OK, so here’s the thing, most recently I have only been able to get to my yoga class two times a week because of my career goals, and I can’t jog because of a back injury. Because of this lesser activity than I’m used to, I find myself shaming myself and feeling bad about not exercising “enough.” But what is enough? Who says what’s right for you, right now, or ever?
So why do we judge ourselves so critically? I think that the root of our disappointment at times is a two-fold attitude: do more and find “balance.” It seems that societal pressure plays a major role in our self-criticism and living standards; our Western mentality of go harder, do more, be better, get skinnier, eat healthier, coupled with our desire to achieve supreme balance in all life areas, is down right exhausting. But if we can take a step back and realize that our ideals of giving 100% in all areas of our lives, is unrealistic!
Now I’m not suggesting that you should go eat a whole bag of potato chips and stop working out, but if you can honestly say that you’re doing the best you can with your current situation, then loosen up a little bit and let the missed cardio day slide, and while you’re at it, relax about the birthday cake you just had to have a piece of! We lead busy lives filled with family, friends, career, and fitness to top it all off, and doing your absolute best in all areas of your life 100% of the time, is not pragmatic, and it definitely isn’t balanced, despite what we are trained to think.
Regarding this fallacy of “balance,” I think our ideas of a balanced life need to be readjusted. There are times in your life when you are in full-out career mode, gunning it to your next BIG idea. Then there may come a time when making family dinner every night and watching ballet recitals really makes you feel whole. The scale will tip in different directions at different times. That’s life.
When you find yourself going to that snarky, self-critical place in your brain, take a deep breath, and say to yourself, “I am enough. I honor where I am right now.”
Wherever you are in your life, realize that week-to-week, day-by-day, our priorities shift, and with that comes your “balance” for that month/week/day. The trick is not letting the scale tip too far in one direction or another because then you’re ignoring areas of your life, and that isn’t good either (but that’s a different story!) So just let it be and honor where you are.
Peace, Love, & Balance,