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Steps To Better Mental Health

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Creating Balance

I’m sure many of us are familiar with the word balance but what does is mean in relation to our everyday lives?

Balance (noun): An even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.

Balance (verb): To put something in a steady position so that it does not fall over.

The Oxford English dictionary definitions clearly define balance as being steady and upright and that sounds like something most of us would like to achieve and maintain in our lives. Too often the many demands, distractions and stressors of life leave us feeling out of balance. The first part of finding balance starts with noticing what makes us feel out of balance in the first place. For me this is too much social interaction including social media, too much tv, an unhealthy diet and lack of regular exercise, clutter (if my home is cluttered my head feels cluttered too) and a general lack of structure to my week (too much or too little to do creates a lack of structure). You may well be aware of some of the things that leave you feeling out of balance.

Feeling out of balance can have physical, psychological and emotional effects. Stress and burnout can bring on physical symptoms such as gastric disturbances, exhaustion and generalised aches and pains. Cognitive function can be affected resulting in reduced mental clarity and difficulty in decision making. A generalised lack of motivation to care for ourselves can result in a poor diet, lack of fresh air and exercise and a reduction in quality time with the people we care about. All of the above can even affect the quality of our relationships, further exacerbating the effects of being out of balance.

The good news is that it is possible to regain a sense of balance but it does require a little effort and starts with setting an intention to make the changes required and prioritise those changes. The new year has energised me to do just that.

I believe that creating a sense of balance starts with a little pruning. Just like a tree or an overgrown shrub, our lives can require a little maintenance in the form of pruning. Is there something that needs to be cut out of your life or does that sound a bit too drastic? Perhaps there is something that needs a little pruning or reviewing but not completely cutting out altogether? This may involve an activity that is no longer benefiting you but you continue out of habit or a sense of obligation. Perhaps you have a friendship that seems to drain you and you would like to spend more time with those friends that nourish you. It doesn’t necessarily mean cutting people out of your life altogether, just prioritising who you give more time to. A little pruning can release valuable time for yourself to evaluate what changes you may wish to make and to ponder what gets you out of bed in the morning (and what makes you want to stay there). I have already made a few changes that are resulting in a greater sense of balance. A little less busyness, a little more exercise, a little less tv and chocolate (the two often go hand in hand) and a little more time with the people I love. So far, it’s going well and yes, I am aware it’s still January. However, as each change is a small one, they are easier to maintain but the accumulative effects could be hugely beneficial to me and to my loved ones.

“Balance is not something you find, it’s something you create” Jana Kingsford

The New Dawn Counselling centre is committed to providing support for individual adults, couples, children, young people and families. People can contact us to book an initial assessment appointment via our website or email. If you are feeling out of balance right now, why not get in touch and see how we may be able to help you regain your sense of balance.

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