Lifestyle is the standard of life you uphold with ownership. It is also the routine you perform in order to maintain that lifestyle. This could mean many things such as, where you live, how much and long you work or labour, how much stress you have, how many bills you have to pay, whether you live alone or with a family or if you have a disability or a chronic illness, or whether you enjoy good health and nil worries.
Basically, we all want to belong and be happy and lead a meaningful life firstly for ourselves and for one another. Nobody likes to be a burden but you want to fit in or play a useful role.
Everyone has a lifestyle. The question is whether you have the lifestyle you want or if you can improve or attain a different lifestyle .
To give you an example of two very different lifestyles here are two that I have observed myself:
My neighbour’s lifestyle means chilling out with his work mates after a hard day of work and fishing on weekends. Is his lifestyle healthy? Probably not really, as he seems to be unhappy about a lot of things (because of constant angry vocabulary that is being used) and has one too many in the evenings. But that is his style and he maintains it. He seems to be able to afford his rent, have friends and he has a dog. So I see a some positive things in his way of life.
Here is another example, a hard working specialist who has a large family. He can afford a large living space but at the same time, he also spends family time with his children. They make music together and they have awesome outback adventures together. Personally, he also has a few extracurricular responsibilities where he meets like-minded people and he has a hobby where he can hang out with the boys on scramblers. He appears to have a more balanced life style.
How do we know if we have a balanced lifestyle?
Statements like: “not enough hours in the day “, “ can’t get things done”, ”will get to it someday“ indicate a struggle with balancing your life.
If you spend this much time of your 24 hour day doing your work it is not balanced, the remaining 6 hours are not enough for sleeping, eating, hygiene routines or caring for family or pets.
Neither would it be possible to produce or accomplish anything in life if you sleep and rest for 18 hours. There are also people that are forced to rest due to illness. Their lifestyle is often compromised due to the increased time needed in that area.
I suggest a little reflection. I have listed a few ideas that might kick start a change:
• Find a routine that is doable and make small changes a little at a time that way they will last.
• Monitor how many hours you sleep and go to bed when you are tired.
• Eat regular fresh/ home cooked / healthy meals. Do not snack in between as the stomach needs a break to digest. Drink plenty of good water.
• Ask yourself: do I enjoy my work/ job/ career, does it give me purpose and meaning? Am I good at it?
• What do I do for fun? List your hobbies and interest. Anything I would love to experience or learn?
• Have I got friends and family? List their names. If you live alone, how many people do you see each day/ week?
• Is my body healthy? Do I spend time keeping it fit? Am I nourished and healthy? Have I got strength? Or do I feel sluggish and fat or nervous and skittish?
If you want to have a visual display of your time spend there are a couple of ways to do this.
1. you can take a A4 sheet and give it 24 folds
3x 8 blocks you can write numbers in that reflect the time and write in the blocks what you do in that time for example SLEEP or EAT or Work
SLEEP- sleeping in bed or couch included rest without doing anything else
EAT- including preparing food, choosing or ordering nourishing food, going to the markets
WORK – including work obligations, phone calls
HOBBYTIME- including sport that is social and competitive, working in the garden as free time, making a garment as free time without payment
SOCIAL - including eating with friends if eating is a social affair
CARE OF BODY- including hygiene time like showering, manicures and saunas, gym, sport, fitness
You could use a 24hrs Pie chart and fill this in everyday for 1-3 days You could do one colouring per day for a week (weekends will look different of course). This will determine your current life style. This exercise could show you whether you have a routine and whether you have time. It will highlight areas that are absorbing most of your time and you will see other areas are totally missing. Sometimes even colouring in this wheel or the A4 page gives you a different point of view of your current lifestyle and will already indicate where the imbalance or disproportion lies.
Unfortunately these days’ movies have reiterated it to be normal to sleep at the job or bring the job home. Not that there is something wrong with it when it is asked. However generally people should sleep in their own bed not on the desks.
Lifestyle becomes restructured when your roles or responsibilities get changed. For example, you might have a 9-5 job, then suddenly become a mother, or you own your own business and you close in the low season. This might influence the way you use your hours in the day. A healthy lifestyle can be attained again even after such changes.
Your Life is your way expressing what you like and what you work for. It is a reflection of what you find important and what you like to nurture. We need to respect and be mindful of each other’s lifestyle and support efforts of changing to a healthier lifestyle.
The studies have all proven that we need fresh air, good food, regular movement and the human connection, but also time for ourselves. We need to keep stress and anxiety at bay. And when we work, it has to be meaningful and enjoyable. Doing something you love as a job automatically leads to a happier and more fulfilled lifestyle.
Above all we need to feel loved and love others.