You will likely hear and see me speak about balance. Like, a lot. I heard this phrase at home probably once a week during my childhood and teen years; thanks, Mom! So, what exactly does balance mean?
Well, let's see how I can explain what I mean by balance, very generally.
You know those times we push through the activity we dread? It might be getting yourself into a technique class, taking that yoga sesh you "know" you need, or pushing through your tough gym workout. We make the decision that it'll be better for us to just do the thing - maybe we know we'll feel better afterwards, maybe we are cross training to prevent or stave off chronic or sudden injury, or whatever the case may be.
So when we think about balance, shouldn't there also be times where we acknowledge this dread we're feeling and don't do the thing? Sometimes skipping that class or workout is really what will best serve you - body, mind, and spirit.
In speaking with clients and many performance athletes, I'm finding that most want an exact wellness plan to follow. It's almost like a checklist that dictates how, when, and what the client should do every single day.
You know what's both beautiful and ridiculously frustrating? While, yes, I am a professional and, yes, I take what I do very seriously and care so very much about my clients' health + wellness, there's only so much that I can really do. I quite literally cannot have the deep, internal conversation that you're able to have with yourself. Listening and trusting how, when, and what your body asks for is completely and 100% you.
But, like, how can you know what your body is asking for? Well, that's something we can explore together! Truly tapping into your inner voice can be like learning a new language - and that language is different for everyone. For some, it could be sleep quality or stress level, for others it might be dryness or oiliness of their skin/hair or the color of their tongue. Is it easy to figure out what your body is telling you? Nope. Is it worth it for lifelong health + happiness? Absolutely!
I was just having this entire conversation with myself last night. I wasn't really feeling that gym sesh. I knew the weight was going to feel a little extra heavy and I was feeling pretty sluggish to begin with. Regardless, I picked myself up, laced up my Converses, and got to the gym. Halfway through my session, I asked myself, 'Hmm, I'm definitely glad I pushed myself to come tonight, and what would I have done if I'd have stayed home?' If I'm being honest, I probably would have doom scrolled - offering nothing or even detrimentally supporting my mental health which can translate into added feelings of anxiety, tense muscles, and probably poorer sleep quality last night.
While I can't tell you when and when not to push through, I can offer simple questions to ask yourself before making this decision:
If I go [do the thing], how do I think I'll feel when I get home? Is that a feeling I'm looking forward to?
If I stay home, what will I do with my time? How will that support my health + wellness goals for the day? week? month?
Maybe add or create your own question(s) to align with your particular scenario and allow yourself the time to test them out! And remember, this doesn't have to be limited to physical activity or exercise. Maybe reflect on your day or week of food consumption and ask yourself how it's supporting you and all the amazing activities you're doing.
Feel free to share your thoughts, the questions you ask yourself, changes or adjustments to your health + wellness, or anything at all!