How Do You Define Balance?

by Melanie Edwards on February 22, 2010 · 13 comments

in life, Work

Scales in Balance

Photo by Hans Splinter from Flickr

What does balance mean to you?

Is it about balancing you as a person? Does it involve the people around you? Or is it about the roles you play in life?

Let me elaborate a bit on what I mean.

Balancing You

Do you strive for your physical, mental, and spiritual health to be in-line? Does having balance mean you get to enjoy some “me time” every now and again?

I think for some people balance means they ensure they take care of themselves properly. For them, it may not matter if the house is not in order or if all their work got done. That’s not what stresses them out. In order to keep themselves from feeling stressed, they make sure to eat well, exercise, and get that time alone that many crave.

Do you see yourself in this group?

Balance through Others

Do you always take care of others? Is it important to you that your kids, spouse, family, parents, etc., are happy and have all they need from you?

There are those that thrive on helping others. They make sure everyone around them has all they need and do so before taking care of themselves. For them, making sure that others are happy, makes them happy. It’s what keeps them going every day and they may even feel stressed if they’re unable to help.

Are you someone that feels balanced when others are taken care of?

Balancing Our Roles

Do you often feel like you’re pulled in many directions? Do you feel that if you had a handle on it all you would feel better?

We play many roles in our daily lives: employees, wives, husbands, parents, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters – the list goes on. Each role requires different levels of work and some are more demanding than others. For some people, being able to balance all the roles and be in control of each is what helps them feel balanced.

Is this you?

I feel I fit into this last category. It does overlap with balancing yourself and taking care of others, of course. But, the key is that if every aspect is “in control” you feel better about things. You don’t really want to sacrifice one for the other and it’s important to you that the house, work, family, others, and yourself are all taken care of. Self normally being last on the list.

Obviously, it’s impossible for all aspects of your life and all the roles you play to be in perfect harmony. I realize this. For me, it’s more about each being stable. I don’t need the house to be perfect (I let go of that a while back), but I like it to be manageable. I know I can’t take care of everyone, but if I can help, I feel better. And, work doesn’t have to be absolutely done at the end of the day, but I need to make progress.

Like I mentioned when I broke down my daily work and home routine, if I can dip a little into each of my roles every day, I feel like I get “…things done and…there was a good balance of things in my day.

So, again I’ll ask you…what does balance mean to you? What helps you feel like you’ve got a pretty good handle on things? Is it taking care of yourself, others, or a little of everything?

***More resources on work-life balance

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

angelaengland February 23, 2010 at 9:05 am

Sometimes for me Balance is more about flow. EVen with a very crowded and busy schedule I don't feel out of line if things seem to be flowing smoothly. I don't know how else to describe it. If we start having melt downs and I can't get things together, even minimally, I start scrambling for ways to cut back. Otherwise I start getting stressed out.

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modernmami March 3, 2010 at 6:35 am

I completely understand that. That's why for me, if I can do a bit out of each “part” of my life, I feel like things are flowing smoothly and progressing, so I feel “balanced”.

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Cindy March 3, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Hi, I was googling latina blog sites and I came across this one. Very cool. For me, balance means having the opportunity or time to do what needs to be done like work, clean, study and then having time to make jewelry or draw, spend time with my daughter and then have mommy time (aka vodka and diet coke ;-)

cindygotwired.blogspot.com

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modernmami March 10, 2010 at 12:28 pm

So glad you found me! I'm loving reading the different ideas of “balance” everyone has. Yours is very similar to mine – a little of each!

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Erin Pyle March 9, 2010 at 2:32 am

I feel balanced knowing my son is taken care of and the house is clean! :)

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modernmami March 10, 2010 at 11:49 am

See? That's awesome. Just knowing he's fine and that you have a clean environment is enough for you. I like that you've been able to define balance for yourself.

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modernmami March 10, 2010 at 5:49 pm

See? That’s awesome. Just knowing he’s fine and that you have a clean environment is enough for you. I like that you’ve been able to define balance for yourself.

Reply

modernmami March 10, 2010 at 12:49 pm

See? That's awesome. Just knowing he's fine and that you have a clean environment is enough for you. I like that you've been able to define balance for yourself.

Reply

modernmami March 10, 2010 at 6:28 pm

So glad you found me! I’m loving reading the different ideas of “balance” everyone has. Yours is very similar to mine – a little of each!

Reply

modernmami March 10, 2010 at 1:28 pm

So glad you found me! I'm loving reading the different ideas of “balance” everyone has. Yours is very similar to mine – a little of each!

Reply

President, Platinum Ridge November 24, 2010 at 7:55 am

insightful. Thanks.

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