The Simple Guide To Achieving True Balance In Life
Follow these easy tips for finding your self-care sweet spot. Brought to you in partnership with Protein One.
While some of us strive for perfection in life, the more sustainable move is to strive for balance. It’s the self-care sweet spot where giving yourself a break when you need it and a pat on the back for your achievements are acts of self-kindness, not compromise. It’s different for everyone, which is exactly the point.
To get a better idea of what can be done to achieve balance, we put together some valuable tips with a little help from Mitzi Torgersen, owner of successful entertaining and party planning company Happy Confetti Design, and mom of three boys. Remember, achieving balance isn’t about reaching a certain pinnacle in life—it’s about constantly working to live your best life, every day.
Take your vacation days
Americans are notoriously bad at using up their vacation days, preferring to power through the work year with just the occasional day off. But stepping away for a decent chunk of time does wonders for your mental and physical well-being—and can even make you more productive in the long run. Think how much better you feel after taking a lunch break, and how much easier afternoon projects become. Now multiply that by a factor of “Hmm Italy sounds nice” and get on it. They’ll survive without you.
Switch fitness gears
We all know that regular exercise is one of the biggest factors for health and longevity. The great news is, you only have to exercise a few times a week to start reaping serious long-term benefits, as well as immediate ones like improved sleep and that hit of exercise endorphins. Whether you love boutique fitness classes, hitting the mat for yoga or Pilates, taking a bike ride, or lacing up for a run, take the “routine” out of your exercise routine and mix it up. Trying something new will keep your mind engaged and your body guessing.
Take a lunchtime walk
Work-life balance isn’t just about nights and weekends. Get some “me time” in your workday by committing to leave the office for at least 20 minutes. A walk around the block and a change of scene will wonders for your mood, give your eyes a break from your monitor, and help you tackle the rest of the day with renewed purpose.
“As moms, we think so much about everyone else’s needs all the time, so if we don’t stop and think about ourselves and our own balance and well-being, it’s really easy to let that get away from you,” says Mitzi. “You need to make time for it or you just do not get it. “
Give your body the fuel it needs
Protein forms the building blocks of muscle, blood, and bone, but upping your intake also has noticeable benefits day to day. If you find yourself feeling irritable, craving snacks between meals, or dealing with blood sugar peaks and dives, a diet that’s high in carbs and sugar might be the culprit. Snacking on Protein One is a simple way to add 10 grams of protein to your diet, for just 90 calories and 1 gram of sugar.
“With car pool and soccer and work, I don’t have time to stop and cook myself a great lunch, so I try to have something in my purse and in the car to snack on, like Protein One, to tide me over until I can prepare a meal,” says Mitzi. “When you take care of yourself, you can take care of other people.”
Perfect a nighttime ritual
Getting a good night’s sleep isn’t just about setting an early bedtime. It’s a wind-down process, and the more consistent it is, the sooner your brain will stop running a mile a minute when it’s time to hit the pillow. Avoid screens for at least an hour before bed (texting can wait), and indulge in whichever skincare or evening yoga routine helps you switch off from the day. If the first night doesn’t spell eight hours of sweet dreams, stick with it. Training your body and mind to call it a day is an adjustment, but one that pays off.
Cut yourself some slack
Designate one day a week to slow down, rest, and know that your work, short-term goals, and larger life planning can wait a whole 24 hours. On that day, spend time with friends or family, or doing something you love solo, and devote your full attention to that activity.
“I feel like we’re all on a balance roller coaster, and sometimes we’re going to be totally on and feel great about ourselves,” says Mitzi. “But sometimes we’re going to be really hard on ourselves. I try to remind myself that no matter what part of life I’m in, it’s still me.”
To silence any remaining inner “but I should…” voice, make a list of priorities, then fold it away for tomorrow. Those things can wait; today is about you. You’ve earned it.