7 Practical Steps to Cultivate Better Balance and Wellbeing

In the daily rush, better balance and wellbeing can feel elusive. Like something we’ll get to when life gets back to normal. But here’s the thing: there is no perfect time. And trust me – you have the tools at your disposal to make it achievable. 

Here are seven practical steps you can take to cultivate genuine wellbeing, lasting balance, and even make strides towards your health and weight loss goals. As you consider each one, embrace the idea that these aren’t distant ideals but attainable realities.

**Step 1: Reduce Mental Overwhelm**

The stories we tell shape our lives. When you dwell on busyness, ruminate on past decisions, or indulge in self-pity, you create overwhelm for yourself. If you catch yourself doing this, redirect your focus to what you do control and identify your next best step. When you strike this mental balance, overwhelm subsides. 

**Step 2: Prioritize Your Wellbeing**

Reclaim your personal time. Block out weekends on your calendar. If that feels like too much, start with a few hours here and there. Ensure you make time for regular moments of rejuvenation and enjoyment. 

**Step 3: Disconnect to Reconnect**

Our digital age requires that we create our own work-life balance, because tech won’t automatically do it for us! Silence non-urgent notifications from apps and email, and create automated weekend email responses, soaking in a little peace and quiet. 

Photo by Annemiek Smegen on Unsplash

**Step 4: Mindful Moments**

I’ll be honest. I like to scroll now and then. IG has some freaking funny cat reels and 80’s GenX videos that I totally relate to. But mindless scrolling can end up wasting time rather than refreshing us. Find intentional ways to savor your free time. Tune into the beauty around you, compliment a stranger, or strike up a chat. Treat these mindful moments like a spa day for your mental and emotional health.

**Step 5: Reduce Sugar Intake**

Sugar might give you a quick pick-me-up, but it can wreck you on the other end. Blood sugar swings and urges for more sugar leave you exhausted. (Not to mention beating yourself up for eating junk food that you really didn’t want and made you feel like crap.) Have your go-to meals and snacks ready for any situation. And stay hydrated with water. Your mind and body will be all smiles!

**Step 6: Seek Support**

Whether you’re struggling in your personal or professional life, don’t hesitate to reach out for support. Simply discussing issues with colleagues, friends or mentors can build a network to help maintain your health. If you need more focused support for challenges related to sticking with healthy habits, consider coaching with me.

**Step 7:Use the Key Word**

Balance is all about knowing when to say yes and when to wield the mighty “no.” While saying yes can be tempting, it’s essential to say no when overcommitting would tip the scales. Embrace the power of saying no in order to protect your time, energy, and well-being.

When life comes at you fast, balance is your ticket to success, personally and professionally. It’s not a static place to “get to” but rather a way of life that you cultivate. Keep prioritizing better balance and wellbeing; they’re your path to being a Healthy Hottie and living the life you want.

Are you forgotten on the back burner of your priority list?

How do you make self-love a priority? Or, do you? 

When we balance taking care of family, working hard, and serving our communities, sometimes “we” take a back seat on our own priority list.

But then…

an important deadline is missed, or 

lab work comes back indicating diabetes, or

a relationship is broken.

…a sudden reminder that self-care is what makes everything else work. 

We’ve forgotten… “love your neighbor as yourself.” 

I think the two most overlooked words are “as yourself.”

I remember a sermon several years ago. The pastor said that in our culture we don’t need any help with loving ourselves. That most people loved themselves too much. 

I totally disagree.

Self-love is not self-absorption or self-indulgence. Or selfish.

These are born out of feeling inadequate and unloved. Out of not loving ourselves. 

Genuine self-love is the result of knowing we are loved and cared for by Another, greater than ourselves. And this is what makes truly loving others possible. 

self-love
Photo by Kampus Production from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/close-up-photo-of-mother-and-daughter-smiling-8829191/

But how does this happen in practice?

