Daily tips to help achieve a balanced life and greater wellbeingPosted by in mindfulness | Personal Development | Wellbeing
A healthy and balanced lifestyle is key to our wellbeing
I find that September can feel a bit like a new beginning as it marks the end of the summer holiday season and the start of a new school year.
New beginnings come with a particular uplifting energy which we can tap into in order to do something different or to change a routine or habit.
But as we all know too well, it’s very easy to slip back into the familiar and for little to change week in, week out. This can leave us feeling stuck in a rut and dissatisfied with the lack of balance between the different areas of our lives we value most.
But it doesn’t have to be like that.
I’ve designed a model for a balanced week to help you work towards a more balanced lifestyle. Feel free to make it your own and be inspired.
Taking some time to reflect and to set an intention at the start of each week for how we want to live each day can make a huge difference.
Monday: Plan a balanced week.
Spend 10-15 mins on Monday morning or Sunday evening to plan your week.
Ask yourself: in order for me to feel both balanced and resourceful, what matters most to me this week? Work, sleep, partner, family, social events, me-time, exercise…? Make a note and refer back to it.
My diary has notes like this: ‘keep free’ (on at least one evening every week), ‘swim’ or ‘no meetings’, or ‘social time’, helping me to create valuable ‘me time’ to recharge and keep stock. I also still use a paper diary (which really helps me to stay focused). What I write down is right there in front of my eyes – a little bit like being written in stone!
Tuesday: Practice mindfulness during your day
Many of us spend much of our time focused either on the past or on the future, paying very little attention to what is happening in the present. These 3 tips will help you be more present in your day.
1. Have at least one meal without talking or reading; just enjoying your food.
2. Go for a 15 mins walk or longer in your lunch break, ideally on your own and connect with your surroundings. Feel your feet on the ground while walking.
3. Do one kind act to someone; smile at someone on your way to work, make a cup of tea for a colleague, phone a good friend and check in.
I have gone back to having my breakfast mindfully. I make porridge after my meditation practice. I sit on the sofa and eat it without listening to anything, without reading or talking to anyone. It’s not easy for me as I want to get going with my to-do list but the pay-off is huge. This 20-30 minute time investment makes my day feels altogether more grounded, focused and enjoyable. Try it for yourself.
Wednesday: Stay grounded throughout your week: breathing spaces can help
How many moments pass you by without your noticing? To feel more present and grounded, pause once in a while during your day and take three deeper breaths.
Such a helpful thing to do! I’ve now got into the habit of having regular breaks when I work for a long stretch at my desk. When I go to the loo I turn it into a proper 10-minute break. I breathe, I go and cuddle the cat, I step out onto the balcony and potter around a bit (water the plants or take off some dry buds or leaves) or make myself a cuppa and watch the kettle boil…
Thursday: Make choices about your weekend and how you’ll spend your time
Ask yourself: how do I want to spend my time on Saturday and Sunday? What are my needs around me-time, social time and time spent with family, a partner or a close friend? What will help me most to replenish my body and soul?
Believe it or not, I often decide on Thursday not to do anything on Saturday afternoon but to use it to potter around at home, have a phone chat in the late afternoon with my dearest friend in Germany or to watch a nice film that I choose. I love it. It’s one of my favourite times of the week. It feels spacious, relaxed and nourishing. I reserve Sundays to get out of London on a long walk or other adventures (those who follow me on Facebook or Twitter know this)… It always feels like a mini-holiday which gives me clarity about how to balance my week.
Friday: Consider spending Friday evening at home.
It’s a perfect evening to create some me-time – time to recover and to begin your weekend rested so that you can make the most of Saturday and Sunday. Try cooking a nice meal, relaxing in a bath, watching a film etc.
Personally, I really like to spend Friday night at home or have a close friend (s) over for dinner. Having friends over for dinner feels so much more relaxed and enjoyable and it creates conducive conditions for more meaningful connections and conversations than being out in a busy pub or restaurant.
Trying some or all of these tips week to week will help you to feel more fulfilled and in tune with your own needs. And far from being selfish, this will create more time to give yourself more fully to others.
Get in touch to let me know how you get on or to book your free taster life coaching session in Victoria Park or by phone or Skype to find out how life coaching can help you live the life you want to live.