Here at the University Wellness Program, we describe wellness as a journey, not a destination. Contrary to popular belief, we will never be perfectly well and may pass through seasons where we focus more on certain aspects of our health than others. Being healthy is not just about eating right and hitting the gym a few times a week. Being healthy is also about being socially, environmentally, emotionally, occupationally, spiritually, and intellectually well.
It’s all about balance.
Balance looks different for different people and can be accomplished in different ways. Achieving balance for some may involve scheduling time to work out or to meditate, while achieving balance for others may involve maintaining a more flexible work schedule or setting a wake and sleep time to ensure getting enough rest every night. Whatever the plan of action is however, it almost always involves setting self-boundaries.
Boundaries not only help us to gain respect from our peers but when set and followed, boundaries can set us up for success in every aspect of our lives. For example, if having quiet time to yourself every morning is important for you to think clearly throughout the day, then schedule a time and place for you to do so and then stay committed. If we schedule to meet with a friend over coffee, we wouldn’t ditch them at the last minute – so don’t ditch yourself. One way to discover what boundaries we need in our lives is to think about our values. Is being respectful important to you? Being honest? Open-minded? Dedicated? If our actions are not aligning with our values, then we know that we need to reprioritize, whether that be daily tasks, goals, or even people.
By promising ourselves to stick to personal boundaries in an effort to achieve balance, we are showing self-love.
There can be several reasons why we may lack balance in our lives:
- Poor study habits
- Lack of prioritizing daily tasks
- Confusing the goal of being productive with just being busy
- Working too much
- Unclear expectations at work
- A nutrition-deprived diet
- Not enough time to dedicate to hobbies
- Not enough time to dedicate to family and friends
- An unstable schedule
- Toxic relationships with others
Without a doubt, all of these issues can be resolved and balance can be restored. When we are being intentional in the steps that we are taking throughout our wellness journeys, we are ensuring a path that leads to our very best selves.