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Tips for Maintaining Balance in Your Life

By John Almond - December 12, 2008

In my last article, I focused on the concept of assessing whether or not you are maintaining balance in your life. As we all know, in today's hectic world, it is easy for one's life to become totally consumed by work. Here are some helpful tips to help you maintain a sense of balance:

  1. Find time for exercise on a regular basis.  Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to be an athlete to exercise.
  2. If you don't have a mentor, find one.  A mentor can provide guidance when you need it most.  Look for someone who shares your interests or experiences and, most importantly, someone you respect.
  3. Maintain a sense of humor.  There is no doubt that humor can help you through stressful times, and can even help build better relationships with your colleagues.
  4. Don't allow your talents to become past interests.  Pursuing interests unrelated to your career will expand your perspective, give you added enthusiasm, and provide a mental break.
  5. Stay connected to friends and family members.  Make time for relationships that you care about.  Also, be sure to cultivate some friendships outside of education.  These friendships will broaden your perspective on life.
  6. Learn how to set limits.  I know that this is easier said than done, but you have to be willing to share the load.  Use whatever support staff you have to delegate whenever possible.
  7. Write down the factors that went into your decision to become an educator.  When you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed out, go back and look at all of the reasons you have for wanting to be an educator.
  8. Eat frequent and healthy snacks.  I must say that I personally failed miserably in this area, but we all know the benefits associated with proper nutrition.

Remember, maintaining balance in your life requires a conscious effort; it doesn't just happen.  By living a balanced life, however, you will undoubtedly be happier, more productive, and less likely to lose your health due to stress.  I recently had cause to visit a cemetery, and I didn't see one headstone that read: Sure Wish That I Had Spent More Time At The Office.  Think about it!

Editor's Note: John Almond is the Director of District Support Services for the educational consulting firm Total School Solutions.