Illalong News

  • 14th July, 2017

From the Principal's Desk

Finding Balance

Every day I have the wonderful pleasure of talking to students, members of staff, parents, and members of the broader community who are highly motivated and driven for success. These people share many qualities, attributes and, sometimes, behaviours.

One such attribute is the ability to work for long hours with focus, determination and purpose. Interestingly though, for those of us in paid employment, there will always be one more email to be written, one more document that has to be read or, indeed, another Newsletter to be written. For our students, there is always more practice to be done, another area of study that can be reviewed, or another draft that could be completed.

Does it benefit us to work all day, have a rushed dinner (or missed dinner), work late into the night, fall into bed, and then get up early to do it all over again? The reality is we all know the answer to this and, yet, we often fall into this trap (as I am doing right now).

How often do we get so focused on our tasks that we forget to sit up and look at the bigger picture, and how often do we stop to smell the roses? I suspect many of us do not do this enough. When we ignore the importance of balance, we are forgetting one of the most important ingredients of our own success.

Balance is important for our physical health and our mental health. People who are overworked tend to lose sight of their goals, ignore important and enduring relationships, and lose perspective. Adults and young people alike can lose balance, and the impacts can be significant on both.

Find balance in your life – in the hours that you work/study, commit yourself and remain focused, but punctuate your week with activities that bring you joy and help you find the balance you need.

  1. Start with a balanced diet. Do not over-indulge - avoid too many sugary treats, include fruits and vegetables every day, and do not skip meals.
  2. Incorporate exercise into your daily activities: walk, run, or cycle. Set goals to do activities that support cardio, flexibility and strength training.
  3. Balance your mind – take the time to relax your mind – try meditation. Ensure you have sufficient sleep – your body needs sleep to relax and to repair itself. Do not neglect the relationships that are important to you. These provide sustenance and can be a great form of support for you – devote time to developing and nurturing relationships with family and friends.
  4. Laugh – you may have heard that ‘laughter is the best medicine’; laughter releases tension in our body, reduces stresses, and enables the positive feelings that are so important in our mental health.
  5. Do things you enjoy – take time for yourself. Do something you simply love to do, something that brings you joy and much satisfaction.
  6. Connect with others – be the joy in another person’s life and, in so doing, bring joy to yourself; connect with people in an honest and true way; be a shining light to others!

We all live busy lives. There are, however, only 1440 minutes available each day. This is fixed and cannot change. It is not our time we should manage, but rather our personal energies.

As Term 3 commences, I encourage all students to use their time well but, more importantly, balance their energies and find balance in their lives. This is an important key in managing the many demands in our life, sustaining our efforts and finding joy, happiness and satisfaction in a life well lived.

“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.”  Thomas Merton

Brian Grimes

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