Dr. Donna L. Hamilton, MD

Lately there seems to be a balanced living backlash. Many people, including some “expert” consultants, have begun to tell the overextended, burned out workforce to give up on the idea of work-life balance. It saddens and frustrates me when I hear this. It seems they’ve confused “balanced living” with “perfect living.

When I think about the millions of chronically stressed out people walking around workplaces in a daze, my physician thinking kicks in and I begin to think about this “condition” like any other health issue. Overextended, stressful living is by no means a terminal diagnosis. The best advice isn’t telling someone there’s nothing left to do.

Stressed out, toxic living also doesn’t have to be treated like a chronic, debilitating condition. We can do more than simply teach someone how to make the best of life in spite of their situation. We know how to effectively treat, in some cases even prevent, this lifestyle.

I think of stressed, off kilter living as something that, with the right tools, can be managed well. Sure, you might have some flair ups every now and then, but they don’t have to ruin your quality of life. And, you can get the situation under control with minimal complications when exacerbations do happen. Most importantly, your life doesn’t have to run you. You can run it.

As with all things health, one size doesn’t fit all. It’s best to speak with your doctor or therapist to come up with a balanced living plan that makes sense for you. Certain strategies, however, tend to be effective, so you don’t have to re-create the wheel.

To get started, check out these wellness gems to see if any appeal to you. Then make an appointment to talk with your health care provider to come up with a stress management plan that will help you create a more balanced life.

Balanced Living Tips

1) Be aware:

In our fast paced, on demand life it’s very easy to live on autopilot. Starting to pay attention to what you really want, what is and isn’t working, and what is actually pulling you out of balance can help you start to course correct.

2) Prioritize:

You’ve probably heard this a million times. That’s because it works. Setting priorities can help get you out of overwhelm. Decide what’s most important to you and what’s necessary to get it done. Then make choices that move you towards accomplishing those goals instead of pulling you toward distracting interests. Eliminating less fulfilling commitments can do wonders to help you feel more peaceful and less stressed in your life.

3) Align your life:

Pursuing conflicting goals is a recipe for getting off balance. When roles and responsibilities pull you in different directions, major stress can develop. It can be tough, but if you want to start feeling more harmony and stability in your life you might have to make some changes. The changes could be internal (ex. letting go of overachieving or perfectionist tendencies), external (ex. getting rid of some schedule commitments.) or both.

If your life feels out of control, it’s not a terminal diagnosis. The first step to changing it, however, is believing you can. Cliche, but still true.

Be well,

Dr. Donna

Originally published at manifestexcellence.com

Originally published at medium.com