LIFE IN BALANCE
Part 7. Your Lifestyle
by Elena Greco
LIFE IN BALANCE is a multi-part series exploring health–
what it is, how to get it and how to maintain it, easily and naturally.
To read previous issues of Life in Balance, see links at end of this article.
Typical reading time: 2 minutes
In the first part of this series, we learned that health is balance, and that to be healthy, we need to learn ways of keeping our balance, physically and mentally, in the midst of life’s many challenges. We took a look at some healthcare paradigms and learned the value of using a holistic healthcare system, one which takes all aspects of you and your health into account, and which views health as much more than being free from symptoms of illness. And we learned that true health is reflected in vitality and resilience.
We began an assessment of your traits and lifestyle that will form the basis of your healthcare plan. Let’s continue with that assessment. To recap, there are four areas that we evaluate in our Assessment: physical body, mind, environment and lifestyle. So far we’ve looked at the physical body, the mind and the environment. Now let’s look at your lifestyle.
Think about what your life looks like in this area. Again, there’s no judgment about this, no good or bad; just notice. Here’s a list to get you started. And again, keep these assessments together so that you will have a complete picture at the end of the process.
a. Make good daily choices
b. Have consistency, routine, productive time and time to daydream or relax
1) Your type of work: e.g., creative arts, healing arts, medical, legal, business, manual labor, restaurant service
2) Is your work mostly creative, mental/cerebral or physical?
3) Amount of work:
a) light (20 hours/week)
b) average (40 hours/week)
c) moderately heavy (50-60 hours/week)
d) heavy (60+ hours/week)
d. Stress level. Stress can be:
1) imposed (e.g., from managers)
2) internal (e.g., not meeting life goals)
3) relational (e.g., communication w/spouse or children), or
4) environmental (e.g., noise)
1) quality of relationships (healthy/unhealthy communication)
2) frequency of relationships (brief or long-lasting; few or many)
3) number of relationships (many friends; many acquaintances; a few friends; few or no friends or acquaintances)
f. Speed: Do you tend to move and react slowly or quickly?
g. Action: Do you tend to be 1) lethargic/inactive or 2) always busy/active 24/7
h. Profession: Are you engaged in the profession of your choice?
i. Professional environment: In your profession, are you surrounded by people who are congruent with your goals and lifestyle? Or are you required to work with people who do not have the same values you have?
j. Goals: Do you regularly create or monitor your goals? Are you without goals?
k. Hobbies: Do you have hobbies or side interests that give you pleasure?
l. Service: Do you do some form of service regularly? (This does not have to be a formal sort of thing. It could be assisting an elderly neighbor, for example, contributing tech skills to a non-profit, or writing as part of your activism.)
Assignment: After doing your Lifestyle Assessment, notate any ideas that come to you of ways you might improve on areas that you see are troublesome. Again, no need to “fix” anything, and no need to think of everything. This is just about becoming aware of how you live and notating any notions that come to you as you make your assessment.