By having clear and specific goals – not just “what,” but “why,” – and scheduling in time for you before you schedule anything else. Because if you try to squeeze “you” in, let’s be honest…you won’t fit.

For me, a large part of my focus is my business, and this year I’m weaving self-care into how I operate. 

Like setting aside more time to be strategic and develop ideas for delivering superior value to my clients. I think a lot about how to help them achieve the transformation they want. I’m planning ahead three months so I know what’s on the horizon and don’t get blindsided.

I set health goals for the first time in a few years: meditation six days a week, two plant-only days per week, eating less dairy (cheese!), and upping my fiber to average 40+ grams per day. And I’m still doing it! Because I have clear, compelling reasons to follow through. 

I also have a goal to read 24 books, at least four of them fiction. I love business and mindset books, so purposefully choosing fiction must be a goal. (My favorite book so far this year? Quench!)

The one thing all of these goals have in common? They require time and attention that I was previously putting elsewhere. Like “getting things done.” And I admit… sometimes I feel guilty when I decline an invitation. Or feel like I should be “doing more” for everyone else. 

But I believe we need to reclaim “as yourself” if we are to serve our families, friends, customers/bosses and communities. 

We are limited, finite beings. I’m willing to work hard and serve hard. And take excellent care of myself in the process.

3 ways to manage overwhelm better than a glass of wine will

Up until a few years ago, I enjoyed a glass or two of wine most days. It wasn’t a problem per se, but then I looked at why I was drinking it.

For one thing, I genuinely enjoy wine and belong to wine clubs I like. And it’s fun drinking good wine with good friends. I also thought that it helped me relax and wind down after a hard day.

Some of those reasons I like, which is why I still drink wine. But the last one didn’t sit right with me. 

If I was honest, the need to relax or forget my day came from feeling overwhelmed with too much to do, or rehashing all of the things that went wrong that day which made me feel like I deserved a treat. I just wanted to escape for a while and not think about it all.

And I wasn’t getting sloshed or missing work. Plus, lots of people did it. Memes on social media indicated I wasn’t alone. What was the big deal? Well, the big deal was that I was using wine as a way to 

…manage overwhelm,

…make myself feel better after a bad day, and

…treat myself with something special.

It was a pattern I’d trained myself into so I knew I could train myself out of it. 

manage overwhelm
Photo by Terry Vlisidis on Unsplash

Here are three ways I learned to manage overwhelm without a glass of wine (or ice cream, or insert your “self-management style” here):

  1. I retrained my brain: feeling overwhelmed comes from thoughts like “I have too much to do” or “I don’t know how I can possibly get everything done.” I gradually learned to tell myself that I have plenty of time and energy to do the things I want to do. Now when that feeling comes up, I step back and notice it’s coming from a thought. I see if there’s any validity to it and if I need to delegate or take some action to lessen the load. Then I remind myself I’ve got it handled.
  2. I took time to recognize wins: at the end of the day our minds easily grab onto the bad parts, like the flat tire or oversleeping our alarm. I began consciously recognizing the positives, particularly those that were the result of my own efforts which allows me to feel successful. These don’t need to be big wins – notice that most of the “bad” stuff in our day is not monumental, either. Simple acknowledgement of the good helps to neutralize our tendency to go negative.
  3. I found real pleasure: My coach taught me that many of the things we enjoy are false pleasures. For me, enjoying Tolo Cabernet on Saturday night with friends is a genuine pleasure. But two glasses of wine on Tuesday night is not. Once I thought differently about my day and started exploring what treating myself really looked like, I found true enjoyment. And I realized that I deserve so much more than vegging out with wine to relax after a long day. 

The best part is feeling like I have the tools to relax and manage my mind around overwhelm without “needing” a glass of wine. 

The same is possible with anything else we misuse to distract ourselves from feeling bad or uncomfortable (like food, social media, Netflix). And once you learn to do it with one thing, you can do it with anything to create a healthy lifestyle that you absolutely love!

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