– by Amanda Shields, First posted in the ACHSM SA Branch June 2015 Newsletter
In my last blog ‘Mad March’, I discussed how busy our lives can get and that for some of us, this can leave us feeling like we are juggling too many balls and that our life is out of balance. Life balance is essential for our health and wellbeing and in this edition I will look at this more closely. The concept of life balance can mean different things to different people so this is how I define it.
Life balance is:
- A journey that will change throughout life
- Influenced by your values and beliefs
- Linked to your changing goals, priorities and stages of life
- A mindset
- A process not a destination
- Very personal to you
- Something that takes effort
Achieving life balance is a balancing act!
The first step to positively influence this balancing act is to reflect on your current life balance and how it is influencing your health and wellbeing. Although this may sound obvious, in reality we often don’t take the time to reflect on our lives, how we spend our time and what is important to us.
Life Balance Activity
The following activity is designed to help you evaluate your life balance and to consider how you might improve it and ultimately your health and wellbeing.
1. Choose approximately 8 areas (life domains, roles, activities) that you consider have the most impact on your life balance and your health and wellbeing (examples listed). Write each of these areas next to a segment on the wheel below.
2. For each area rate how satisfied you are with it in your life right now by placing a cross on the 1-10 scale. Where 1 (centre of circle) means you are not at all satisfied and 10 means you are very satisfied (the outer circle).
3. Next reflect on your overall scores. In doing this you may want to ask yourself some of the following questions:
- How are the different domains affecting each other?
- Are there any domains that are dominating or negatively affecting other areas of your life and if so in what way?
- Are you tapping into your strengths and passions, and drawing on your different skills and abilities?
- Are you spending the majority of your time doing things that align with your personal values (who you want to be as a person)?
- Are you fulfilling your needs physically, socially, spiritually and psychologically?
- If you continue to maintain this flavour of life balance, is it contributing to your health, sense of purpose, personal development, goals and dreams?
- Are there areas of your life that you can influence or change?
4. Finally, consider what steps you could start to take to positively influence your life balance and enhance your health and wellbeing?
Health and Wellbeing Domain Examples
Friendships / Family & home / Emotional health / Work / Study / Volunteering / Physical health / Physical activity / Nutrition / Energy levels / Sleep / Relaxation / Weight management / Manage chronic Conditions / Fun and leisure time / Spirituality and meaning / Personal time / Learning & personal development / Helping others / Self-esteem / Confidence / Achievements / Intimacy / Finances