Keep Your Accounts Full and Have a More Balanced Life

By Caron C. Andrews

As multifaceted human beings, we have specific, essential areas within ourselves that we need to keep nurtured and filled in order to have a balanced, productive, and happy existence. We can liken these areas to bank accounts with positive and negative balances. If we use up or run low in one account, we’re likely to borrow from another to keep them balanced between each other. When our accounts are out of balance or dangerously low, we may feel sick, depressed, or overly stressed, and we don’t have enough to give ourselves, let alone our kids. People generally have five main accounts that need regular attention to achieve a balanced life.

  • Emotional/Social

This area works as a checking account, with constant withdrawals—taking care of your kids, comforting a friend, helping your spouse. It can easily become depleted if youdon’t make regular deposits to replenish it—taking quiet time for yourself, doing an enjoyable hobby, getting a massage.

  • Spiritual

This and the rest of the accounts function more like a savings account. Keeping it full requires daily spiritual practice in whatever way is meaningful to you, whether it’s meditation, scripture study, contemplative reflection, or prayer. It doesn’t work to spend several hours at once on this account rather than regular time on a daily basis, because in doing so, your other accounts are neglected.Financial

  • Financial

We each need to have enough money to meet our basic needs of food, shelter, and clothing, but we also need money for leisure activities, time off, and our interests. This is one of the most common areas that people get out of balance. When you have money worries, living paycheck to paycheck or not making enough to cover your expenses, every other area can quickly become depleted as you draw upon them for resources. You can learn solid money management skills regardless of your income, choosing to spend wisely and preparing yourself for more earning power.

  • Physical

There are universal physical necessities—food, water, sleep, and shelter—that each person must have in order to survive. Beyond the basics, you need exercise, a balanced diet (not just food), and physical release from stress and powerful emotions to keep you feeling and functioning well. The more stress builds up and other accounts drop low, the more you need physical release. Taking a brisk walk or run when stress increases rids your body of much of it.

  • Intellectual

This is not necessary for actual survival, although many would argue that! Humans feel a need for intellectual stimulation in various forms—book learning, reflective conversation, puzzles and brain teasers, art and literature, philosophy. Whatever appeals to you intellectually should be a regular part of your life.

To be the best parents, we need to keep our accounts filled so that we can offer the most to our kids and teach them how to fill their own accounts. When one is low, we need to refuel. The refueling will look different to each of us based on our own preferences. It doesn’t matter so much what fills your accounts as long as it’s the best fuel for you.

For more information on this and many other subjects to help you raise a strong child, check out our book .

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