This post is Part 4 in a 6-part blog series on Balance. (If you missed the first post, you can find it here.)
When we think about living a balanced life, what are the key areas of life to think about? There are probably a bunch of different ways to organize the various parts of our lives, but I have found a 5-part model to be helpful. The different areas are easy to remember by using the acronym SPIES.
As you think about each area of your life, reflect on how you are doing in that area. Is this area a strength or weakness for you? How much time and energy do you spend working on this area of your life?
Social: How are your relationships going with your family, friends, co-workers, etc.? Do you have enough people in your life? Are you able to give and get the support you need?
Physical: How is your physical health going? Are you exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and eating a moderate amount of nutritious food? Have you been to the doctor and dentist recently for a check-up?
Intellectual: Are you intellectually stimulated by your job and hobbies? Are you learning something new? Are you reading anything interesting?
Emotional: How is your emotional and mental health going? Are you struggling with any mental health problems? Do you have supportive relationships around you? Are you willing and able to get more help (e.g., counseling) if you need it?
Spiritual: How is your relationship with God or a higher power? Do you feel a deep sense of connection and meaning? If you are religious, are you involved in a community of faith?
What was this exercise like for you? Reflect on how balanced the 5 different areas of life are for you. Is each part at about the same level for you? Or, are you really great at one area, but struggling in another area? If so, this might be a sign that one or more areas of your life are out of balance.
None of us is perfectly balanced. If you’re open to it, pick one area that you feel is out of balance, that you would like to do some work on. We’ll talk about what to do in future posts.