Balance is important to me, and is something I will always work hard to create and maintain in my life. It’s not easy though, in fact a lot of the time I find it’s all or nothing in my world; I'll have several weeks of non-stop movement and excitement, often followed by whole days spent doing next to nothing. 

(Photo: Erin Veness)

I once had intense FOMO dictating my day to day activities. If my friends were off out for the night, I’d want to tag along. If everyone was getting shifts at work covered so they could have a day trip somewhere – even if it was somewhere I had no desire to be – I’d see if I could do the same. I’d even download games or apps my peers were all playing and using, so I could join in the conversations about them over coffee. And, shockingly, I’d sometimes even compromise my coffee snobbery and go into the worst chain cafes because the person I was out with wanted to get a certain kind of frappe crème… *shudders*

But these days – maybe thanks to my many counselling sessions, or because of the ‘journey’ I’ve been on in health and self worth over the past few years – I am more open to opting out than I ever was before. I pace myself; I know my limits and I don’t push anything too far. Wow, that sounds boring, doesn’t it!? Really though, it’s the best thing I could have done for my mind and lifestyle.

For instance, last weekend I went to a fabulous film festival in Berlin (the Mobile Kino Summer Camp, Vol. 5). I worked the breakfast shifts grabbing drinks for and chatting with my fellow film geeks, quite happily, but when I clocked off I deliberately disappeared for a while and immersed myself in a book, and my own company, wanting to wind down after all the socialising. I also made sure I was completely aware of my limits when it came to the evening film screenings; I pushed it the first night, watching the film commencing at 9:30pm and then the one immediately after, meaning I staggered to bed, sleepy and freezing cold, around 3am. Don’t get me wrong, the films (‘How to Talk to Girls at Parties’, and ‘Almost Famous’) were 100% worth the discomfort and tiredness. But then the next night I just watched the first film, checked in with myself and decided to head to bed at midnight. I didn’t pressure myself or let FOMO catch me out. And I was better for it the following day, for sure. 

(Photo: Erin Veness)

Another area of my life where balance is pretty important is my teeny home town. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for my very own Stars Hollow, and I am always comfortable there, but since returning there after uni I have kept a conscious distance from it; not wanting to get too comfortable to move, and become a person whose whole world exists in just one street. I am very fortunate to have a direct train line into London, and the ability to cruise down the coast to Brighton or other cute seaside towns, plus I like to visit friends scattered all over the country and the planet – I like to get out of my town as much as I can, because if I fully stamped my flag in and committed to it, I know I’d have a hard time leaving, and my life would shrink somewhat. 

(Photo: Erin Veness)

I wrote about self care recently, and the many meanings of the phrase depending on different people’s interpretations. I really feel that balance should be included under that umbrella; keeping a level and an order in your life, not taking too much or giving it all away, is healthy and rewarding. 

How do you create balance in your life? Any tips or tricks you could give me? 


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