Balance for Better
In case you hadn’t already heard, Balance for Better (#BalanceforBetter) is the 2019 theme for International Women’s Day which was celebrated globally on Friday 8thMarch.
In summary, this is what Balance for Better is all about:
“The future is exciting. Let’s build a gender-balanced world. Everyone has a part to play – all the time, everywhere. From grassroots activism to worldwide action, we are entering an exciting period of history where the world expects balance. We notice its absence and celebrate its presence. Balance drives a better working world. Let’s all help create a #BalanceforBetter.”
You may have seen various adverts, articles, social media posts, emails, invitations, webinars and events to mark the occasion. And an amazing thing this is too! I’ve managed to listen to a fascinating interview and read a few inspirational articles, so far.
The positive energy has inspired me to write my own article on the topic Balance for Better, more specifically how the balance theme resonates with me from an Age Life Balance perspective.
#BalanceforBetter – balance across different life components
There are multiple different components of each of our lives. If we focus disproportionate effort in one area e.g. work, this could be great for our career performance and future potential, as well as financially, but this may have a detrimental impact on other areas of our lives e.g. health and family relationships. Being aware of the balancing act could be a great first step to becoming more balanced & well-rounded.
#BalanceforBetter – everything in moderation
This may sound similar to above, but it’s more about balancewithineach particular aspect of our lives. We could consider most things on a kind of ‘spectrum’ with over-indulgence at one end and deprivation at the other. Let’s take eating as an example. Over-indulgence would be over-eating and deprivation not eating enough. Moderation would be somewhere in the middle, and ideally involving a well-balanced range of foods.
#BalanceforBetter – work, rest and play
No, this isn’t about Mars bars!
This is similar to work-life balance, but it extends further than that. Sometimes we all work, whatever work means to us. For example, this could be to earn money, to meet deadlines, to gain qualifications, to do voluntary work, to manage the household or to feel fulfilled. But it’s also essential to balance work with some time out – remember all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy! While rest and play may come easy for some, they can be surprisingly hard (impossible even) for others. Try to strike a balance between work, rest (self-care, relaxation, chilling-out, sleep etc.) and play (fun, friends, laughter, letting hair down). Look for ways to build in some of each element for optimal balance, in a way that matters to you.
#BalanceforBetter – supporting others
With our busy modern lives, we’re often busy tied up in our own lives, problems and thoughts. Whatever we’re going through, at any point in time, there are likely others who are generally less fortunate or going through a bad patch. Providing support doesn’t necessarily have to be a large investment of your time or other resources, but could represent a huge deal to someone else. It can also feel very rewarding.
Support can come in a number of different ways, including:
- Making genuine offers of help
- Doing things to help – actions speak louder than words
- Being positive and inspiring
- Giving encouragement and positive feedback to others
- Doing voluntary activities or making charitable donations
#BalanceforBetter – supporting yourself
While helping others is good, we also need to make sure we’re OK. We can’t fully support others if there’s nothing to give – “Put on your own oxygen mask before helping others”.
Looking after “no.1” is not selfish, so don’t feel guilty. It’s actually important to ensure you are fully on form and don’t get worn down or burned out.
A few pointers, here:
- Be aware of your own needs
- Take the time and opportunities you need to address them
- Accept offers of help
- Ask for help
#BalanceforBetter – embrace your uniqueness
Whether we realise it or not, we all have multiple skills and capabilities. These make us unique and valuable!
We’re probably in fully knowledge of some of these skills and unaware of others:
- Technical work skills and expertise – these could be validated by the jobs we do, things we produce e.g. decorative cakes, or the certifications we earn
- ‘Softer’ skills – these are typically more transferrable and equip us better for life. These include communication, empathy, listening skills and emotional intelligence to name a few
Look for ways in which you can use and develop your special skills to enhance your life and have a positive affect on others around you.
#BalanceforBetter – prioritise positive thoughts
Sometimes we can be quick to focus on negativity e.g. when we receive feedback, or we listen to our own self-doubts. But what if we consciously balance this out with some positive thoughts?
- Gratitude – be grateful for things we see or experience in our lives
- Affirmations – are positive statements When you repeat them often, and believe in them, you can start to make positive changes.
- Share the love, give positive feedback. Recognise a job well done.
- Give and accept compliments – start by giving at least one a day
- Be mindful of your language – self-talk and others
I’ve really enjoyed reflecting on how the #BalanceforBetter theme resonates with me from an Age Life Balance perspective.
I’ll let you into a secret as you’ve read to the bottom of the article: I actually went a little crazy with this one. I ended up generating so many different ideas around the Balance for Batter them that I had to draw a line in the sand and move on. Another example of balance, right there!
Thank you for reading! For more on Age Life Balance, browse the blog at www.agelifebalance.com to find out more.