You think you don’t have time to dedicate to finding more opportunities for things you love to do in your life? You don’t have to meditate for three hours a day or go completely vegan to see the benefits of a balanced lifestyle.
Dr. Jenni Bruning Brown, Fly’s Founder, shares her 5 personal favorite ways to stay balanced, and how these small changes will help keep you feeling positive and less anxious. Jenni’s “balance hacks” help you “make the most of your extra time whenever you just have a few minutes to spare. These tips will help you get into the habit of thinking more present, balanced and connected.”
Here are are her top five:
- Begin with intention. Start every day with a goal, intention or idea of where you want the day to lead. Take a moment to be present, take a few breaths and sit quietly. Just think about your vision for your life, your values and who and what is most important to you. Sometimes even just finding a word to define your day, such as kindness, honesty, integrity or strength will help you refine your intention.
- End with gratitude. Every night as you lie in bed, think of at least one thing you are grateful for. It can be simple, like a coffee with a friend, or a moment with a loved one or even just nice weather. Often we spend this time fretting about things we have to do the next day, ruminating about conversations or feeling stressed about anything and everything. Instead, try thinking of something you are grateful for. If you want, try getting a journal and just jotting down these things and make it one or two little things you are grateful for daily. Nothing is too big or small and it only takes a minute and ends the day on a positive note.
- Have a phone curfew. Jenni suggests leaving the phone out of the bedroom or having times you simply don’t use your phone. “Much of the time we spend on our phones zaps our energy and wreaks havoc on us. We are constantly receiving work emails, negative social media reinforcement or difficult questions we need to respond to. We often feel we need to respond.” Jenni says it’s critical that we set our own phone curfew and stick to it. If you need the alarm, leave your phone away from your bed and set it to do not disturb until 6AM.
- Make a connection. You may not think you have time to connect, but you do. In this world of “I’m so busy!” we all think we just don’t have time. Use the time you are in line at the coffee shop, or in traffic to call and connect with a friend or your mom or dad. Jenni says it may seem silly, but killing two birds with one stone is the best way to make use of the little time she has. Jenni often calls friends she doesn’t get to see often when she’s driving to Omaha or is in a line. This small act a) relieves stress but it also connects her with friends on a regular basis.
- Give yourself a treat. Everyone has rough days, and some days are certainly easier than others. It’s not always easy to be strong, committed and to have will power. It isn’t easy to commit to healthy habits all of the time. That’s why it’s important to reward yourself for your hard work and commitment, your self-care and your ability to stick to things when you do.
Jenni says that it’s essential that we reward ourselves for hard work. Her treat is taking short trips with her husband and getting away as a couple every 4-5 months for a couple of days. She says that if you schedule your reward, it encourages you and will help maintain your balance and sense of positivity. Balance doesn’t have to be a chore – it’s about identifying what fills you up and honoring those moments by making time for them in small ways.