Students walking with arms on shoulders to balance each other photo

The Balance Act

To varying degrees, we’ve all experienced the symptoms of stress. Low energy, headaches, insomnia, etc. All of these symptoms can have profound impacts on our health, so how can we meet life’s demands without the consequences of stress or worse, burnout? The answer is balance.

Here are five ways you can achieve balance while still making time for the people and things that matter most.

1. Disconnect

Set aside time every day to disconnect from your devices. That might mean storing them away in a drawer while you cook dinner with your family, or turning it off completely after 7 p.m. However you go about it, creating this space is critical to preventing burnout and maintaining a healthy balance between us and our busy lives.

"Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you."

Anne Lamott

2. Make time for others

After a long day, it can be all-too-easy to shut ourselves out from the world and disappear into our favorite TV show or social media site. But it’s important that we make time for our friends and family. Something as simple as calling up an old friend, or paying a visit to a loved one is often just the break we need from the chaos of our day-to-day.

"If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."

African Proverb

3. Treat yourself

Crank up your favorite song, order delivery, open up a new book or simply allow yourself the rare pleasure of doing nothing. Amidst all the time, care and attention you give to your work and relationships, if it means giving a little back to yourself—it's worth it.

"Be you, love you. All ways, always."

Alexandra Elle

4. Take a walk

There will always be work to do so there’s no use wasting all that useful energy dwelling on it. Make time after work or during your lunch break to get out and take a walk around new or unfamiliar surroundings. Walk slow and pay attention to the sights and sounds around you. Let it humble and amaze you. Ask nothing of it, just as it asks nothing of you.

"I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees."

Henry David Thoreau

5. Take a class

Often we can find ourselves stuck in the same cycle of thought and behaviors. Challenge your routine and activate your imagination by taking a for-credit or Continuing Education course. Learn how to paint, speak another language, play an instrument, master the art of yoga, and more. 

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."

Mahatma Gandhi
Last Updated: 9/1/23