09.11.2017
How I Find My Balance

Because I’m all about #FindYourBalance these days…

I think that if there’s one thing I can say so far about my thirties, it’s that I’ve tried really hard to find balance.  A balance between having fun/partying and staying healthy.  A balance with being self-employed, and the fact that, mentally, I can’t work 12-hour days.  A balance between being in a place of “yes” to new experiences and people, and making sure that I’m not over-extending myself.  A balance between accepting the fact that I’m an over-achiever and the fact that I sometimes just really want to relax and not care. About anything.

It’s hard. Really, really hard actually.

The battle between all of these things really came to a head for me last September when my back went out for close to a week.  I was completely immobile and, honestly, it was a huge, humbling wake up call for me.  I did what “they” tell you to do; rest, ice/heat your back, don’t push yourself, etc. but then in December (just three days before Christmas), it happened again.

My friend Devon, picked me up, helped me hobble into her car, and took me to urgent care.  The doctor immediately questioned why I had let this go so long and hadn’t gotten an MRI. “Well, I mean…’cause I don’t want to spend thousands of dollars?”  She basically told me that I need the MRI immediately so they can see what’s happening in my back and it’s not a “nice to have,” it’s a MUST DO.  I caved (side note: the MRI was actually covered and I only had to pay about $400, which is still annoying but better than several thousand dollars) and we found out that I have two bulging discs, the right disc being worse than the left.  I was also told that if I don’t do something about my back now, this will happen again and again and again. I knew it was time to make some changes, both physically and mentally.

It sounds so silly but, if I’m being totally honest, admitting that I was having chronic back issues was actually really difficult for me; I think in a lot of ways it was me admitting that I’m getting older, and since I still mentally feel like I’m 25, that wasn’t an easy pill to swallow…being unable to walk really makes you appreciate your health and everything that you have. We’re all really lucky to have everything that we have, even when you’re feeling sorry for yourself.

That said, I made the most basic changes in my life and I’m the first to admit that finding my balance was a really GOOD thing for me. Both physically and mentally.  I learned to slow down a little, put myself first always, and to listen to what my mind and body tells me always. Even if that means disappointing someone.

“You know what? I don’t like the way you spoke to me and I don’t think we should be friends any more.”

“I’m really sorry but my back is feeling super tight and I’m going to have to cancel on taking that barre class with you.”

“I’m sorry but I don’t typically work on weekends. If something is urgent, please let me know and we can discuss an additional fee for my extra hours.”

These are now things that commonly come out of my mouth or sent from my email address. Setting boundaries, feeling good in your own skin and feeling like you’re living your best life IS BALANCE.

This has been a big year of change for me and I really do feel like I’m heading in the right direction, which is why Sulwhaso’s #FindYourBalance campaign particularly spoke to me…I love that they worked with real women to find out how each of them finds their own balance. How empowering is that?

Make sure to check out my Instagram to hear more about how I find my balance, but in the mean time, here are the four things I do daily/weekly that keep me on my path to balance.

P.S. you guys can also post your own videos with #FindYourBalance– they brand would love to see what you’re doing as well!

Meditate (every morning)

Meditation was something I had to get used to.  The first time I took a meditation class I was like “wow, I can’t believe I just paid $18 to sit silently in a room with strangers…I’m a reaaaal sucker.”  But a few times later, I learned how to actually let go and get into the meditation zone, which isn’t easy.  I’m someone who tends to wake up anxious; it’s partly because I’m on PST and feel like I’m already three hours behind, and partly because that’s honestly just ME.

My favorite app is called Simply Being. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles like Head Space or any of the other meditation apps, but what I like most about it is that the woman literally just repeats:

“This is a time to do nothing. And simply be.  Letting go of everything you think you need to be doing.”

For me, that’s what I need to hear to cure my morning anxiety.  It’s actually astounding to literally feel the difference before and after I meditate, especially using this app.

Quality time with my cats (every day)

It’s quite literally proven that having a pet can lower your blood pressure (among other things) and I can’t even put into words the joy that I feel when being around my cats, Gemma and Gea.  It’s just pure, unconditional love. And I also notice a difference in my mood when I don’t get in at least an hour or two just laying with them in bed or on the couch.  Gemma loves to throw her body in front of my laptop when she feels like I’ve been working for too long (and i.e. not paying her enough attention, ha).

Stretch (every day)

Training myself to do daily stretches for my back issue has actually benefited me in other ways as well. I realized I’ve gained back a lot of the flexibility I had when I was younger and, even better, I feel relaxed after I do these stretch moves.

Acupuncture and cupping (1 x per week)

It’s funny- I originally resorted to acupuncture because it’s the only thing my insurance company would actually pay for.  Chiropractor? Nope.  Physical therapy? LOL. Get real!  But I’m truthfully so glad that I discovered acupuncture and cupping, and they’ve truly helped me in so many ways.  For me, cupping feels better than acupuncture, but I’ve seen legitimate results from both and it’s insane how many ailments and issues can be cured with acupuncture.  I also feel so lucky to have found an amazing acupuncturist; Nicholas Barlow, owner of The Barlow Clinic in West Hollywood, is AMAZING. He’s gone above and beyond to help me, from squeezing me in last minute when my back is about to give out (again), to making me a Chinese herb concoction to cure my cold or help with my insomnia.  Finding a practitioner who really cares is key…and, of course, being open to new methods that could help you.

How do you guys #FindYourBalance? Comment below and let me know!

 

Thank you to Sulwhasoo for sponsoring this post!

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