Imagine trying to walk a tightrope.
Keeping your balance is crucial to not
“Falling Into the Depths” below you. That's not something you do once. You don’t create this balance and then never have to do it again.
The whole time you're Walking the Tightrope you're having to work on maintaining that balance.
You probably keep your eyes focused on a particular point. You shift your weight slightly again and again to maintain that balance. You may be focused on your breathing or you may even repeat a mantra in your head. All of these things together, help you to stay balanced for a while. Hopefully until you get to the other end of the tightrope you are walking.
Life is similar.
In order to keep a sense of balance in our life, we have to focus on priorities.
The definition of balance by Merriam Webster is:
the state of having your weight spread equally so that you do not fall. : the ability to move or to remain in a position without losing control or falling. : a state in which different things occur in equal or proper amounts or have an equal or proper amount of importance.
Equal or Proper Amount of Importance
Those last words are important as balance relates to our lives. Equal or proper amount of importance. So let’s take a look at 6 key areas of your life. Each of the 6 areas are important. For instance having a lot of wealth with poor health or strained family relations would probably not help to create a happy life. The goal is to strive for a sense of balance in all areas. And like walking the tightrope you will probably need to make adjustments from time to time.
You Don't Have To Be A Millionaire or billionaire to have wealth. Wealth means something different for each of us. Having enough to sustain us and to allow us to enjoy our life fully without worry about our finances it's what we're talking about here. There's not a set number.
However, financial worries are the number one source of stress. Do we have enough? Will we have enough for the future? How will we pay our bills? What if I need care when I am older? These are all very valid questions. Sitting down with a professional and creating a plan can take a lot of stress out of this area of your life. If you have a plan and a strategy for building the wealth that you will need you will probably sleep better at night and still more balanced in your life. Financial Planners, Long Term Care Professionals and Elder Law Attorneys can help.
Keeping yourself physically and mentally fit will help you walk the tightrope of life. Let's face it this is an area of challenge for many of us. Why do you think there's so many gyms, health clubs, diet programs,supplements and so on. It's an industry that’s well into the billions. The truth is becoming physically and mentally fit could be a simple as going for a daily walk.
When my neighbor Paul got laid off at 62 years old he was devastated. He moped around for a while. After all he had been with the company for over 40 years. “Who is going to hire me at my age! he wailed,”I'm not ready to retire yet. I planned on a few more years to really get my finances in order.’
Sometimes life throws us a curve ball.
But what do you do with that curve ball can make all the difference. Paul decided to pick it up and throw it back. The truth was he'd been miserable at his job for the past 2 years, maybe longer. He was stressed out, overworked and his health was suffering. And had put on quite a bit of weight.
So one day he got up early when he couldn't sleep and went for a walk. The next day he did the same and a year later he's now dropped over 40 lbs. He looks and feels better then he has in the last 5 years.
He found a part-time job that's flexible. It allows him to work when he wants to and supplements his income. Paul had planned well over the years. His financial planner says he's in pretty good shape.
The simple Act of walking helped him become more physically and mentally fit. He no longer suffers from depression or anxiety.
Everyone needs something to believe In. It's how we're hardwired. A feeling of being interconnected to others. And believing that you are connected to a higher purpose will give you that sense of balance in a sometimes unbalanced world.
You may have heard The blue zones. These are areas that have been researched where people live well into their hundreds. the key thing to note is they not only live long but they have quality of life.
Unusual longevity in "blue zones" is linked to lifestyle and religious involvement. Members of the churchgoing population will generally prolong their lives by four to 14 enjoyable and productive years.
What is Your Why?
What do you get up for everyday? Your purpose is your why. Do strive to make a difference? Maybe you're building a business, homeschooling a child, caring for an elderly parent.
There has to be something in your life that makes you want to get up every day and do it again. That's your sense of purpose. And it doesn't have to be anything earth-shattering.
Have You Lost Your Purpose
After caring for her mom full time for 6 years Jayne didn't know what to do when her mom passed. "Who am I?" she asked her friend Mary. "What am I supposed to do now?" If you feel lost in this area consider volunteering. Look around in your community see where the needs are see where you fit in. Find a place that makes you feel good. That's how you will know that you are living your purpose.
Life Changes May Cause A Loss Of Balance In This Area
When people are aging they often lose that feeling of purpose. They're no longer raising children or building a career or business. When this area of your life it's out of balance it can often lead to problems in other areas such as your health.
Researchers for the US Health and Retirement Study discovered that the year after retirement was often the most critical for heart health.Among 5,422 individuals in the study, those who had retired were 40% more likely to have had a heart attack or stroke than those who were still working. The increase was more pronounced during the first year after retirement.
Having strong family bonds can help you to stay balanced and healthy. But let's face it some of our families that we have been blessed with may not be so loving. In fact, for some people, their birth families may be toxic.
Family in this context is not just about your birth family but those people that you choose to surround yourself with on a daily basis.
The people who get you. The ones who are there for you and you are there for them. This could be your birth family or a group of friends that you've embraced over the years.But having those strong bonds will keep you balanced.
Human beings are social animals. Without positive social interaction both our Mind and body will fall apart. Seniors who become isolated due to physical or mental limitations often fall into deep depression. dementia is more common in people who are isolated. Having friends family and groups that we belong to is as important as anything else in maintaining a sense of balance and a feeling of well-being .
According to research from the American Journal of Public Health having a healthy social life could help keep your brain sharp.
So join a dance group , a yoga or painting class. Get involved in your church or community groups. There are so many was to get social. Start small if you need. Coffee with a neighbor. Just start connecting.
As Certified Long-Term Care professionals since 2003, and members of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, both Sue and Allison have the training, knowledge, and experience to help you understand your options.
Sue Myers and Allison Younger
With over 20 years of experience, both women are committed to ensuring that their client’s long-term care needs are met while their wealth is protected.