This blog article first appeared on Counsellor Sam and has been republished with full permission.
A well balanced life is important for your well-being.
Developing awareness about the different parts of your life and where they are at is important to help create balance.
Neglecting key parts of your life can lead to stress and anxiety. For example, when gambling becomes a problem it can take over other important areas of your life, which upsets your balance.
Taking time to look at how balanced your life is at the moment can help you identify areas that you need to work on.
Use a pie chart to stand back and see the big picture. Pie charts are a simple way to identify areas that need your attention. They provide a visual picture of the way you are living your life. This information helps you consider the way it is now, and how you’d like it to look.
Try this simple activity:
- Take a piece of paper and draw a big circle, this will be your pie.
- Think about each area of your life and how much time you dedicate to it. Areas of your life might include:
- work or study
- family commitments
- social life
- sport or leisure activities
- rest or sleep
- personal needs or grooming
- house work.
- Cut up the pie and give each slice a label that reflects the area of your life. The size of the slice should reflect how much time you dedicate to that area.
- Reflect on how much of the pie gambling takes up. Are there other parts of your life that you want to spend more time on?
An easy way to get the balance right is to stop for a moment and consider the activities you value, and re-create the pie chart to reflect how you would like it to look. For example, this is a pie chart Peter completed showing how he wants to regained balance in his life:
If you started to pay more attention to areas that are important to you, what would your ideal pie chart look like? Pick one area first, for example you may like to allocate time each week to a hobby you enjoy. It’s important to allocate some time out from a busy day to enjoy activities and unwind.
You can also write up a daily schedule, include the activities you want to do each day and when. Being organised can help reduce stress and improve your life balance.
If you would like to talk to a trained counsellor about your life balance call the NSW Gambling Helpline for free and confidential advise on 1800 858 858.