Joseph Hubertus Pilates, founder of Pilates training was a huge advocate in the importance of balancing mind and body. His theory was very simple, he believed that neither the mind nor the body is stronger. They can not work alone but together in order to attain complete balance.
A sound mind dwelling in a sound body is 100% balanced, like a brick house built on rock. Solid and healthy. – Joseph Hubertus Pilates
He taught that only with perfect balance of mind and body can we appreciate normal health and energy of life, and that with this energy we will be able to live life to the fullest.
It’s that time of the year when everyone is busy making their new year resolutions. The Christmas holiday season was filled with parties, lots of eating, too much drinking, no exercising…but probably tons of fun! We reassure ourselves that we’ll make up for the over-indulgence by making some tough goals in the new year. We will most likely start off strong as we feel guilty of the sudden expansion of our waistline and the dreaded maxed out credit card. It’s not long though before our high ambitions are catapulted by yet another holiday – Easter! This is where our healthy eating and exercise regime takes a tumble as those chocolates and treats creep their way from the supermarket shelves to our bellies. From here the cycle starts to progressively repeat itself as summer is close and we want to look and feel our best. Sound familiar?
Before my post goes on any further I just want to say that my message isn’t all doom and gloom. My message is a message of balance. I’m not suggesting we forego all the fun that comes with the holiday festivities, but instead find balance using moderation – allowing us to still have fun but feeling great! This is what balance is all about.
If there is any one goal we should make for this new year it should be to find a bit more balance for both mind and body. If we had this from the start then maybe our goals wouldn’t need to be drastic or overwhelming. If we maintained balance in our eating habits during the holiday’s then we wouldn’t feel unhappy with ourselves to where we feel the need to “starve”. I do firmly believe in setting goals as this is very important and sometimes drastic ones are needed to make an immediate change.
7 Practical Ways to Find Balance This Year
Balance is found both internally (health, mind and soul), and externally (family, social, work, recreational). Here are a few idea’s to help you find balance.
- Switch off from work – Try when at all possible not to take work home with you, find a routine to do that tells your subconscious to switch off. This can even be doing absolutely nothing for 10 minutes. If you work from home use your stop watch to calculate how many hours of work you’re doing, pausing whenever you’re doing something non work-related such as a house chore, lunch, etc. At the end, calculate the hours and if you find you’re doing more than 40 hours re-evaluate your work by looking for ways to be more time efficient.
- Become a minimalist – Instead of cluttering the house with things, toys, clothes, and gadgets, avoid anything that isn’t essential or valuable in your life. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it.
- Take care of your health – Before a health crisis arises pay attention to your body making sure it’s in good health, getting plenty of sleep, making healthy food choices and engaging in physical activity and exercise.
- Make the weekends a time of relaxation – The body can’t be on the go 24/7. Find 2 day’s out of your week purely for recreational and relaxing purposes. A time where the body forgets about work responsibilities – a time to fully interact with family and friends.
- Try something new – Instead of staying in your comfort zone explore a bit by finding something new to do. Take on a new challenge, a new hobby, attend a new class.
- Spend quality time with those close to you – Turn the television off and instead play games as a family, laugh, joke, have a chat with your other half over a glass of wine, really connect and pay attention to those you care about.
- Find the time for yourself – Finding you time can be especially tricky and somewhat overlooked. Find something to do that you’re passionate about or have an interest in doing in your evenings a few times a week. This could be reading, sketching, crafting, playing music etc. Having you time is crucial in lowering stress levels and enjoying happiness and creativity!