Balance is somewhat of a buzzword these days. We’re all trying to find it and everyone else is trying to sell it to us. But, that doesn’t make the pursuit for it any less important. Living a life of extremes takes its toll on your body and your emotions. So we strongly believe in enjoying all that life has to offer from yoga to high intensity training to rest to chocolate to red wine to kale smoothies. And everything found in between. But we also believe that, like a pendulum, it’s best to stay towards the middle because if we swing one way, we tend to swing all the way back the other way.
Let go of the punishment and reward system
So often we get ourselves into a routine of punishment and reward. We’ve been ‘good’ all week so we indulge on the weekend. Then come Monday we feel guilty for being ‘bad’ over the weekend and get ourselves back on the ‘good’ train. Sounding at all familiar? ‘Good’ and ‘bad’ will differ for all of us. Maybe eating lots of chocolate and cake is bad for one person, while drinking all the wine is bad for another. Or perhaps it’s your exercise routine that really gets you. It all depends. But what tends to be the same is the labels of good and bad and the pendulum swing that follows. When we let go of the labels, we don’t need to reward ourselves or punish ourselves anymore. And when that happens, the guilt can start to dissipate.
Enjoy it and your body will know what to do
Guilt and stress around food or alcohol can be the most damaging thing to our health. Stress is one of the most important things to consider when finding a balanced and healthy lifestyle. If we spend most of our time feeling guilty about whether we’ve eaten the right thing or gone to the right amount of yoga classes that week, our body can start to live in a chronic state of stress. When we let go of the need to control and allow ourselves to relax, the body can start to function more effectively and actually deal with indulgence easier. Focus on good sleep and restorative exercise (like yoga) if you’re feeling that stress is really taking its toll.
Be mindful and listen to your body
What’s important to remember is that the body can comfortably handle a certain level of food, alcohol, or lack of exercise. But there will be a point where it gets too much for your system to handle. Just like we mentioned before, the pendulum wants to stay close to the center. Enjoy that pizza and red wine night, but when you’re full, your body has had enough. The same goes for alcohol. The body can easily support a few glasses of wine, but after a certain point, the body will struggle to detox your system and you’ll end up with a killer hangover.
Remember life is about more than routine
We are creatures of habit. We like routine and we like sticking to it. Some of us plan our workouts, some of us plan our weekly meals. All good ways of getting into a healthy rhythm and making life easy for yourself. But remember, enjoying friends, family, and celebration is more important than making sure that kale stir fry gets eaten tonight. Don’t be afraid to be spontaneous, regardless of what the meal plan says.