Much of the stress we experience in life is the result of our lives being out of balance. It is important to realize that we can’t do everything simultaneously. Our physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual health will reflect the degree of balance we establish as we go through life. Achieving and maintaining a balanced life is an ongoing endeavor. The fluid, ever-changing nature of life makes it impossible to balance our lives once and for all – both now and far into the future. What works right now will no doubt need to be revised for each new stage of life.
But… don’t just tell yourself that there is nothing you can do. Take the time necessary to assess how well you are managing your time and which areas of your life are either being neglected or taking over your life. This involves some priority setting and an honest appraisal of our needs, goals, callings, and resources.
Time, energy, money, relationships, employment, family roles, and self-care must be considered as we set up a tentative schedule. Then we must re-assess if what we are doing is working and make any needed adjustments. It sometimes helps to consider the eight psychological needs: security, faith, worth, freedom, belonging, fun, knowledge, & health. As you read this list, do one or two of them “pop out” as something you have been neglecting? If so, what can you do about this? Are you willing to make some changes so that all eight needs are given adequate attention? And yes, fun is not just something we enjoy – it is something we truly need in order to function at our best.
If you are married, get your spouse’s input. If not, ask your best friend. (If you don’t have a best friend, then you are probably neglecting your need for belonging!) Sometimes those closest to us can see ways we have become “unbalanced” that we ourselves cannot.
While a perfect balance is not possible, with successive approximations and selfawareness, we can live a balanced life. When our lives are in balance, we have a greater sense of wellbeing, we are generally more productive, and we can relax and enjoy life. I also believe we honor God by having balance. Even God rested after six days of work, and since we are made in the image of God, we would do well to follow his lead.