Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Restoring Balance to Your Life

In my current course of study on the components of wellness, I am getting a better understanding of how fitness and wellness are interrelated. To be considered "well", one must strive for balance in every area of his/her life. In addition to proper diet, exercise, and rest, it is important to achieve mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional health. I am learning to value my contributions to the society-at-large through my work, charity, sacrifice, and environmental awareness.

Fitness is a complement to my endeavors. It allows me to exist in my body rather than be a slave to it. If I am sick or overweight (a form of sickness), most of my energies shift toward correcting that condition. Many of the balls that I juggle will drop and my recovery time will be spent playing catch-up (which is stressful for me!). It is important to take care of myself all of the time.

My approach to doing chores, studying, family time, "me" time, etc. has changed. I used to complete tasks in "batches" like an assembly line--focusing on one thing at a time until I'm finished. Now, I am more flexible to my circumstances with a clearer list of priorities. I know what I need to do, so I look for more creative ways to get them done without disrupting my daily routine.

As a Muslim, the month of Ramadan is a wonderful opportunity to restore balance and recharge my batteries. Fasting (no food or drink) during the daylight hours makes exercise a challenge, so I do short, intense workouts at 6:00 am. Then I read and hydrate until dawn. I can complete some chores, clear my email, and plan my day before my daughter stirs from her sleep. Constant prayer and meditation keeps me calm and focused. I feel more connected in my spirit. I have started purging my closets and donating old clothes and household items to charity. This improves the energy in my home and unclutters my mind while making someone else's life better. At the end of the day, we look forward to a good healthy meal so, cooking becomes a creative outlet as opposed to a chore. On the whole, this 30-day period allows me to make some new habits and break some old ones.

Take this opportunity to renew your spirit and get "well". Look closely at your life and decide to try a new approach toward improving yourself. You might be surprised and a bit happier! Hope this helps! More next time...

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