Finding balance for me has been the pinnacle of my career change and the most important thing in becoming a yoga teacher. Until just over a year ago, I was living a pretty unhealthy lifestyle. Working all hours as an Assistant Director in TV meant that I never had time to exercise. I didn’t have time to see friends and family, I was so exhausted that I didn’t put much thought into what I ate and wellness just wasn’t a priority. After 8 years in the industry my body began to give up and I suddenly realised that things needed to change. After a bad bout of insomnia I quit my job and decided that what I needed most was to get fit and healthy again. I needed to spend time with the people I loved, I needed to do the things I loved…and I needed to find balance.
In the hectic, high-pressured working-world of today, my story is far from unusual; it seems more and more of us chose to tip the scales in favour of chasing career goals, trying to do it all, often neglecting our own health and happiness in the process. It’s easy to burn out entirely if we don’t maintain some kind of equilibrium.
I always knew yoga would make me feel healthy and exercised but I wasn’t prepared for the immense shift it would bring, towards true balance in my life. Literally; gas bills and shopping lists are the last thing on my mind when I’m negotiating a tricky pose. It’s that much needed ‘Me Time’, I can close off the incessant buzz of London and instead just listen to my body and mind, hear what it takes to nourish those things rather than strain them to breaking point.
My five tips for maintaining balance:
1. Discover that Imbalance. Write down what your perfect day would look like. Then write down what it looks like now. Work out what is missing – are you working too hard? Seeing friends and family too little? Whatever it is, recognizing what you are lacking in your life is the first step.
2. The Value of ‘You-time’. Make sure you have a little bit of time each week where you do something that makes you happy. Giving yourself time for a little bit of self love and self care is super important. So often we are trying to give our time to others we forget to give time to ourselves.
3. Just say no! We often feel obliged to say yes to everything and find that we end up doing exactly the opposite of what we actually want to be doing. Have the courage to say no and make the choice to do what YOU want to do – even if that’s sitting at home watching TV rather than go out with friends. Saying no will actually help your relationships – it allows for honesty, creates boundaries and allows you to be the person you want to be, rather that the person you think you should be.
4. Boundaries, people! Try and give yourself times to switch off and then stick to them. With modern technology we have become available to everyone at all times of the day and this can be exhausting. Perhaps telling yourself that after 6pm you won’t check work emails anymore, or switching your phone off at 9pm, or saying that Monday night is cinema night….whatever it is, make it part of your weekly routine.
5. Take a break. Make sure you have something planned to look forward to. A weekend away, a holiday, an afternoon walk…. Whatever it is, knowing that you have something coming up that will take you away from your daily routine and the stresses of life makes everything a little easier.
Yoga has been such an important part of my journey in finding balance. Yoga has helped me realise that in order to be successful, you must find balance – a balance between wanting to be the best you can be whilst also enjoying life. So many moments pass you by if you are constantly trying to achieve the next big thing. Find your balance and you will be on your way to feeling healthier and happier in no time.