In life, balance is very important. We have to find the balance between pleasure and pain. There are times when you have to do things that feel painful to you, but you also have to reward yourself at some point. Many of us operate in extremes, which doesn’t work well for anyone over time. You can’t completely deprive yourself nor completely indulge in anything, while expecting your world not to dissolve into a tailspin.
“Problems arise in that one has to find a balance between what people need from you and what you need for yourself”- Jessye Norman
In your life, you are required to give. You have to give love to family, children and your spouse. You have to give to your career and you may have other obligations. It’s very easy to lose sight that you have to give to yourself as well. You also have to make sure that the people that you choose to have in your life are giving to you as well. If you are giving to them, but they do not return it, you are not in a balanced relationship. In a relationship, it’s not always going to be 50/50. The litmus test for a balanced relationship is if you know that when you need that person that they will be there for you. If you can’t say for sure, you may not have a reciprocal relationship. It’s very easy to allow a relationship to slip into a receiving relationship, but you have to recognize your needs and communicate them. Your body has an inner understanding of balance. If you carry too much pain or anxiety in your life, it can manifest as stress. Stress breaks down your body over time and can manifest in illness. Prolonged stress and anxiety can also lead to depression. Stress and anxiety are indicators that there is a problem with balance in your life.
Everyone should understand that in order to give, you have to receive. If someone loves what you do for them, they should want you to take care of yourself and they should play a role in your restoration. You can put gas in a car every day to get it to run. However, if you ignore the tune-up, overhaul or oil, eventually, your car will suffer or burnout completely. You have to take time out to pamper yourself. You have to take time out to reward yourself. You have to take time out to do the things that give back to you. Men are very good at this, but women usually have trouble taking time and space for themselves. If you want balance, you have to choose to make it a priority. Reducing your stress has to be a priority. In your life, a massage may not be a luxury, but a necessity. Put a monthly massage in the budget, if that is what you need to restore yourself. Join a yoga class. Plan a night out to reconnect. Plan a yearly trip. It may be as simple as sitting and reading a book. It doesn’t matter what it is, make time to do it. Make the things that make you happy as important as the things that you have to do and have to give.
When you ride in a plane, they instruct you to put your mask on first before helping anyone else. If you can’t breathe, you pass out and then you are no help to anyone else. Take care of yourself. The balance in your life is you and everything else. You have to take care of yourself in order to take care of everything else.
What can you do to take care of yourself? Who in your life takes without giving back? How can you structure your life so you have time to do the things you love?