Living a Balanced Life

8 January 2016

Contributed by Nicole Bolding. Nicole oversees both Membership and Health & Wellness at the Effingham Street Family YMCA in Portsmouth.

I spent a lot of time contemplating all the great information that is floating in my head about healthy eating, working out and life in general. I wondered what topic might be most useful to share with our members, and then it dawned on me. Every day of my life I have something going on and most days it’s a different combination of things. I’m a wife, a mother of two girls, a pet owner, a career woman, a fitness professional and an avid fan of living life. I would be lying if I said that I don’t get stressed, but I have somehow figured out how to keep life in some sort of balance.

My life is very busy. I juggle my family, my career at the Y as a Membership and Health & Wellness Director, my passion for teaching group exercise and all the other things that must get done. Most days, I get all the important things done, meet deadlines and manage to tuck my girls into bed at night. Some days, things get left undone and my mind races wondering how the hours on the clock moved faster than normal that day.

In a world that is always in fast forward, what are the best ways to keep stress levels in check and find balance?

  • Figure out what is most important and prioritize your to-do list. Overachievers tend to struggle here because they feel everything must get done. Focus on your A work and tell yourself it’s ok to let the B work get done later or by someone else.
  • Take time for yourself. You may have to schedule it or be intentional about some down time but it’s critical. 
  • Exercise. Whether you do it to be healthy, lose weight or for social time it’s proven that exercise is a stress reliever. Schedule your workouts into your week (tip- tell your friends or broadcast on social media your workout schedule and you are more likely to stick to it)
  • Fix what you can control and let go of what you can’t. It’s quite simple in concept but harder to execute. When something starts to cause stress, ask yourself- can I control this? If not, let it go and seek acceptance.
  • Focus on the positive. This too is easy in theory but when you stop looking at the negative and start looking at the victories then you’re able to change your perspective.
  • Make smart food choices. Food is what gives us energy. The more energy we have the better we can execute and balance a busy life.
  • Celebrate life! Find joy in all the moments that make your journey uniquely yours. Spend time with those you love and cherish.

Ultimately, we must decide that we want to live a happy, balanced and low stress life. While we cannot control our circumstances, we can control our reactions to them.