Find Your Balance Tips
HOW TO BUDGET BETTER:
- Every day for the next month, write down absolutely everything you spend.
- Take a week or so to write up a budget that records all your living expenses.
- Invest in computer software to balance your checkbook.
- For every dollar you spend on fun (and that includes shopping online), spend two on paying down your credit card bills and put another one into savings.
- Figure out if money problems stem from logistics, carelessness or a deeper emotional issue. Whatever it is, help is available.
HELPING OTHERS HELP YOU:
- If something is bothering you, do a little detective work to uncover patterns of cause and effect.
- If you find yourself repeating the same stories over and over – whether silently as interior monologues or as set pieces to your friends – it’s time to step outside your social circle and get some professional coaching.
- Understand that sometimes behavioral changes can influence your mental state. Sometimes when you act better, you can actually start to feel better. Enlist your friends.
- Know that you’re not alone. No matter what you’re going through, there are others who have experienced the same thing and who are willing to share their experiences, insights and advice.
- FIND others with your sense of humor and stay in touch with them frequently (even if you can’t meet up in person).
- SHARE what you find funny. Passing along something funny can actually make it funnier and also means you get to enjoy it again.
- LEARN what makes you laugh and return to it frequently.
- RELAX – a sense of humor isn’t a competition. It’s as much about appreciating the humor in others as it is about being funny yourself.
- AVOID being ‘on’ (which is a guaranteed buzz kill in the humor department).
PLAY IT FORWARD
- VARY your play activities so that you do as much physical (sports, dancing, hiking) play as you do video games or anything electronic.
- BALANCE different ways of enjoying yourself to include noisy, moderate and quiet activities.
- TURN WORK into play. Set a non-work or study-related goal like training for a marathon, for example. As you become stronger, what initially feels like work may start to feel like play.
- BECOME ABSORBED in something that makes you forget your troubles (which does NOT include drinking, drugging or texting yourself into oblivion btw).
- EXERT YOURSELF to exhaustion, whether through sports, dancing or another fitness activity.
A FEW WAYS TO GET MOVING:
Do 3 to 5 hour-long fitness activities (dancing counts too!) per week.
- Aim for at least 30 minutes of additional walking a day or 5000 extra steps with a pedometer (fyi weight loss usually requires about 12,000 or more steps a day).
- If it’s hard to schedule the time to exercise, get an app or some software to help you get motivated.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Get a stand-up desk instead of a sit-down one. Studies show that rather than exhausting you, standing up while working is good for your muscles, burns more calories and increases memory retention.
- A few minutes of DISTRACTION from what’s causing you pressure can start the relaxation process.
- SATISFACTION via meditating or embracing your spiritual side for a few set moments a day can help calm a restless mind.
- ATTRACTION to something you enjoy doing is a constructive way to start relaxing your mind.
- Physical ACTION is a great stress reliever that helps your mind relax too.
Do's and Don't to Eat Better
- Most of your calories earlier in the day.
- Plenty of leafy greens.
- A wide assortment of brightly colored produce.
DO NOT EAT:
- Out of anger, frustration or boredom.
- While you're doing something else (put the phone down for a few minutes already!).
- Too quickly. Slow down, your dinner's not going anywhere.
- Junk food. Garbage in = garbage out. You know this already
Sleep Positive Living
TO HELP SLEEP, DO:
- Stick to a set time and routine as best you can.
- Invest in self-hypnosis apps or software.
- Set a timer so that your device turns itself off if you prefer to fall asleep to video or music.
- Eat a light snack of plain Greek yogurt, an apple or some turkey slices 30 minutes before bed.
IF YOU HAVE TROUBLE SLEEPING, DO NOT:
- Drink caffeinated coffee, tea, or sodas after 3 p.m.
- Rely on alcohol.
- Rely on sleeping pills for more than 3 consecutive days.
How to Breathe Easier
- Inhale deeply through your nose.
- Hold your breath for 5 long seconds counting "1-Mississippi, 2-Mississippi, etc."
- DO NOT EXHALE. Breathe in another short breath and for 5 long seconds.
- DO NOT EXHALE. Repeat one more time.
- Exhale SLOWLY to a slow count of 10 long seconds.
- Repeat the whole sequence until you feel the stress, anger or frustration exit your body.
Giving Yourself a Break
- UNPLUG your devices for an hour at a time and turn off your phone while you sleep. (Guess what? The world will not end. REALLY!)
- INSTEAD OF CRAMMING, study in 15 minute increments throughout the day.
- GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK and take 10 minutes off to stretch or walk around for every 30 minutes you study. And after every 2 hours, take a half hour off for a change of scenery.
- CONSIDER MINDFULNESS, meditation or focusing on the moment to empty your brain and sweep away the stress.
- BECOME ABSORBED in something that makes you forget your troubles (which does NOT include drinking yourself into oblivion btw.)
- EXERT YOURSELF TO EXHAUSTION, whether through sports, dancing or another fitness activity.