Dirty Laundry: 11 tips for getting back into balance

As I was doing laundry yesterday, I thought to myself: sometimes it’s not just the laundry that needs cleaning in our lives. I’m not just talking about cleaning up the rest of the house, but cleansing ourselves from the negativity in our lives. Bad habits, negative people in our innermost circle, or maybe just a messy house can all lead to us being out of balance spiritually.

Lately, I’ve been feeling out of balance. I have cleaned up my diet, I’m drinking more water, started exercising, and doing my best to avoid negative people. I still feel drained. Most days, I could probably sleep the day away. I try my best to get a decent nights sleep, but I wake up feeling tired. What is a person to do when they are out of balance?

1. Reevaluate your diet. Are you eating enough? Are you eating too much? I don’t recommend counting calories, because eating becomes much more of a chore. Make sure you are eating plenty of whole foods. Processed foods will slow you down along with consuming caffeinated foods and beverages. Do you have any food allergies? Dairy, gluten, corn, and soy can wreak havoc on your system even if you have just a sensitivity.

2. Change your surroundings. If you have some vacation time, take a trip. If you don’t, use a day off (or two) from work to visit a nearby place you’ve always wanted to go. Sometimes all it takes is getting out of your element to make you focused and whole again.

3. Declutter. If you have lots of things that you don’t have a use for sitting around the house, believe it or not that can throw you off your game. I get stressed over being around a mess, but sometimes I don’t even realize what’s wrong with me. If you have things you want to get rid of, try having a garage sale or donate it to Goodwill or another organization.

4. Meditate. Sometimes you just need to take a break from everything and meditate. A few weeks ago, I was having bad dreams every night. A friend suggested that maybe I should start meditating again. Best. Decision. EVER. If you’re like me and have a hard time focusing during meditation, search on YouTube for meditation music. Focus on the music and your breathing. Meditation can work wonders for people.

Great Tips for Meditation:
Tara Brach
Good Life Zen

5. Take some “me” time. If you’re like a lot of us, we are always doing something for others. In today’s world, we get so consumed by the demands of our jobs, family, and relationships that we don’t take the time to do things for ourselves. Some may argue that they “don’t have time”, but I argue that you can make time. Always have to make dinner when you get home? Start meal planning and prepping on one of your days off. There’s an hour or more that you free up everyday during the week. Some people do meal prepping a couple times a week, but do what works best for you. Taking that extra time to take a yoga class, hit the gym, get a pedicure, or whatever makes you feel more connected…just do it.

Great sites for “how-to meal prep” and “meal prep ideas”:
Eats and Exercise by Amber
Thirty Handmade Days
Meal Prep Mondays
The Lean Green Bean

6. Get Outside. Are you inside for most of your work day? There’s a good chance you are not getting enough vitamin D. You may also be low on vitamin B which helps fight fatigue. Although there are supplements to help with vitamin deficiencies, it’s a good idea to consult with your physician before taking a supplement.

7. Cut out the negativity. Negativity, no matter where it comes from, is toxic. Have a friend who brings you down all the time? I am by no means saying you should cut that friend out of your lives, but I am suggesting that you evaluate whether that friend is worth the trouble. I would suggest discussing the issues with that person before cutting ties with them. Sometimes people are unaware of their behavior. Are you the one who is being negative? The negativity that comes out of our mouths may seem small, but those small things build up to really big problems. What you say about yourself and others could be dragging you down spiritually and physically.

8. Get creative. Pick up a pencil, paintbrush, camera, instrument, or whatever appeals to you. It doesn’t matter if you are any good, but what does matter is that you are taking time for yourself. Don’t be afraid to try something new. By trying new things we are opening ourselves up to another realm of possibilities. You never know…you might find out you have a special talent.

9. Volunteer. Someone somewhere needs your help. Isn’t it good to feel needed every now and again? Volunteering doesn’t cost a thing, but the feeling you receive after helping another soul is something you can’t put a price on. If you aren’t a people person, but you love animals, go volunteer at an animal shelter. Maybe just maybe you’ll find a special pet to give a loving home to. 🙂

10. Call up your best friend and hang out. Sometimes when the world feels as if it’s crashing down on me, I meet up with a friend. Sometimes all you need is a new perspective to get your head on straight.

11. Take a break from technology. I understand if your job requires you to use a computer, but what about when you come home? Every once in awhile you need to take a break from social media, computers, cell phones, and even the television. Pick up a book, take a walk, spend time with your family and pets (if you have them), and just be present.

What are your tips for getting back into balance?