As many of you know, I had a rough patch last semester in college. I had a bit of a break down and retreated into myself. I was depressed and anxious. Making small talk with people seemed like the most forced activity I could think of doing. To put it simply, last semester was pretty terrible and left me feeling exhausted and full of self doubt.
In a previous post, I listed the ways in which I intended to get myself out of my depression and anxiety fueled episode. Some of those things included exercising daily, eating well, meditating and keeping a gratitude journal. I’ve been doing a lot of those things and have noticed a huge change in my mood and outlook on life. I’ve been feeling more confident in myself and taking more risks again. Besides these wonderful changes though, I have also rediscovered the secret to living a happy life.
It’s all about balance.
I know its not always the easiest thing to find and when you do find it, it’s tough to work to keep that balance. Keeping your balance takes work, but it’s so worth it.
For example, over the past few months I have realized that exercising works wonders to keep me balanced throughout the day and feeling happy. Without exercising to balance out the hours of time I spend sitting at a desk, I get anxious and drained of energy. I know this is an obvious, well known fact, but the thing here is that I have been prioritizing exercise in my daily schedule. I drag myself to exercise whether I feel like it or not and by the time I finish I feel invigorated and ready to take on the world.
Another realization I had is that doing things I enjoy (like watching Netflix, free writing, people watching and letting my mind wander) never feels as good unless I have done something productive. Whether that be homework, laundry, planning, crossing things on my to do list, etc., it does not really matter. I need to do something productive in order to truly be able to enjoy my hobbies to the fullest.
One last example. I’ve been making and effort to eat healthier and have found that by eating healthier and more concisely, food has never tasted so good. It’s crazy how much more I enjoy food when I am eating mindfully and exercising portion control.
Balance is the key to enjoying my day to the fullest and going to bed feeling accomplished and ready for a great night’s sleep. I’ve heard that balance is vital, a hundred times before, but it has never really sunk in until now. I feel like I’ve found some hidden treasure that’s been there all along but I just walked right by it without taking a chance to give it a second look. I recommend you all take a couple of minutes to see if you’ve been living a balanced life, and if you feel like you haven’t been doing so well in that field, seek the things that you feel are missing or neglected in your life that might bring you that balance.
You’re idea of balance will be unlike everyone else’s. There are too many factors that affect what your needs are in order to find balance. Whether your introverted or extroverted, single, dating, married, married with kids, whether your working or not, going to school or working a life long dream… the list goes on and on. We just need to experiment and find what our balance looks like and try our best to fulfill it. It’s one of the best ways I have found to live a content life. And since we are constantly changing and evolving as people, our idea of balance should adjust to those changes. Take a minute to reflect on that, you won’t regret it.