Achieving the level of balance we desire in our busy lives can seem a daunting task at times.
I’ve discovered through experience that there are two important aspects that contribute to healthy and happy people – the ability to both restore and explore.
In this category, I include those activities that allow bodies and minds to rest and recuperate from the busyness of life. Restorative time gives us a much needed break from the constancy of routine.
Quiet time each night before bed
Reading a book with actual pages (as opposed to even more screen time, which keeps us awake longer because of the blue light emanations) allows us to wind down, calm down, and switch our minds from the sometimes harshness of reality to the wonderful freedom of imagination.
Family and friend time
Whether around the dining table, the kitchen bench, or outside picnic table, catch-ups, where we get to share our news or debrief from our busy days, can significantly contribute to keeping relationships healthy. It also provides the opportunity for the early flagging of any issues that may be looming in our lives.
Planning fun and creative activities together. Giving everyone something to look forward to can be a great way to maintain and rebuild healthy minds and relationships. Don’t underestimate the rejuvenating value of anticipation.
‘Restore’ time can easily be overlooked and may take some conscious decision-making to achieve on a regular basis. But once the benefits are collectively felt, these times will become easier to prioritise.
Activate your creativity
‘Explore’ time may be easier with a bit of creative effort. There are so many activity options to do together with our partners, friends, kids, and families:
- A treasure hunt at the local park to give minds and bodies a stretch.
- Playing a good old-fashioned board game instead of watching the television or playing on the computer can not only extend our minds and teach us valuable life skills, but also give us time to build and explore our relationships with each other.
- Creating an excursion to the zoo, wildlife park, beach, or any other great location. Make it complete with a ‘fact finding mission’; then it can be a wonderfully educational as well as recreational time. Revealing our findings on the trip home and over dinner that night can extend the ‘exploring’ and combine the ‘restoring’ time.
- Giving the kids in your life encouragement to create games and activities for the whole group to participate in allows time to ‘get into the heads’ of these growing human beings and see what makes them tick. This can also double as ‘restoring’ time as we foster pride and allow ourselves to wonder at the miracles of these amazing little people in our lives.
Give yourself some time
- A weekend away with mates can open us up to new perspectives. We can share our stories over a fishing trip, campfire, or spa retreat. A ‘get back to nature’ weekend grounds us again. It can clear out the cobwebs! And it gives us some exercise, fresh air, and a renewed appreciation of this fascinating world we live in.
- Prioritising ‘partner’ time is something that many couples find difficult in our over-busy schedules. But the life-giving benefits of shared intimate time – be it physical, emotional, or spiritual – are definitely worth the time and effort. Why not re-establish ‘date night’ or plan a regular ‘work free/technology free’ weekend?
- A scheduled weekend of the kids visiting grandparents or friends can add an additional and welcome dynamic to a variety of relationships. As a grandparent myself, I look forward to ‘sleep over time’ with my gorgeous grand-girls. It’s relationship strengthening for all of us, not to mention a lot of fun.
In an ever busy and demanding world, ‘restore’ and ‘explore’ can go a long way towards creating and maintaining balance and health for ourselves and our families. I’m sure you will find it energy well spent.
Lead photo by Eternal Happiness on Pexels. Other photos from Shutterstock.
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