“Look for the signs that your life is out of balance. This can stop your dream in its tracks.”
Yesterday I had an “I hate everything” day. If you’re honest, you might admit that you have those days, too.
Feeling like that can be a signpost. It’s normal to feel down or discouraged once in a while. But these days can also mean that something is stopping us from living a meaningful story. It is sometimes a sign that life is out of balance, and that can stop our dream in its tracks. Especially if finding your dream and living a better story involves loving other people (and isn’t that the core of the best stories?). It’s hard to love others when we are not loving and caring for ourselves.
Life out of balance can look different for everyone, but here is what is looks like for me. I often see the negative results before I even realize that things have gotten out of balance.
- I feel down
- I sleep a lot
- I swear in traffic
- I have a short fuse and little patience
- I feel that ‘something is not right’ in the pit of my stomach (could be anxiety, melancholy, guilt, loneliness)
- I am not eating healthy, and I don’t care
- I isolate myself from the world
- I blame others
- I eat a bunch of crap (mostly sugar)
- I snap at those closest to me
The signs that life is out of balance are different for everyone.
And not it’s time to take out that journal again.
Write down five signs that your observe when your life is out of balance.
The best thing I can do when I see these signs is STOP and PAY ATTENTION.
And then start with what I know. Am I practicing the habits that I know are healthy and beneficial and bring balance to my life? Those habits can be different for everyone, but many are common to all. Here is my checklist:
- Am I sleeping at least 7 hours each night?
- Am I eating healthy foods, or am I eating a lot of sugar and carbs?
- Am I exercising? Am I even getting out of the house?
- Am I talking about my feelings, or am I ignoring them?
- Am I practicing mindful breathing when I feel anxious?
- If I am lonely, am I withdrawing or am I making a conscious effort to connect with my loved ones?
- Is there something I feel I should be doing that I am avoiding?
- Am I practicing self-care?
- Am I spending time sharing my heart with my tribe, the people who ‘get’ me? (for me, this is one of the most crucial pieces)
- And most importantly for me, am I journaling and/or spending time in prayer and meditation? Am I connecting with God or avoiding him?
Most of the time, just being aware can set our path straight again. Often looking at those healthy habits and being reminded that they are vital to living a meaningful life and moving toward any dream helps us get things in balance again.
However, sometimes we can do all those things and still feel out of balance. Or we are in such a dark place that we cannot do all of those things. In my life, that is a sign of greater imbalance – depression, chemical imbalance, physical imbalance such as an autoimmune flare or an illness. If that is the case, that is an important signpost on the road to a meaningful life that we might need some extra help to get things back on track. That may be a signal that we need to seek professional help from a doctor or a counselor.