Balance. It is a tricky word. One that can take on a lot of meaning and variation depending on the person and/or situation.
Websters dictionary defines balance as both a noun and a verb:
The noun is defined as:
1a: physical equillibrium
1b: the ability to retain one's balance
2a: stability produced by even distribution of weight on each side of the vertical axis
2b: equipoise between contrasting, opposing, or interacting elements
2c: accounting- the equality between the totals of two sides of an account
3a: an aesthetically pleasing integration of elements
3b: grammar- the juxtaposition in writing of syntactically parallel constructions containing similar or contrasting ideas (such as "to err is human; to forgive, divine")
4a: accounting- an amount in excess especially on the credit side of an account
4b: weight or force of one side in excess of another
4c: something left over, remainder
5: mental and emotional steadiness
6: an instrument for weighing
7: a means of judging or deciding
8: a counterbalancing weight, force or influence
9: an oscillating wheel operating with a hairspring to regulate the movement of a timepiece
The verb is defined as:
1a: to poise or arrange in or as if in balance
1b: to bring into harmony or proportion
1c: to bring to a state of or position of balance
2a: accounting- to compute the difference between the debits and credits of (an account)
2b: to arrange so that one set of elements exactly equals another
3b: to equal or equalize in weight, number, or proportion
4: to weigh in or as if in a balance
And, wow, until this blog, I honestly did not realize the actual definitions would be as vast as the different meanings and approaches that I have for the word 'balance'. Considering the namesake of the blog, however, I felt it was good practice to document how Websters defines balance and then I will share my continually evolving definitions of balance in a bit more everyday, practical and applicable way.
So, what is balance to me?
I'm in the never-ending process of figuring that out but I've got a good idea. It seems that after each round of Whole30 I do, the balance equation shifts just a little bit. I'm continuing to define what is 'worth it' for me. What are the things (food, drink, obligations, commitments, etc) that will sacrifice my good mental health? What will trigger my anxiety? What can I do? What can I have? What should I limit? These are all questions that I am working through as I pave my way to a blended, balanced life.
The list below is not comprehensive but one that is continually developing. I am considering making this a recurring post once every three months or so to see how the list changes and evolves over time.
Some examples of balance for me are:
- In the more literal sense, balancing on my own two legs, i.e. not falling over.
- A variety of poses done in Yoga. My favorite balance is tree pose. Whenever doing balance poses in yoga, however, embracing the wobble or counterbalance is when you are pushing yourself to your limits.
- Enjoying a donut with my kiddos on a Saturday morning or pizza with the family at a school fundraising event but...
- Cooking and eating the majority of meals Whole30 or Paleo friendly at home.
- Enjoying a cocktail or two with family or friends. A cocktail or two is the key phrase. Too many cocktails and balance (mental health balance), at least for me, is thrown way off.
- Working out on 5-6 days a week but also maintaining rest days.
- Putting a little oat or almond milk and natural sweeteners such as honey or cinnamon in my decaf black coffee.
- Staying up late and then sleeping in (let's be real, doesn't happen much anymore).
- Limits on screen time; setting timeouts for your phone and applying screen time downtime each day.
What does balance mean for you? How do you incorporate balance into your daily life?