Staying balanced in a moving world is a simple objective, not always easily accomplished. Our priorities shift, some areas of our lives need attention more than others from time to time, forcing focus that otherwise would have gone elsewhere. We all do it, we all need it. We get into trouble when that focus becomes the focus of our lives, instead of balance becoming the focus of our lives.
At the root of balance is freedom. Freedom to choose how to live your life, make choices that work for you while keeping respect others making their choices too.
How balanced are these areas with each other within your lifestyle?
- Social – including family, friends, community
- Occupational – that is, what occupies your time? it could be revenue generating or not, volunteering or pro bono
- Physical health – weight, strength, flexibility
- Mental and emotional health – hobbies, interests, interaction with generational and racial diversity
- Financial – comfort, without anxiety or insecurities that keep you awake at night
- Spiritual – comfort with a religious presence or absence in your life, comfort with questions, comfort with nothing
Think of these principles taken from “The Village Effect”
by Susan Pinker –
- Live in a community where you know and talk to your neighbors.
- Build real human contact into your workday. Save email for logistics. Use phone or face time for more nuanced interaction.
- Create a village of diverse relationships. Build in social contact with members of this “village” the way you work in meals and exercise.
- Everyone needs close human contact. Adjust the ratio of your face-to-face to screen communication according to your temperament, just as you adjust how much and what you eat according to your appetite.
- Make parent, teacher, and peer interaction the priority for preschoolers and young children. Combine live teaching with online tools for older children and teens.
- As more of our interactions migrate to digital platforms, face-to-face contact in education, medicine, and child care has become a luxury commodity. As a fundamental human need, it should remain accessible to all.