The question has been posed: How do I attain and then maintain balance in my life? Or maybe how does a person attain and maintain balance in their life? It was asked of me so I will try to answer from my point of view.
Define what’s important
For me, my health is number one, both physical and mental health. My mental health is pretty OK but I definitely need to work on it all the time. Remembering to take my medications, keeping appointments with my therapist and psych-doc are keys to keeping my mental health in check. I also know that writing is a key component to managing my mental health. So writing this blog is important. As far as my physical health goes, I need to work on a few areas. I’m diabetic so I have to keep a constant watch on my blood glucose readings (I check mine every morning before breakfast). I’m also overweight, some of that comes from medications I take some of that can be attributed to a somewhat sedentary lifestyle. Needless to say, I would be better if I started to exercise. Regular visits to my primary care doc are also important. At this point I would say that my physical health is probably playing a backseat to my mental health.
Others things that are important are my relationships with my family and friends and keeping up my blog. My family and friends are my support group. They are very important when it comes to keeping up with my mental health. I rely on them to provide me with all the tools necessary to combat anything that might be trying to disrupt my mental health. It can be a conversation, phone call, text message, hug, whatever. Keeping these relationships is very important.
Although there a thing that need work or need constant work I feel as though the things that are in balance.
Learn to say no, and learn to keep saying it. I would be nowhere today, or in a hospital somewhere, if I hadn’t learned how to say no to things people asked me to do. For me this again has to do with doing, or not doing, what is best for my mental health. This involves learning what my triggers are as well as what my comfort zones are. My triggers include high stress situations and deeply depressing situations. Either one of those could push me across the manic or depressive thresholds. I’m not that fragile but it’s hard to know from one setting to the next. The key is in really knowing yourself.
Don’t spread yourself too thin
Too much of something can indeed be a bad thing. Learn what your boundaries are and learn how to pull yourself back before you’ve gone too far. I know that when I don’t pay attention to what I’m doing I can quickly get into trouble. For instance, I mentioned earlier that keeping up with my blog was important to me. It has been a balance issue for me as well. Sometimes I get so involved with writing my blog, replying to other blogs and reading other blogs that I lose track of time and I stay up too late. When I do that I don’t get enough sleep and not getting enough sleep is a trigger for psychosis. Again, it is important to know yourself really well.
Looking at these three items, I am happy to say that I am somewhat balanced in my life. I didn’t think I would be as close as I am.
How do you find and keep balance in your own life?