All work and no play makes Jack (or Jill) a dull boy (or girl)
In a world full of opportunity, why do we struggle to balance our lives?
Competing demands at home and work, being available 24/7, wanting to achieve more and more and more....
When did you last think about the direction of your life? Are you heading the right way?
Why is 'doing' so important?
As an occupational therapist (OT), I studied the impact of 'doing' and 'not doing' on health and well being. Not all occupational therapists give out walking aids and raised toilet seats, it is so much more than that.
Occupation is the stuff we do every day, from the moment we wake up to the moment we sleep. OT's describe it as productivity (work), self care (rest) and leisure (play).
When everything is working in balance, we're usually happier, healthier and content with our lot. We thrive.
What happens when things go off piste?
Occupational imbalance and deprivation happen when we're unable to do things we want or need to. Sometimes this is due to illness or injury, but not always. The environment can play a part, for example those forcibly deprived of their liberty may not be able to engage in meaningful 'occupation'.
Others can't see the wood for the trees amidst the chaos that is life and battle with fear of failure, success and the unknown. Crippled by procrastination or perfectionism; aspirations appear just out of reach. But it's not all doom and gloom.
Three ways to restore balance
Get clear on your values
There are lots of online tools to help; answer the following questions to get started:
- What is important to me?
- What excites me?
- What do I enjoy?
- What am I good at?
- What do I want to do, be and have?
Take your time and have some fun with it. Think about when you've felt on top of your game. What were you doing? Where were you?
Find a 'just right' challenge
A just right challenge is a balance between the challenge a task presents and the skills of the person doing it. Too much challenge and we can become frustrated, too little can result in boredom. Get the balance just right and we experience 'flow'. Can you remember the last time you were completely engrossed in an activity, you loved it so much and lost all track of time? You were probably in flow.
Hire a coach or therapist
We all need a nudge in the right direction from time to time. Perhaps you've felt stuck for a while and have tried everything to get back on track. A therapist or coach helps you consider other options, ideas you hadn't thought of before. They hold a mirror up and help you unlock pearls of wisdom lying dormant within. It is powerful.
If this article has resonated with you, why not get in touch for a free, no obligation consultation? Who knows where it might take you?