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Daily habits to keep a well-balanced life Print E-mail

Tuesday, 30 July 2013 00:00

Written by Vonda Sines

It's a tough time to launch a major initiative to keep your life in balance. Most of us are worried about pink slips -either the one we already received or the one we're sure has our name.

We hear about the swine flu virus and wonder if we'll even still be here next month. If there's a common denominator for adults in the United States these days, it has to be stress.

Many people try to cope by piling on more hours at work to try to avoid a dreaded layoff. Others find themselves paralyzed by the loss of a job and stay at home, fearful of having to look for anything else in a frazzled economy. Some have cancelled kids' music lessons, soccer games and their own volunteer activities due to the fear of a pandemic. If the balance in your life feels out of kilter, here are some ways to help put things into perspective.

1. Axe complaining: It's a killer as far as bringing you any joy, impressing your boss or helping your family realize how much you love them. If at 8 p.m. you're rendering a blow-by-blow description about how a co-worker stole your newest idea, that's a turnoff to your family. If at 8 a.m. the next day, you're complaining about how tired you are as a working parent, you won't win any votes as far as avoiding a pink slip. People just don't like to hear complaints, whether or not they're valid. As a matter of fact, if they have the opportunity, they'll actually walk away from one. So just for today, remove complaining from your to-do list. If you can't go a whole day, pick just one hour to be complaint-free. Then turn it into a habit.

2. Be thankful: If your family is physically safe, you have a roof over your heads and there's food in the home, you already have three things for which to be thankful. Close your eyes for just a few minutes and concentrate on all the blessings you and your family experience each day.

3. Reach out: It might be a relative to whom you haven't spoken in a very long time, a co-worker who's about to have surgery, the worried-looking cashier at the supermarket or someone you know who's already received a pink slip. People don't evaporate once they lose their jobs, and it's important for them to know that others care enough to stay in touch.

4. Give an honest day's work: A life in balance is one that includes work. It might be paid employment, a volunteer commitment or household chores that make your family's routine tick. Just for today, don't yield to the temptation to surf the Internet for half an hour when you should be reading a proposal at work or skip that volunteer tutoring session at the elementary school because you're tired.

5. Forgive and apologize: Forgiveness is important regardless of your religious or spiritual beliefs. Lack of it causes a dark, fearful place inside the spirit. It's unfair to expect to be forgiven for slights - real or imagined - if we don't forgive others. Pick up the telephone, send a card or fire off an email to anyone who believes you have wronged them. Forgive someone who asks you to or someone who has no idea you feel they mistreated you.

6. Make family a priority: They're what it's all about. Schedule at least 30 minutes each evening. Turn off the TV, shut down everybody's email and let any calls go into voicemail. It's not necessary to have scheduled activities every night. Sitting down at the dinner table together even a few nights a week makes family members feel like part of a group. Getting a chance to express what's on your mind makes anyone feel valued. It this schedule doesn't work, try breakfast together. If you're single without relatives in the area, spend time regularly with your closes circle of friends.

7. Live in the present moment: We're bombarded with issues about plummeting property values, retirement accounts and career changes. Make it a point to spent at least an hour each day just living in the present moment. Do you know which plants are blooming in your yard today? What color your neighbor's house is?

Once you've adopted even some of these habits, don't be surprised to feel more rested each day, get along better with your boss and earn regular slurps from the family pooch.


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