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Finding Life Balance

What does it mean to have a balanced life and why can’t we ever seem to do it?

In order to be balanced, one must feel nourished in every aspect of their life. This does NOT mean that everything is going wonderful in all aspects all the time, but that a certain amount of care and presence is offered to each area.

Part of the reason we can never seem to do it is because it is hard to know where to spend our energy and how much time to spend in each area. Or, we are overwhelmed by one area taking up too much of our day. Neuroscientist, Daniel Siegel, designed a model which he calls The Healthy Mind Platter. I have found this model to be a useful tool in support of finding life balance.

The list might seem like a lot to incorporate in one day, but some can be done simultaneously and it’s more about thoughtfully bringing awareness to each of these components than it is spending hours a day attending to each. You can use it as a check off list at the beginning and end of your day to see where it is you are lacking and where you are focusing too much time.

Try it out for a week.

The Healthy Mind Platter, by Daniel Siegel

Focus Time When we closely focus on tasks in a goal-oriented way, we take on challenges that make deep connections in the brain.
Play Time When we allow ourselves to be spontaneous or creative, playfully enjoying novel experiences, we help make new connections in the brain.
Connecting Time When we connect with other people, ideally in person, and when we take time to appreciate our connection to the natural world around us, we activate and reinforce the brain’s relational circuitry.
Physical Time When we move our bodies, aerobically if medically possible, we strengthen the brain in many ways.
Time In When we quietly reflect internally, focusing on sensations, images, feelings and thoughts, we help to better integrate the brain.
Down Time When we are non-focused, without any specific goal, and let our mind wander or simply relax, we help the brain recharge.
Sleep Time When we give the brain the rest it needs, we consolidate learning and recover from the experiences of the day.
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