One of the first things I like to explore with new clients is the balancing the roles of their life. We all have things: partners, kids, jobs, etc. and it’s easy to let our lives become defined by one thing.
What roles do you serve in your life? Sally is: mother, daughter, sister, wife, teacher, friend, tennis player, and woman. When Sally got pregnant back in 2010, she stopped playing tennis and after her son was born and she felt too busy. Six months later she had lost touch with her two best girlfriends who used to play with her. Because of the lack of physical activity in her life, she gained weight which lowered her self-esteem and sex drive. Now her marriage is suffering because she has been detached from their relationship.
I have developed a questionnaire that I find is extremely helpful with assessing what areas of a person’s life are “out of balance.” If you would like a powerful change in your life, whether it be to decrease your anxiety, get out of a winter funk, improve a relationship, etc., answer the following questions:
- Do I drink enough water daily?
- People should drink half their weight in ounces of water each day (I’m 140 so I should be drinking 70 ounces per day)
- Do I eat healthy to give my body the fuel it needs including enough vegetables, fruits, fiber and protein every day?
- Not sure what healthy eating looks like? Check this website out: http://www.mydailyintake.net/nutrients/
- Do I have time to myself every week?
- Do I have quality social supports who I feel I have an equal and safe relationship with?
- Ladies and gentleman, only spending time with your husband/wife is NOT healthy. One person in your life can not meet all of your emotional needs.
- Do I sleep 7-9 hours per night? Am I going to bed and waking up consistent times every day?
- Do I get enough physical activity?
- Do I have healthy boundaries between work and home?
- Do I feel satisfied with my career?
- How is the relationship with my partner?
- Do I do kind things for my partner?
- Do I spend quality time with them at least once per week without kids, pets, or screens?
- Do I initiate sexual activity with them?
- Do I put effort into my own self-image?
This questionnaire is a fantastic first step in improving your happiness. If you can say yes to every one of the questions above, you are either a saint or you do not need to be reading self-help blogs. If you say no to one or more of the above questions, congratulations, you are normal and need to work on balancing your life. You are not alone, nor do you need to face this alone. Counseling is a great way to support you in reaching a balanced life if you feel a bit overwhelmed by tackling it alone.