Excess vs. Minimalism
Living a life balanced, somewhere between excess and minimalism, is the most rewarding! Life balance takes work, planning, purpose and intention.
A trending idea today is that “life balance” is a myth. I accepted this for many years. I used this belief to justify my lack of life balance. Something either took over my life, or I ignored it altogether.
Excess and Minimalism in Life
As a workaholic who fluctuates between being 100% involved with a project, or completely apathetic about it, I told myself, “there’s no such thing as life balance. It is what it is”.
But the most difficult things in our life is the foundation for our growth. Life balance is hard. Life balance takes work, planning, purpose, and intention. Many days I fail. But the days that I feel balanced, are the most rewarding and fulfilling days.
Excess and Minimalism in Health
Many of us swing toward minimalism or excess with our diet, exercise, our relationships, work, religion, entertainment, social media, and even our material possessions. Landing in the middle should be the goal.
Eating a balanced diet means two things. It means balancing food groups, as seen on Choose MyPlate and our Portion Control Plates and balancing portion sizes. When you eat too much of one food group (i.e., bread/carbs all day long) There is no balance.
We need nutrients from each food group to thrive. Balancing portion sizes is important because overeating AND under-eating is problematic. Simplify your diet to eat just the right amount for you!
The majority of us I would assume is on the ‘minimalism’ end of the spectrum on exercise. There are those who over exercise, but I personally don’t know many. We’re usually trapped at a desk or in a house all day long, and exercise is not on the priority schedule.
A nice compromise for living in the middle is to practice NEAT (Non-exercise Activity Thermogenesis). This is a way to be active, while still balancing your other priorities. NEAT is an accumulation throughout the day of activity, like taking the stairs, or doing lunges while watching TV. Many people love a fitness tracker for this reason.
Are you giving proper attention to your relationships? Is it all or nothing. Every relationship will suffer if you don’t make time for the important ones every single day. You don’t have to have an unplugged epic vacation with your family every year, if you give them 30 minutes per day of your devoted attention.
For years I focused all my mental energy on building a business. When my role changed in the business, I was lost. I didn’t have hobbies, my relationships suffered, and I was unsure about my talents and abilities. Not developing other areas in my life, left me with a big hole. As I build this new business, I am more intentional about developing my hobbies, talents, and relationships outside of the business, because if it doesn’t work out, I still have the other things in my life.
Entertainment and Social Media Balance
Netflix binging and TV show marathons are a real thing, and I know from personal experience, they can leave you feeling so unproductive about your day. Remember when we used to have to wait 7 days to get a new episode of our favorite shows? Somehow, we survived. I lost approximately 2 months of my life in the last few years because of two shows. Prison Break and Veronica Mars. Ha! Yes, I watched one episode after another, through all the seasons. And while at the time, I was hooked and loved every second of it, I really did lose entire days of my life to it. The shows would have been just as good if I watched 1 per day, rather than 10 hours.
Excessive possessions vs. minimalism
Let’s be honest here. We like to own things, but sometimes we cross a line into excess, and it no longer serves us. You don’t have to go to Target every day, and you don’t have to live like a monk. There is a place in the middle, and finding your balance is the most satisfying place to be.
Finding balance in your life, whether it’s food or the way you spend your day, is the most rewarding. Spending a few minutes or hours in all the roles I have, provides so much satisfaction. There is enough room to fit all in your life that you wish, if you give them each your time.
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