In this article
A/ Why Balance and what does it mean?
B/ The Skills You Need for Healthy Work Life Balance
C/ Why Balance time can Fail to Regenerate.
D/ 5 Keys to Healthy Balance.
E/ Questionnaire – How do you rate for Balance?
Why balance and what does it mean?
You understand the need for balance. When you lack it, you burn out and fail to meet your commitments. That’s called stress, and you know when that has taken over. The joy goes out, your heart closes. Nothing seems to be fulfilling.
So, balance is one of the important lifestyle choices we make. And it also feeds the diversity of demands on our time. Children, partner, health, personal interests, sport, spiritual and career. We want balance because we want to be holistic human beings, rather than robots, and just a means of production.
There’s also the diversity of emotions to consider. We need this diversity so that we get to express a healthy range of feelings. Sport, play, love, creative, logic, passion, kindness, care, anger and more…
So, balance has to be a critical ingredient of our lives. There’s also the balance between soft and hard. Between those times when we can surrender and just be ourselves and those times we put on the public mask. I think the term is down time, or my time.
I’d like to draw your attention to a few anomalies in the classic concept of achieving the above because my observation is, that it takes a hell of allot of downtime to balance a really stressful job. And the second one is, that the desire for balance is infinite but it doesn’t take much, after a holiday or some long break, to whip a person into emotional overload. So, it appears that it is the quality of this balance time that needs to be addressed as well as the amount of it.
In fact, my observation is, that people do things in their downtime, in the interest of balancing their “up time” that are quite toxic. So, in fact the balance time is reactive rather than productive.
There are some really important skills needed to ensure the quality of downtime.
They include, but aren’t limited to:
1. Active relaxation
2. Emotional clearing
3. Spirit (inspiration) regeneration
4. Youthful play
5. Self Awareness
6. A regenerative activity
There are many reasons why balance time fails to regenerate energy.
They include, but aren’t limited to:
1. A nagging partner
2. The use of alcohol or drugs to calm the nerves
3. Too long a time between uptime and downtime.
4. Television as a means of relaxation
5. Extreme stress in the uptime mode
6. Lack of fun in the downtime activity
7. Emotional drama that carries over
8. Lack of metabolic increase during downtime (flushing)
9. Excess eating, sleeping or partying.
10. The inability to break away from the problems of the uptime life.
11. A deep, pervasive emotion (anger, resentment or hate) for something in uptime.
So, the keys to healthy balance management include:
1/ Don’t wait too long.
The longest period between balancing sessions should be around 4-8 hours. Those are conscious time outs during which you: switch off, remain calm, distract your mind, stimulate your breathing, calm your nerves.
Meditation is hailed as one of these practices. Yoga is another. However there are hundreds of ways. What you must be careful of is to make sure you avoid any of the following in that list; eating, drinking, sleeping, talking, doing nothing, slow walking. These are the classic, half measures in balance. They don’t work.
2/ Do learn mind control techniques that achieve:
Emotional clearing, inner calm, rest, refreshment of the brain, breathing techniques, focus and re inspiration. These are what we teach in Innerwealth Technology.
3/ Don’t do nothing.
Putting your feet up on the desk might feel relaxing but if you are, for example, dehydrated before rest, then you’ll be dehydrated after it. You need active rest techniques that really cause recovery. These are taught in most meditation classes, yoga classes and others. You might find them challenging at first, so, the benefits might take a week or two to flow. But they will flow and make your rest, active.
4/ Don’t include your relationship in the downtime management cycle.
Your partner does not want you to turn up in their life for the purpose of downtime. You might think that your relationship is part of your downtime space but it is absolutely not. In your relationship there are uptime and downtime spaces. So, be very careful.
I have seen more relationships struggle because of this one thing than all the rest put together. If your uptime management is so challenged that home is the only downtime space you give yourself, then your relationships will fail. You’ll be trying to please yourself (take time out) please your partner (give them enjoyment) and recover from your stress (active rest). These are three competing forces. Incompatible.
5/ Do get outdoors
Recovery is nearly automatic in nature. In a park, a garden, a forest, on the ocean, near a river. The list goes on. However, you have to be doing something. Take a photo, throw a Frisbee, play football, skip a rope. Just taking a basket of food and some wine out into nature is fantastic but don’t include that in your balance downtime. Include it in your relationship uptime.
Everything needs to be fed. If you don’t feed something it dies. So, you obviously know that you need to feed your work. You also know that you have to feed your relationship. If you have children you know that you have to “put in” with them in order to give them healthy emotional nurturing. So, there’s the feed out. Now, what are you going to do to feed the source. If you feed your work, your relationship, your children, your family, your friends, your body, your mind – how are you going to balance all the output?
