I have come to realise that I appreciate balance in my life. Not just the staying upright sort of balance – although that is also important – but the sort of balance that ensures that the different parts of my life are correctly proportioned, allowing me to maintain my personal wellbeing.
Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of times when I struggle to achieve this: I over-do things, over-eat something delicious, drink too much prosecco with my girlfriends, or work late to meet a deadline.
Yet re-setting the balance when it has been tipped, or simply noticing when it is shifting, is enough to remind me that balance is a good thing. Everything in proportion works well. I think this explains why I am not good at binge-watching TV, and why I enjoy time on my own as much as in the company of others.
But when change is constant it can become difficult not only to maintain the all-important balance, but to even recognise when it is shifting. Without this recognition, the likelihood of taking a break to restore equilibrium is slim.
It’s times like these that we rely on our family, friends, colleagues, and support networks to notice for us – to notice that we are not ourselves, that we are struggling, or that we are quieter than usual – and then to check in or speak up for us. When people are busy and change is constant, human relationships are vital.
The past 18 months have seen a period of incredible change, change on a gigantic and unknown scale, causing great uncertainty and stress. Like so many others, this change disrupted – and at times totally destroyed – the balance that I relied on for so long to keep me well and functioning at my best.
If you feel like you are struggling to maintain your balance, here are some of the things that have helped me to keep my equilibrium when everything around me is changing.
Firstly, recognising that it’s you that prefers, or needs, balance for your personal wellbeing is a good place to start.
Be open about this with your friends, family, and colleagues so that they can help; even when you haven’t noticed you need to adjust something, hopefully they have.
Accept that you cannot maintain perfect balance all the time. Each situation that you find yourself in is your baseline for that moment in time; focus on what’s important in the present.
Concentrate on being flexible rather than perfect; bend, don’t break.
Be willing to learn, seek solutions, get creative, and be resourceful.
Set realistic expectations.
Be open to discovering different forms of balance for different situations and embrace them – until you need to adjust again!
For many of us, work has been our community. Our colleagues have been the people we talk to and connect with most frequently, and for those of us lucky enough to work for employers who foster a culture of trust and human connection, they have been there to notice when we are not feeling ourselves.
It is these human-centred organisations that we need more of. By transforming the quality of human-to-human exchanges, organisations can create psychologically safe places where employees can bring their whole selves to work, develop resilience and personal wellbeing, and help themselves and others to thrive.
How do you keep your balance when times get tough?
Hannah Irwin is a Content Marketer for Impact.