It's been a packed day, and I put off reading an expert article until very late in the day when the brain is not focusing as well and time was very short, but the read was worth it. :)
The expert article I read today is by Haley, "Practical Tips for Cultivating Balance in Daily Life" - https://www.fitnessblender.com/articles/practical-tips-for-cultivating-balance-in-daily-life
She talks about the concept of balance in life and the difference between what we might think it means and what it really means.
Balance is not a final destination to which we arrive and rest, but rather it's something fluid and flexible which we practice continually. It looks and feels different at different times and is a "spectrum." When I read that I think of the spectrum aspect as somewhat similar to an exercise's range of motion, stretching in particular - think of how many times Kelli has said that your range of motion in a stretch will be different on different days at different times, and that's okay - work with where your body is right now.
Balance also has a mental component - how we think and what we feel based on how synchronized we are w/ what we need and want at this moment and where we're heading.
Haley says that to acheive balance we must know what we need and want and know our goals - both current and future, which in turn determine our daily priorities, which include self-care and make it possible to reach those goals. But, in order to know that, one must first know oneself to ascertain what is important. That helps discern between what has time set aside for it and what can be let go to fit into the limited amount of time each day provides.
And as with the example of stretching, balance will look different for everyone and will look different at different times for yourself because our goals are different from each other and they are also changing and growing along w/ us. Haley notes that mindfulness plays a helpful role in staying true to one's priorities and knowing what is best for oneself based on one's goals w/o allowing external pressures to determine that instead.
She ends the article talking about the fluctuation of balance: "We can often get caught up in striving for balance all the time, trying to always achieve the hypothetical state and we have to do everything perfectly in order to feel balanced. This causes us to lose sight of the present moment." - this goes back to mindfulness - a state of being present in the present rather than in the hypothetical future. She remarks that this fluctuation of balance is normal, and the feelings as balance changes can be used to help determine what to do next. Then, she gives some tips for learning to feel more balanced, which include self-care, mindfulness, boundaries, and goals.
This was a really interesting read which opens up the idea of balance being more of a state of feeling and mind rather than a rigidly specific schedule or particular distribution of activities.
What did you read today? Anything interesting to share?