By: Jeff Adkins
A story about a lack of balance; you’re sitting on a deck with friends and taking in a beautiful evening as the sun sets. You’re catching up and exchanging laughs when you think, “it’s been a while since we’ve done this.”
A vibration interrupts the peace and simplicity you were enjoying so much. You can’t help but glance at your phone. A work email you’ve been waiting for has just rolled in. You pick it up, read and respond.
How many times have you found yourself in a situation like that? I’d give you an estimation for myself, but I’m not sure I can count that high.
In a world where we are seemingly always ‘on,’ these situations happen all-too-often. I could tell you about how it’s important to have balance, make sure you ‘take time for you,’ blah, blah, blah… but you know those things already.
Instead, I’d like to tell you a few practical ways I bring balance into my life. If these tips help even one person achieve better balance in their life, then writing this blog was worth it.
Contrary to what the name suggests, you don’t have to be on an airplane to use this.
In my opinion, this is one of the handiest features of modern cell phones. Not carrying a phone makes me feel anxious because this device has become a critical part of how I operate. Turning it on airplane mode versus not carrying it gives me the reassurance that it’s there, while allowing me to focus more on the moment and who I’m with – even if only for an hour or two.
Have a Designated Space for You
Maybe it’s the gym, or a nearby park that you love. Wherever it may be, have a space to go that is purely for you.
In this space, make it a rule to not check your email. You can take it a step further if want and throw texts and social media into the banned list as well. The purpose of this space is for you to live your life without the digital ties that keep us in multiple places at one time. You are exclusively in this place for however long you need. Enjoy it and leave the rest of the world behind for a little while.
Practice Mindfulness and Balance
This is something I have been trying to do more often. If you’ve never tried meditation, I recommend giving it a shot.
There are plenty of guides online, and even apps available, to teach you how. It’s about paying attention to the world around you on a deeper level – calming your mind, being grounded, and living in the moment. At first, thoughts about work and things you have to do might pop into your head. That’s totally normal. But the more often you practice, the better you will get at tuning those thoughts out, and shifting your focus to the here-and-now.
These are a few of the ways that I bring balance to my life, and there are countless ways you can do the same. Finding what works for you may be a bit of a journey, but the balance you achieve will make it all worth it!
Jeff Adkins is a public relations specialist with Henry Ford Health System, and a member of both PRSA National and PRSA Detroit.
Featured picture is from Flickr.