Boy, have we gotten busy in our modern world. There are many reasons for us being “on” most of the time, whether it's economic pressure, a need to stay connected socially, or having a creative or business idea that just has to be shared with as many people as possible.
Fair enough. These are all good reasons to stay busy. However, with Silicon Valley companies inventing wonderful new tools that have become soft addictions for many of us, it’s getting harder and harder to put down our cellphones, iPads, and laptops to take much-needed breaks from our busyness. We end up forgetting to balance work and social-media time with our personal time for exercise, family, spiritual practices, or just plain fun.
So what's the solution? Many consultants and companies are recommending that we create “work-life balance” by taking an extra vacation every year, or building a gym in a corporate office building, which are all certainly steps in the right direction. However, people are finding they still are staying connected to their screens, thinking about work, and stressing over past and future events, even at home or on a tropical vacation.
I lived on Maui for five years and I saw it everywhere, from mad texting at the pools at luxury resorts to serious cellphone conversations on a trail in the Bamboo Forest. It’s hard to unplug! Even on vacation many people are overstimulating their brain and disconnecting from their body and the important people around them.
So what can we do? The answer is to make mind-body balance an essential daily habit.
Just like we unplug and reboot our smart tools when they freeze or act lethargic, we also need to reboot ourselves regularly. When you unplug, your brain gets to relax and your decisions and life activities become more balanced. Here's what I recommend doing:
1. Dedicate time each week to examine your activities.
Make an appointment with you as the CEO of your own life. Unplug at a dedicated time each week and assess your work/life/online balance. Determine whether they are balanced to your satisfaction, and note where you could improve.
2. Determine what's a priority in the key areas of your life.
From your health, career, and relationships to relaxation, fun, and personal growth, put your priorities on your calendar first. Having your priorities and desires clearly mapped out in this way greatly assists you to stay balanced and move in the direction of what you really want.
3. Keep agreements you've made with yourself.
This is essential. It's key to giving you a rock-solid foundation from which to create the balanced life you desire. If you keep 50 percent of your agreements, you will get 50 percent results.
4. Listen to your body when making decisions.
If your body says "no," to a busy project, listen. Your body — when it lines up with your perfect life plan — becomes a reliable barometer that can remind you to make choices in every moment that give you energy and the balanced life you deserve.
5. Stay connected to your body (even while using tech tools).
Keep your head up and don’t lean in to your devices. Have them adjust to you instead of you adjusting to them. For example, poor posture like staring down at your phone for several hours straight can cause neck pain and cut off oxygen to your brain. You'll then spend more time healing ailments than actually doing what you truly desire to do.
6. Take hourly stretch breaks.
Routinely stretch your neck up and down and sideways, especially when you're using smart tools. Get up and shake out any tension or stiffness to create more body-mind balance.
7. Take a personal body/mind balance assessment test.
I recommend using this assessment to find out how well you connect to your whole body experience. You'll also receive specific tips to achieve more body/mind balance in your life and work.