seems as if your general performance is lacking – identify changes you would like to make to improve your health and experience more joy. Consider some of these simple strategies:

1. Create an enjoyable bedtime routine. Listen to soothing music as you are getting ready for sleep.

  • Take a hot bath or shower to help your mind and body release tension.
  • Try meditation as you are lying in bed. Using an app like HEADSPACE or something similar will be effective in getting your mind to clear itself.

2. Have regularly scheduled time booked on your calendar to pursue interests.

  • Try joining a walking or running group.
  • Sign up for a book club.Experiment with something new – be creative!

3. Take a closer look at your social life. Developing and maintaining meaningful connections with others is an effective way to stay balanced and to keep a positive outlook. Remember – it is quality that matters –perhaps having 2 or 3 trusted friendships is sufficient for your personal needs. Or, you may find more fulfillment in having a wide variety of friends and acquaintances. Just be consistent and continue to make time with people a priority on your calendar.

In conclusion, don’t allow yourself to accept burn-out as a way of life or be content just “getting by” each day. Striving for balance will help to maintain your mental, emotional and physical well-being.

Joie de Vivre!
Mary Beth McLaughlin

Mary Beth McLaughlin

MA, LCSW

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