The secrets I have Learned for a Balanced, Healthy Life

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When I think of a Balanced, Healthy Life the first thing that used to pop in my brain was a lean-muscled, pretty, young woman, laughing as she strolled along a picturesque beach, with fine white sand under her toes and the beautiful, clear blue water in the background. Or, that same woman would be having a girls night out with her all her best friends and they would be having a blast of a time together. Or, sometimes, this woman would be having a relaxing day in a spotless house, with her lovely children and husband. Or, having a great, stress-free day at work, doing a job she enjoys.

I know (and so do most of you), that having a balanced, healthy life includes eating healthy foods, exercising and finding healthy ways to decrease stress. But that doesn’t stop us from having a mental picture for what a balanced, healthy life means to us.

Unfortunately, my vision didn’t pan out to be the everyday functions of my own life. (Actually, I don’t know how many people really live this type of life).

Then, as I got older, I started to see the problems with my way of thinking. It wasn’t that I never got to experience these things in my own life. It was that I expected that this was the way that life should be lived. EVERY DAY.

If that’s not a set up for disappointment, I don’t know what is.

So I started to change my way of thinking, it wasn’t an easy task, and it’s a work in progress, but here are the things that I have learned.

Life is Unpredictable

We have no control over what can happen in life. That woman I envisioned could be walking on that beach and then a thunderstorm could hit. Well, you might say, she should have watched the weather report (ok, how many people actually do that). Then, how about if the beach is crowded, the sand feels like sharp, tiny stones, the sun is a pelting 90 degrees overhead and there is a Do Not Swim sign posted because the water has been contaminated. How does that fit into her balanced, healthy life?

The point is that life can be unpredictable, even with the best-laid plans. So it is up to us to set ourselves up to the possibility of change happening. It is not wise to believe that doing that one thing will make you happy or healthy. When that one thing fails, if you’re like me, you’re left scrambling to pick up the pieces. And not feeling very relaxed or balanced.

Friendships are Important

It has been my experience that true friendships are hard to come by and we have to play the cards we are dealt. Having just a few genuine friends is more important to me than having a big group to hang out with all the time. Now some people have that big circle of friends, where everyone gets along and they all have great times together, but not everyone is that lucky. (Anyone watched the Real Housewives…) Some of my closest friends, I only see a couple times for the year, but we are still best friends, its just that life, kids, and work happens.

Friends are important and essential to a healthy, balanced life, but that doesn’t mean you have to hang out every weekend to validate your friendship. True friends don’t need you to do that.

Be Grateful for the Little Things

Having a husband and kids, are two of my greatest joys. But sometimes my expectations of how my life should be, get in the way. Like how I expect, a consistently spotless house, when I live with little kids. Or how I get easily stressed when something goes wrong in the household function.

Learning to appreciate the things that are going right, has helped me stay balanced. Like not taking for granted that I do have a family and healthy children. Or that I do have a job, even if I get stressed out at times by it.

And even if you don’t have a lot, there is still something to be grateful for. Being alive, being able to read, living.

Life can be hard, and it is a work in progress for all of us, but there are things we can do to help prepared ourselves for the times when things will get hard. Because at some point it will. That is one of the keys to living a balanced, healthy life.