Maintaining balance in life is about movement

Sometimes it feels as though we are victims of our own technological advancement. Stores, television, the Internet, among other things, are open or available 24/7.

In addition, as more and more time-saving inventions become accessible, we continue to add extra things on our to-do lists, trying to keep impossible schedules to meet work and family demands.

As a result, we’ve become sleep-deprived and caffeine-dependent as we try to strike a balance in our multi-faceted lives. Currently, achieving balance is a topic of much interest.

What do you see when you think of a day in your own busy life? Most likely, a movie of endless activities. So how can you achieve balance in a day that does not seem to stop moving?

It may be more helpful to think of balance in a different light. Rather than visualizing it as a motionless state, think of balance while in motion — more forgiving and less rigid. While this approach includes moments of imbalance, the sum of your actions creates stability. They key is not to be stuck in one extreme point, but to make sure there is eventual movement that will balance out the recent extremity.

For example, the death of a loved one will cause a period of extreme disequilibrium. However, with time and healing from the grief, there should be movement back toward the center. Life should regain some semblance of normalcy.

Try to stand on one leg with the other leg lifted up with bent knee to about waist high. Remain in this stance for about 30 seconds. What happened? Was it difficult to stay balanced? As you became unsteady, did you try to compensate by leaning to the opposite side? Did you tense up your body, hoping to stabilize it?

To maintain balance, let’s try these points instead.

• As you balance on one leg, find a visual point slightly ahead of you on which to focus. For life balance, this means to focus on your goals and your priorities while avoiding distractions.

• Keep the knee of your anchor leg soft, not locked and not bent. This means to have an anchor rooted somewhere in a flexible, not rigid state.

• Tighten your abdominal, your core. This means to be aware of and use your center. Your center may be your spirituality, your music, your family, or your sense of self. It is whatever that keeps you nourished and strong.

• Keep your back straight and head up. This means to remain alert, hopeful and confident.

• Remember to breathe and relax your shoulders and neck. This means to address the stress and to continue with the essentials of day-to-day life.

• If necessary, briefly rest your hands on something to help with the balancing. This means to use your support network of family, friends, or colleagues.

Some tangible helpful hints for maintaining balance includes

• Learn to say no.

• Leave work at work.

• Manage your time.

• Communicate clearly.

• Get enough sleep.

• Plan fun and relaxation.

• Drop unnecessary activities.

Balance in real life is about movement. Don’t let an obsession with keeping balance prevents you from moving along with life’s rhythm.

• Tram Vuong Meadows is the Therapeutic Foster Home Program Therapist for Hale ‘Opio Kaua’i. She can be reached at tmeadows@haleopio.org, or Hale ‘Opio Kaua’i Inc., 2959 Umi St., Lihu’e, HI 96766

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