When I was a kid, I was scared of the seesaw — afraid the little boy or girl on the other side would jump down on their seat and blast me off into the sky. I also used to do gymnastics (little Laura in a leotard…) and the balance beam was my least favorite event. (It was so boring. Also, I sucked at it). And even now, balance poses are the hardest for me in yoga; my leg is always shaking, I often can’t pull my body back into half-moon.
The moral of all this? I suck at balance.
But not just literal balance. The other type of balance, too: the balance you can’t hold, or even see, or doesn’t require one leg up and your gaze at a fixed point in front of you. I’m talking balancing all the happenings in life. How to juggle work, rest, social life, love, health, sleep, exercise, game of thrones, and whatever else is going on while remaining a sane and happy human.
My problem is I try to give 150% of my heart into every area of my life. And if you add up those percentages, that means my chest pretty much explodes. But once I find that right equilibrium, I feel calm. Anxiety goes away and the pressure on my chest is lifted. When I’m balanced, I feel more energized, and life…just seems to make more sense.
And while it’s totally hard, balance is so worth working on. If anything, it’s way less terrifying than hopping on a seesaw. So here’s what I think are the hardest things to balance, but why finding that balance is so, so important:
Work – I really wish there were more than 24 hours in a day to devote to Greatist, but when I try to do even half that, I realize how quickly I can get overwhelmed. When things get crazy at HQ, we’re actually encouraged to take a day off – to reboot and reenergize before jumping back in. The importance of scaling back has helped me be more creative and productive.
Exercise – Since running and exercise have become so habitual to me, I honestly would love to do it 7 days a week. But, I know the body needs rest. And it’s not just balancing on days with off days – it’s the recovery days with the tough workouts, the runs with the yoga, the strength mixed with the speed. While training for a marathon, I was told that every workout had a purpose – even the slow days. Rest is so necessary. Targeting other muscles key. Balance intensity, add variety, and your body will stay happy.
Social – There’s never a shortage of things to do, people to see, da clubs to bop around at, so on and so forth in New York. And I’m usually down to do anything always, because I love being around people. But there is an importance behind getting bored (fuels creativity) and being alone (…also fuels creativity). Basically, being social kills creativity. KIDDING. But you catch the drift here. Make time for friends, and time for yourself.
Love – Ever been in one of those really intense relationships where your life became blurred with theirs? While that can be lovely and all that jazz, a balanced relationship (or a single life) fosters self-love and self-validation — concepts that can become blurry if you’re in one of those romantic situations where everything becomes about the other person.
Health – Aka moderation, you have to balance the good with the not-so-good to say sane. And that’s basically what Greatist is all about: making healthier choices some of the time. So have your carrots and eat your cake. Why? Because carrots are good for you. But cake is delicious.