If I’m being honest, I’ve pretty much struggled with balance my entire life. I’m sharing this because it’s hard to recognize it in the moment. I’m only now realizing the impact of the lack of balance on my life and functioning now that I am making it a mission to find that balance💗
I think it all started pretty young. I was a serious, competitive athlete. Even towards the end of elementary school, I was traveling often and my schedule was packed full of soccer games. This meant limited time with friends, an earlier bedtime (even on the weekends), and missing out on special events like weddings, birthdays, you name it. As I got older, it got even more intense. Traveling to different states for the day, for one game, and spending all weekend away frequently for tournaments. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved it and it was a huge source of confidence at the time. The problem was although I was in shape physically, I wasn’t necessarily taking care of myself in other ways.
-lack of balance: self-care, nutrition-
In high school, I thought because I was being so active, I could eat whatever I wanted. I remember eating a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia before soccer games, and I was playing multiple soccer games per week! Enter stomach issues. It sounds funny to say now, but I had no idea why I was having so many problems with stomach pain, digestive problems, and soon enough anxiety started to build. Between worrying about having one of my stomach attacks (because that’s honestly what it felt like!) or the pressure I was putting on myself to excel with school and sports, I was definitely struggling a bit.
-lack of balance: self-care, nutrition-
This only became exaggerated in college where there was more stress, higher expectations, and a tighter schedule. Division 1 soccer was no joke. My schedule was crazy and my self-care was non-existent. I continued to have severe stomach issues even though I was working on my nutrition a bit more. Looking back and knowing what I know now, I believe stress was the culprit along with still not giving my body everything it needed. I was actually having night mares about being late to practices, oversleeping, forgetting which class to go to and where it was, CRAZINESS!!
-lack of balance: self-care-
The pendulum basically swung the other way once I was done with competitive soccer and entered grad school. I didn’t have the intense workout regiment I had previously, and was so burnt out from it that I basically stopped it all together. Not only did I gain weight, but I didn’t feel as comfortable, strong, or good about my body and health. Sure enough, stomach issues were raging. I would be afraid to go to certain places or do certain activities where I may not have access to a bathroom (how embarrassing!!). I was trying to decrease my stress and in turn lost track of taking care of my body.
-lack of balance: body/exercise-
I could go on even further and in more detail: unbalanced work schedule, taking my work home with me (emotionally), not eating right, feeling overwhelmed and stressed, and so the story goes.
Going back to my main point: I didn’t realize I wasn’t getting everything I needed until I was actually getting it and creating healthy balance. It really is a whole picture type deal; you need it all, it just some of it. I feel this is true for a lot of people I talk to who have started their wellness journey; they don’t reali how much The change impacted them until they went for it.
My imbalances could have been way worse, but it still impacted my life and functioning when I was lacking in a certain form. In the grand scheme of things, I’m thankful for my experiences and what I’ve learned because I am now living my best life and able to support others in doing the same and finding what that means for themselves-I mean how friggin cool is that ❤️
My stomach issues are basically non-existent, my stress/anxiety are extremely manageable, I’m taking care of my body, mind, and nutrition, and I can honestly say I feel like the best version of me.
if any of this resonates with you, i’d love to chat and want you to know you’re not alone, but you do hold the power for change✨