Stress Management

Why you should build a four-legged stool to achieve balance.

The popular phrase “there are not enough hours in the day” has applied to the Life Butler and Dive Butler team recently. Being that busy can be a good worry to have, but it’s not long before the signs of long hours start to show both physically and mentally. For me the first thing to go is my exercise routine, closely followed by a less than healthy diet (anyone else have pizza on speed dial?) and then sleep – well not the ability to sleep but staying up late and waking before the alarm clock, already thinking about work! Pretty classic situations that I bet we can all relate to at some time in our lives and with the summer season drawing to a close the onslaught of exhibitions and events picks up.

Wellbeing Specialist - Life Butler

I’ve read different articles on how to manage stress, from organising your work to eliminate bad habits and anxiety to keeping a journal, listen to music and read inspiring books, all great advice. However what works for me is putting the time back into those aspects of my life that make me fit, happy and healthy.

I read an article once about how we should all aspire to be four not three legged stools, as they have a better balance. The concept around this idea is that to achieve balance you need to give time (maybe not equally) to four not three aspects of life:

1. Family
2. Work
3. Friends
4. Yourself

It is that fourth aspect that often gets pushed down the to do list. Left unattended and with the relentless pressure to bring results, to be successful, its not long before our internal stress management techniques are not enough.

Having originally trained as a massage therapist I have seen first hand the profound affect a really good massage can have, and here is the thing it has to be really good. I want a therapist that works intuitively, who’s hands can find trigger points and understand how stress has manifested in my body, who can relieve my physical stress and guide me to better health. Did you know that research has been conducted on the physical effects of a Swedish massage and the results showed a measureable biological effect or that deep tissue massage reduces blood pressure and heart rate?

Then there is yoga, my personal favourite is Ashtanga; my yoga instructor can get into positions that I am not sure I even aspire to, but what I love about his class is the way he connects with the group. He is always teaching or more accurately sharing; he reminds us how to breathe, how to focus on what we are doing and not let our mind wonder, the result – I always feel an inch taller, my posture and breathing are better and I feel calm, I get some of my best ideas after a good yoga session.

So take some time for yourself and build a four-legged stool.