We’ve mentioned that waiting more than four hours is a killer. Some people wait a week and say “boy I am looking forward to the weekend” – and even worse, other people say “only 6 months till my annual leave, I just can’t wait” – That’s disaster in the waiting because in the meantime that person will use their relationship, their children and their health as a means of downtime relaxation. That’s sucking the blood out of things that we need to be investing energy in.
So, learn to balance your life on the run. Learn the skills of putting back what you put out. Don’t do it with food, parties, TV or sleep. Do it with active rest, positive mind clearing, fun and most important – get outdoors, actively.
Here’s a questionnaire.
Score yourself on your upside demands first.
The demand score?
Score10 for 100% Yes. Score 0 for No. Score from 0 – 10 for in between.
1. Do you hate your job? Score “0 to 10”
2. Do you have emotional conflict at work? Score “0 to 10”
3. Do you have high conflict for your boss (can be non verbal)? Score “0 to 10”
4. Do you have too much to do and not enough time? Score “0 to 10”
5. Is your company going through change? Score “0 to 10”
6. Are you hoping for turnaround/change in your work? Score “0 to 10”
7. Is your office open plan or closed private? Score “0 to 10”
8. Do you spend more than half your working day in an office? Score “0 to 10”
9. Do you travel by plane more than once a week? Score “0 to 10”
10. Do you spend more than two nights a week away from home? Score “0 to 10”
11. If you don’t perform well in your job, will you be fired? Score “0 to 10”
Now add those scores……… total between 0 and 110? This is your demand score…
The balance score?
Score 10 for 100% Yes. Score 0 for No. Score from 0 – 10 for in between.
1. Are you happily single or in a really healthy, happy relationship? Score “0 to 10”
2. Do you have any dependent children? Score “0 to 10”
3. Are you healthy? (weight, fitness, etc) Score “0 to 10”
4. Do you meditate or do active rest daily? Score “0 to 10”
5. Do you have a process to clear your negative emotion that works? Score “0 to 10”
6. Do you get outdoors for exercise daily ? Score “0 to 10”
7. Do you drink alcohol or “party late” less than once a week? Score “0 to 10”
8. Are you sleeping 6-8 hrs a night without medications? Score “0 to 10”
9. Do you watch less than 2 hours of television a day? Score “0 to 10”
10. Do you have loving friendships, partner and home life? Score “0 to 10”
11. Is your private time free from drama? Score “0 to 10”
Now add those scores ……. total between 0 and 110? This is your balance score…
Score – Are you Balancing your Life?
Simply add the scores and see how you rate. If the differences between the two scores is greater than 30 points you need to adjust your lifestyle. If your balance score is higher than your work score, you can give more out. If your balance score is less than your work score, you’re burning out. Change is essential.
* If the scores are equal you are doing good
* If the overall scores are above 75 and within 30 points of each other you are in the success zone
* If the overall scores are below 50 and within 30 points of each other you are in the comfort zone
* If the overall scores are below 30 and within 30 points of each other you probably need to get a life.
Innerwealth is an Australian company based in Sydney, NSW. It was created in 1986 to offer training programs in self management. Innerwealth clients are organisations who want to incorporate higher consciousness in their self management training programs. There is now a global community of people; in corporate, communities, governments and family business who integrate Innerwealth self management techniques in their culture.
Innerwealth has proudly trained over 300 independent consultants throughout the world. These consultants now include the Laws of Nature in their consulting technology. Innerwealth, through its consulting team has completed over 5,000 training programs, and 15,000 training sessions. Some of those programs are extraordinary and include working with First Nation People in New Brunswick, Canada on social change in an indigenous community.
Innerwealth – Inner stillness – Inspired Thinking
There are many companies offering self help training, but Innerwealth training programs are different;
* Innerwealth training programs think holistically and therefore teach personal mastery for a whole life balance rather than separate pieces of a puzzle. We consider that great relationships and healthy self management are an integral part of good productive lifestyles at work.
* Innerwealth training programs are grounded in reality using the ancient laws of nature in a modern context. Innerwealth workshops emphasise self responsibility in group dynamics, therefore we support independence not guru worship – we guide clients and teach the principles so our clients never come back; because they don’t need to!
* Innerwealth training is Australian based, so it’s clear, simple, straight to the point. We share the ancient laws of nature – so the information clients get is “clear” – not based on fads, hidden religious agendas, judgements or one idea fits all, trends and academic ideals.
* Innerwealth training is not afraid of the soft issues. We don’t play in emotional drama but share process that honours the fact that people do have emotional ups and downs, and from that place, we help them deal with it.