The Ingredients for a Balanced Day

June 15, 2020
have a balanced day to prevent burnout

In my coaching practice, one of the number one complaints I hear from clients is that they feel overwhelmed and burned-out. Although they may be getting enough sleep at night they feel tired and drained throughout the day. Is this you? Aside from not eating a healthy and well-balanced diet, you may be feeling this way because you aren't making sure your day is balanced.


What is Balance

Having a balanced day does not mean you spend equal amounts of time doing leisure activities as you do work. A balanced day is different for everyone and may vary depending on the day. For example, I spend more time in leisure than work on Saturdays because that's my Sabbath, or rest day. On Sunday I spend more time working than in leisure because that is the first day of my work week. 

Since balance looks different for everyone, I've put together four key areas for you to focus on when crafting your balanced day. Remember, these are the ingredients for a balanced day, not the recipe, so time spent doing each activity is totally up to your preference and taste. 



Healthy Morning Routine

First impressions are lasting, so what you tell your mind, body, and spirit about the first part of your morning will stay with you throughout the day. Set yourself up for success by implementing a healthy morning routine. This doesn't have to be complicated and there is no magic formula. Your "healthy" morning routine should simply consist of activities that will help you center your day around the things that matter most to you. Here are some tips on what to include in your healthy morning routine and why:


  • God Time - If you are having trouble organizing your day, don't be afraid to ask God to help you put what's most important first. God's Spirit dwells on the inside of all believers and is there to guide us into all understanding and truth. Perhaps you are struggling because you are focused on things that aren't important and your time may be better spent elsewhere. God Time can be reading the Word, meditating, worshiping through song, praying, or a combination of all of these.

  • Review Your Schedule - Every morning you should review your daily schedule. Yes, it is important to plan the night before and even at the beginning of the week, however also review your daily schedule each morning. This will ensure that your brain is already set on the tasks that need to get done and gives you a chance to make any necessary changes. 

review your schedule and own the day
photo: @emmamatthews


  • Self-work - This is simply spending time doing an activity that helps to elevate you spiritually, mentally, or physically. The spiritual elevation here is not to be confused with God Time. God Time works on your relationship with God, whereas spiritual elevation works on your understanding of God. Self-work can include reading a book, listening to a podcast or sermon, watching an educational Youtube video, or even an online seminar. The point is you are doing something that increases your mental capital through learning.

  • Prompt Writing/Journaling - If you're anything like me, some mornings you wake-up with a million thoughts running through your mind. Some nights my dreams are so vivid that it's as if I've watched a movie. Or, I wake-up with a revelation from God after having prayed for myself or a loved one the night before. This is why writing first thing in the morning is so important. It gets whatever is on your mind and in your head out. In addition, prompt writing can help to get your creative juices flowing. 

exercise in the morning
photo: @bklaver
  • Exercise - There is so much research about the positive effects exercise has on the mind and body, especially when done in the morning. Plus, people who exercise in the morning tend to stick with their workout routine. So, get it over with girl, before any other distractions come your way.

Three Breaks Throughout the Day   

Regardless of how much work you have to do during the day, you must still take breaks in between tasks. Many women skip lunch or scarf down their food while at their desk or in a meeting. Unless you are fasting or have a medical condition, skipping a meal is never okay. Nevermind all the physical ramifications, let's focus on what skipping a meal in favor of working is telling others about you and you about you.

First, it sends a message to others, coworkers, your boss, and clients that they don't have to value your downtime because you don't value your downtime. If you are always available even when you should be on break others may take this as an invitation to pile on the work. You are also sending a signal to yourself that you taking thirty minutes during the day to eat will cause the world to come crashing down. Hear me on this, thirty minutes will not break your day, but it will make you more relaxed and ready to take on the next task. Also, adding in two additional breaks will help to free up your working memory thus decreasing your chances of burnout and frustration with a difficult task.

have fun
Do you use Pinterest? Would you consider pinning this image to your favorite board? 


Mindless Behavior

Not to be confused with the 2010 boy group, mindless behavior doesn't require you to use a lot of brainpower and should bring you some form of joy or relaxation. This could include playing games on your phone, watching television, playing with your kids, hanging out with friends, or whatever else brings you joy but doesn't cause you to stress or require much thought. Doing this helps to bring joy to an otherwise hard or boring day, especially when you're stressed about work or a personal problem. I spend at least an hour towards the end of my day doing mindless activities.


Healthy Nighttime Routine

Just like your morning routine, this is whatever you make it. A healthy nighttime routine should help you to decompress and prepare for the next day. Some nighttime routines can include taking out your clothes for the next day and cleaning high traffic areas of your house in preparation for the next morning like the kitchen. Your nighttime routine should also include reflection and time scheduling your tasks for the next day. As well as a release of all negative energy and emotions just before you go to bed.


  • Reflection - Reflection is taking some time to think or write down your wins for the day and areas that need improvement. Here are some questions to consider during your reflection time: If you didn't get everything done, why? What stood in your way? Is there something you can do differently tomorrow that'll ensure what's important get's done?

  • Next-day Planning - Planning the night before helps you to save time in the morning. This will ensure your day does not start out hectic and cause you to be frustrated. Again, remember first impressions are lasting, that frustration can set the tone for the rest of your day. So, gather all necessary supplies the night before and even pack your lunch.

pray before bed

  • Release - Much like journaling or prompt writing in the morning, a release can help you get everything out of your head. The difference is a release is designed to help you give all the burdens of the day and your worries to God. You can do this through verbal prayer and journaling, but make sure to do it just before bed. This is also a great way for you to clear your head if you find yourself having trouble sleeping. You can rest knowing that you've submitted all your troubles to God in prayer and while you sleep peacefully He will be hard at work on your behalf. 

Bonus

I used to have trouble sleeping at night. For me, the Release did not do the job at quieting my mind. I would spend hours in bed wanting to sleep, but instead be up worrying about the troubles of the day, or the task for tomorrow. Then, I discovered adult bedtime stories. Yes, they exist and they have been a game-changer for me. My favorite app to use is Abide, a Christian meditation app. They have over 60 bedtime stories to choose from. Every night I go to sleep with the sound of gentle music over bible stories and scripture. Try it, and tell me what you think.       


   

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