Written By: Jeff Burgdorfer LPC CAC
I found myself in 3 different situations this past week in which the concept of BALANCE played an important role:
1) My Dentist suggested I eat a more BALANCED diet to prevent cavities and promote healthy gums. Apparently, the foods I have been eating contain too much acidity – not good for your teeth.
2) I took my car in for a routine oil-change and upon inspection found out the alignment was off. The tires had to be rotated in an effort to BALANCE out the handling / steering.
3) My Son’s Summer camp program came to an end, which meant my wife & I had to make some adjustments on how we BALANCE our work / parenting schedules.
Balance is something we talk about all the time with clients – it is very relevant in the process of helping someone overcome substance abuse or a mental illness. And since it’s been on my mind a lot lately, I thought I would delve into it more in my next few blogs.
THE KEY TO KEEPING YOUR BALANCE IS KNOWING WHEN YOU'VE LOST IT
Most people understand why going to your Dr. for regular check-ups is a good idea. There’s a good chance you can catch something before it turns into a serious condition, and even if you don’t find anything you can experience peace of mind knowing you are healthy.
Most Counselors – myself included – recommend our clients take the same approach with mental health. We recommend spending time on a regular basis checking-in on 3 key areas of your life, and try to gauge if anything is ‘OUT-OF-BALANCE.’
Generally speaking, if something is going wrong it’s in one of these 3 areas:
WORK / LIFE BALANCE
The easiest way to begin is to simply develop an awareness for when you begin to feel ‘TILTED’in any or all of these areas. This is a warning that it’s time for some priority adjustment.
Let’s look more closely at the 3 areas:
I once had a client who was CONSTANTLY OVERWHELMED. He would spend so much energy trying to be the perfect Husband, the perfect Father, the perfect Son, the perfect Friend. His heart may have been in the right place, but focusing so much on others left him no time or energy to properly take care of himself. His BREAKTHROUGH MOMENT came when he realized he couldn’t be great at any of those roles if he didn’t tend to his own needs first.
Working with this client, it was very helpful to view the ‘dilemma’ in the context of BALANCE. He felt relieved to know there was nothing fundamentally wrong with him, and that these feelings were the result of a temporary imbalance. As this became clear, he began to SHIFT & regain some harmony in his personal life.
KNOW YOUR LIMITS
For some, it’s helpful to embrace the notion that perfection is unattainable. I can’t be SUPER DAD or SUPER HUSBAND or really SUPER ANYTHING…But I can take life as it comes, just trying to be the best version of myself I can each and every day.
When I ask people to describe their relationship with money, it’s usually 1 end of the spectrum or the other.
People are often stressed about not being able to save enough, or they experience the ‘money burns a hole in my pocket’ phenomena.
Financial concerns are a HUGE SOURCE OF STRESS, and worrying about money has been linked to some serious health concerns, including: Muscle tension, back pain, migraine headaches, severe anxiety, depression, ulcers, heart attacks.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, your relationship with your finances may be OUT-OF-BALANCE. Other symptoms of financial imbalance include:
-Not knowing how much you earn or spend
-Not knowing your credit score, or what it does
-You never talk about money
-You feel like you have something to hide
A few tips for re-storing balance:
-Make lists: Bills - prioritize what needs to be paid & when. Spending habits – what can you reduce?
-Stay calm: Remember everyone stresses about money, its natural.
-Don’t be afraid to ask for help: Talk to anyone you can including friends & family. There are also TONS of resources available online to help.
"BEING IN CONTROL OF YOUR FINANCES IS A GREAT STRESS RELIEVER"
This is probably a good place to stop for now – reading / talking about finances can be draining. Next time we will look WORK / LIFE BALANCE – what does it look mean, and has anyone ever found it?
Thanks for reading. I Hope you find these blogs helpful – if you have any feedback I would love to hear from you.
Jeff Burgdorfer LPC CAC
JEFF @ HFFRC.COM