On Sunday morning I completely lost all perspective and had a serious ‘hissy fit’ over my nails!! Yes, my finger nails. No I hadn’t caught them in a car door, nor had they been trodden on. There is absolutely nothing wrong with my nails beyond the fact that I’m not happy with the job the lady at the nail salon did on them. This trivial issue was all it took that morning to set me off, to cause me to lose control of my emotions and throw my arms up in despair.
Perhaps I’m exaggerating just a little when I say I lost it, but I was far more upset than I needed to be. While I was ranting about the poor job done on my nails, the real issue stood quietly in the background – that is until I calmed down a little and took stock. When the dust settled I realised the real issue is I’m exhausted and in desperate need of greater balance in my life! Having taken time to reflect, I can see my inability to maintain balance between ‘time on’ and ‘time off’ in all areas of my life is what led to this mini meltdown.
The truth is I’ve run out of fuel in my tank and often lately don’t have the strength to deal with issues that come up (In this case, feeling both my time and money had been wasted). Like many people I’m most likely to lose perspective and emotional control when I’m tired. The more drained of energy people are the more inclined we are to engage in melodramatic moments. This particular episode inspired me to stop and reflect on how I can create greater balance in my life and more effectively maintain an energised spirit.
The list I came up with is no different to the advice my team and I regularly give our clients – in fact the list is no different to the one I came up with last time I realised my life lacked balance. While it’s far from rocket science here are the things I know make a massive difference to my energy levels and emotional stability. Despite the simplicity of this list, these are things I struggle to be consistent and disciplined about. How well do you maintain these simple and yet non-negotiable ingredients of a healthy life?
- Eat well – There is no doubt some foods (and too much of most foods) weight us down and drain our spirit. Eat foods that energise you and give you the fuel you need to keep going throughout the day as well as maintain a healthy body and mind over time.
- Exercise regularly – There is no need to train like an elite athlete unless winning a major championship is your goal. The national physical activity guidelines for adults recommend 30 minutes of vigorous exercise three to four times a week. This is in addition to a recommended 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise every day.
- Deal with issues when they come up – Avoid unnecessary baggage that comes with ignoring issues and soldiering on with a busy life. Don’t allow issues to niggle away at the back of your mind and lead to stress levels you may not even be aware of.
- Take time off – from thinking not just doing. Constantly thinking stops us from quieting our mind, unwinding our thoughts and recharging our battery. I know from experience that resting my mind has a major impact on my ability to be alert and calm when I need to.
- Sleep well – For some this can be far easier said than done. This is a very real challenge for me right now with a mucked up body clock that has me making up at 4.30am every day. I know from experience however that once I deal with unresolved issues, eat well and exercise regularly, sleep will get easier.
- Have fun and live life – The weekends when I spend time with family or close friends, engage in my hobbies, potter around in my garden, or renovating my house are those most likely to energise my spirit and get me through the week ahead. Regularly do whatever and be with whomever it is that you enjoy and find energising.