My nutrition course doesn’t officially start until March 26th, but I received the materials, and there are pre-course modules online, so we can get an idea of what is to come. One of the main principles of this program is the idea of primary food, which is what is in our lives besides food – relationships, physical activity, a fulfilling career and spirituality.
Each of these four areas is further divided into three sub-categories, for a total of 12 sections of the Circle of Life. When I hired my health coach last year she had me mark the sections of the circle of life that were lacking or unfulfilling. I did this exercise again last week when I received my materials for the course. Some areas have gotten better, some worse, and some are about the same. But there are definitely things that need improving.
Sometimes I feel like there isn’t enough time in the day to do everything that I want to do, which includes:
- Menu plan
- Grocery shop
- Take care of my house and laundry
- Maintain relationships
I would like to do a little bit of that each day. Obviously sleep and work take up a large chunk of the day. I enjoy the “eat” part of the list – I take pleasure in finding and trying new recipes, grocery shopping, and spending hours in the kitchen cooking. I’m not crazy about taking care of the house and doing laundry, but I know it must be done. If things are cluttered I find myself getting stressed.
I run three days a week, and I have been hiking once a week. Hiking takes up an entire day of the weekend. I try to take a yoga class once a week, and I always intend on doing 10 minutes of stretching each morning and evening, but that never seems to happen.
I enjoy writing, it is a way to express my creativity, which, to me, is a component of my spirituality. I am not a religious person and I don’t meditate, so I find my spirituality in other places. Running, cooking, writing, reading – these are all of my own kinds of meditation.
I have a lot of trouble with the relationship section of my circle of life despite having so many great friends, some of whom I have known for 25 or more years. And I have a husband and two children. Then there are the people in my running group, in my hiking group, and in the vegan meetups I attend. I am now connecting with a large group of over-50 women who are all taking the nutrition course, and we have found each other on the school’s discussion boards. We are in touch by email and phone and plan to study together throughout the year.
I am not a person who talks on the phone much, so I frequently don’t see or talk to close friends for weeks at a time, and I miss the connection of having good friends available at any time. I also have trouble with the relationship/eating issue – it seems that whenever friends get together it involves food. My good friends don’t hike or run. I want to find other things to do with friends that don’t involve eating, because I really do not like to eat out much. Some ideas that I have had are going to see a movie, cooking a meal and inviting friends over, going for a walk and some tea or coffee, or getting together for shopping (I don’t like shopping either, but it always seems fun with a friend).
Last week I chose three areas of my circle that I wanted to focus on:
I then set some small goals for each area. Call/email friends and set up some get togethers, drink at least two Klean Kanteens of water each day, and think of three people in my life who could support me while I take this nutrition course, which may or may not lead to a career as a health coach.
I have been fairly successful in meeting the goals, but I also feel overwhelmed. I don’t have time to do everything that I want to do and working on these areas takes time. So now I am trying to think about my days and what can be eliminated or changed. Time wasters for me include Facebook/Twitter, reading blogs that aren’t related to my current interests, watching TV (although I rarely watch unless I am doing something else productive), and checking out websites and spending time on the internet. I wonder how much time these things really take, and if I cut them all out how much more I would be able to add in. More time to read, to write, to spend with friends and family.
Those are my thoughts on balance for this week. How do you keep the areas of your life in balance, and what do you eliminate so that you can add in the important things?