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Sunday, 9 September 2018

6 Rules I Try To Live By - How To Be More Balanced In Life

Zebra Print Pinafore Dress

Balance, it’s one of those overused, cliche words but it’s a word I love. If you’ve followed me for quite some time, you’ll probably know that I am a strong believer in balance. I use the idea of balance in work, play, fitness and my diet. Granted, I’m not the best at balancing everything (that’s the catch, balance isn’t always easy to achieve) but, I give it a good shot and recognise the importance of it. As I preach the idea of balance so much, I thought it would be nice to talk to you today about my top tips for living a balanced life and the ways I try to incorporate balance into my life to ensure I’m happy, fit and healthy (whilst living life and eating pizza too because happiness for me is not eating lettuce leaves). I hope this will help you with a few tips when it comes to balancing your life too, 6 easy little rules I try to live by for a more balanced, happy life!
Zebra Print Pinafore Dress topshop

I’d love you to start by reading this quote, it’s a quote I have stuck on my wall and a quote that pretty much sums up why I love the idea of balance so much:

“Balance is the key. In everything you do. Dance all night long and practice yoga the next day. Drink wine but don’t forget your green juice. Eat chocolate when your heart wants it and kale salad when your body needs it. Wear high heels on Saturday and walk barefoot on Sunday. Live high and low. Move and stay still. Embrace all sides of who you are. Be brave, bold, spontaneous and loud and let that complement your abilities to find silence, patience, modesty and peace. Aim for balance. Make your own rules and follow your own path and don’t let anybody tell you how to live according to theirs.” ~ Rachel Brathen

Topshop Zebra Print Pinafore Dress

Don’t deprive yourself - One of the first times I heard about the idea of balance was when I read articles about deprivation in your diet. They all said the same thing: don’t deprive yourself. If you deprive yourself, you will only binge. I’m talking about this in relation to the diet. Years ago I stupidly tried to give up carbs (don’t ask me why as it’s something I am dead against now I understand there is absolutely nothing wrong with carbs, they fuel our body and rightly so). The funny thing? I binged more carbs than I’ve ever had in my life the week after. I’ve always been told that depriving yourself of something only makes you want it more, so actually, it’s better to have things in moderation, and stop seeing things like ‘chocolate’ and ‘crisps’ as ‘naughty treats’. No, they are wonderful, yummy things that are there to be enjoyed, and you shouldn’t feel guilty for consuming them, heyyy I have been known to demolish a bag of Walker’s Tear and Share to myself (EM DOES NOT SHARE CRISPS) and I don’t feel guilty because it’s not like I do it every single night. Moderation is your friend, it really is all about moderation. If you love something, don't cut it out of your diet, life is there to be enjoyed and as morbid as it is, do you want to be sat on your death bed saying: 'I regret turning down that pizza slice' no you do not. Just eat the things you love in moderation rather than cutting them out all together (e.g, me with crisps as I obviously cannot eat Tear and Share 4x per day). Read: 13 Ways I've Been Living A Happier Life

80/20 - This takes me onto the 80/20 rule. I first discovered this years ago and whilst it’s not something I rigorously stick to, it’s something that makes me feel more balanced with my eating. I don’t beat myself up for having chocolate or pizza, I just see it as the 80/20 rule, that means, 80% of the time I eat well and then I allow myself 20% of the time to eat whatever I like, it then means I don’t deprive myself. I would say this is the easiest way to get moderation/balance in your diet.

Exercise - You should find a balance in your exercise routine too. I find people either do too little exercise or too much, I know you could say ‘there’s no such thing as too much exercise’ but actually, rest is very important and burn out is very real too. Without adequate sleep, rest etc our muscles and body can’t recover. I have a diary and I tick the days I’ve worked out per week, it means I can make time for planned rest days and still ensure I’m doing my 3-4x workouts a week. It also means I don’t beat myself up if I have a week off because I can see how hard I worked the week before. Read about my gym routine. 

Sleep - I am the worst at burning the candle at both ends, I will go to bed really late and then get up early. I am trying to be more forceful and lower my bedtime every single night or even do little things like shut my laptop earlier or put my phone at the other side of the room so I don’t scroll (the struggle is real). I’m being kinder to myself too though if I go to bed late, I’m not going to be getting up at 6am. I’m trying to ensure I get my 7-8 hours minimum per night, otherwise, it will ruin my productivity for the day ahead. Late night = later start. Make sure you rest, recover and get those hours of ZZZ’s in. Read: 4 Tips For A Better Nights Sleep.

Work - Balance at work is something I am really bad at, but I’m trying to get better at. I did a blog post all about suffering from burn out because I think we live in such a work-obsessed world, I add to it. I’m a workaholic, I know I am but I know there are ways to balance my work better. I find shutting my laptop at a certain time really helps and taking the downtime ‘after work’ like you would in any other job. I find scheduling content also helps and takes the pressure off. When you work for yourself, you’re constantly wanting to do more so I think making a daily to-do list helps because you can see what’s truly a priority and what you’ve just added on for the sake of it (a bit like real life, we always let our to-do lists mount up but realistically, how much of it do we NEED to do?). Read my tips for freelancers if you missed it. I’m also trying to take time off, whether that’s to see my Grandparents on a weekend or have a date night with Matt, it’s more important to see your loved ones than being obsessed with work. Having a work-life balance is so important. Nothing is going to go majorly wrong if you just take a bit of time off.

Pressure - To finish, take that pressure off yourself by being kinder to yourself, your body and your mind. I know it's easier said than done but try and sleep more, don't over-exercise, eat better not less and take the work pressure off.  If you want a pizza, HAVE THE PIZZA! I try to do the bulk of my tasks on a Sunday now which may sound crazy but it means I wake up and don't feel anxious and stressed on a Monday morning. Do little things to take the pressure off yourself, a big one for me (that's actually really small but helps my stress levels) is pre-booking a seat on my train otherwise the travel anxiety is REAL. Be kinder to yourself and make little adjustments to lower those stress and pressure levels. Read: 5 Ways To Tackle Stress.

So there we have it, a quick little blog post about my idea of balance and some tips that might help you. How do you feel about balance?

You might also like:

6 tips for freelancers and business owners 
6 Ways To Feel Motivated/Inspired 

Lots of love, Em x

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