Contact Information:

Jason Best, LCSW

Email
JasonBestLCSW@gmail.com

Phone
847-271-1222

Address
4753 N. Broadway Suite 608
Chicago, IL 60640

Wednesday
Sep112013

Optimizing Healthy Balance

Time is a huge hurdle for most of us. We don't have enough time in our day to do all of the things we want to accomplish- not enough time to do all of the work we need to do. Not enough time to spend with friends and family. Not enough time to work out or eat healthy. Any yet,  the average American spends 3 and a half to 4 and a half hours watch TV and/or surfing the Internet each day. Often what we need is a bit of insight and flexibility in using our time more wisely in pursuit of our goals. Here's a quick exercise designed to improve just those things:

 

Write out a list of your favorite healthy activities- things to that make you feel good when you do them, that help you deal with stress, etc. Write as many as you can think of - and understand that you can go back and add to the list later on. 25 is a good number to shoot for initially.

PRO TIP: Be as specific as you can! The brain thrives on specific plans- so having a plan to "walk the dog for at least 10 minutes" is much better then the generic "exercise."

Separate these activities into 5 categories:  


Physical Health  Or things  that make you Feel better Physically

Mental Health Or things that make you feel smarter, clearer, or more alert.

Spiritual Health Or things that make you feel more connected to the larger world. 

Emotional Health Or things that help you process feelings, release tension, and ground.

Social Health  Or things that help improve your relationships and help you connect with others.

 

Now, find the activities that could go into multiple categories. For example:

 

Running through a forest preserve with a friend.    

 

Running is good for your physical health- it is excellent cardiovascular exercise.  

Running is good for your mental health- runners often experience greater mental focus and clarity.

Running in a natural setting is good for your spiritual health- it can help a person feel connected.

Running is good for emotional health - it helps us to sweat out stress and improve mood.

And finally, of course:

Running with a friend is good for social health- exercising with a friend can be a lot of fun.

 

Linchpin behaviors that enhance our health in several ways at once are usually the best things  to spend our valuable time and energy on.  If we can focus on these activities we get the most bang for our buck- and time is less of an issue.

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