Posted on October 21, 2022 by Reed Naliboff
Imagine this: you’re on social media and your old friend from college just shared a post called “the top 5 ways to regain your peace” onto her story, and on that list are things like taking a walk, quitting your job, hiking Mount Vesuvius, and adopting a dog. Swipe right to the next story and you’ve got a video of someone talking about how they’re able to fit two workouts, grocery shopping, a mid-day hike, and 8+ hours of sleep into their day, while you may struggle to even find 30 minutes to relax. While there’s nothing wrong with pursuing those things, the advice that tends to surface online and in today’s culture tends to live in the extremes of a spectrum, leaving the majority that lives in the middle searching for balance in unsustainable ways.
We’re here to assure you that balance can look like taking baby steps, and how oftentimes, that’s a more sustainable approach anyway. We’re also here to say we celebrate all ends of the “balance spectrum”—those who find balance by hiking Mount Vesuvius, and those who find balance by taking a paddle once a week and beyond. This is how you can find balance in the busy seasons of life with the help of your paddle board and overall time on the water.
A while ago we wrote about what “better in balance” means to us. It is our mission and heart to help people find balance on the water, both literally and figuratively. From shaky knees to full-throttled momentum while paddling, we also want to equip people to transition from having a worried mind to feeling a full sense of joy on the water. But how can you do that in the midst of busyness?
We suggest taking small steps first. Don’t compare your self-care time or ways of finding balance to anyone else around you, online, or even to how you used to find balance when you had more time. One of our favorite ways to find balance is with our paddle boards. There are many therapeutic ways to use your SUP, but we suggest you start with one paddle board session a week, whether it lasts fifteen minutes or two hours, and build your way up from there. Little by little, you’ll be building habits that feel freeing and joyful, adding balance to your life.
As you find ways to integrate balance into your life, whether that be meditation, a daily SUP paddle, a morning surf session, a weekend hike, or a 10-minute walk outside, you’ll gain new perspectives. In a study by Frontiers in Psychology, experts found that as a person’s environment changes around them, people readjust their priorities and adapt to those changes to help them find balance. As the busyness grows, it may be time to make that morning meditation or paddle board expedition an actual priority so that you can better adapt to the newfound busyness you encounter. It’ll introduce a greater sense of flexibility and mental endurance if you do.
Likewise, in a cover story by the APA, psychologist, Erica H. Wise, PhD, suggests that people “take advantage of the smaller moments.” Are there certain things taking up time in your life that could be replaced with something more worthwhile? There’s a reason we’ve talked about how paddle boarding can help you reduce your screen time—it can be plain exhausting to mindlessly scroll on the internet sometimes. Those 10 minutes that feel like the only free time you get in the day, can be powerful enough to shift your perspective for the whole day if used right.
So here’s our take on new perspectives: it’s almost the end of the year and you’ve either accomplished a lot, or feel like you’ve fallen short. Maybe a mix of both, but when you’re out on the water, what is your focus on? It’s hard not to shift your focus from the distractions and busyness of life, onto the grandeur, size, and feeling that the water around you offers. There’s this constant reminder that we get to exist next to these bodies of water, next to people we love and care for, in a world that quite literally finds its balance with gravity (and new perspectives).
Maybe that sentiment seems a bit too poetic in nature when you’re hit in the face with unexpected situations, deadlines, and loud ticking clocks, but rest assured, the water’s not going anywhere, and neither is the balance you can attain if you intentionally set apart time to find that balance. Some good old “me time” tops the charts for tips on how to find balance in the midst of busyness.
When you first learn to paddle board, something you’ll hear is that momentum on the water will help you to find your balance before you learn to stand. It took intentionality, practice, and small steps to be able to learn how to stand up on your SUP, in order to gain a new perspective you didn’t get when you were on your knees. But you did it (or maybe you’re still learning, and that’s okay too). Regardless, the momentum of busyness in life is a naturally occurring human phenomenon, and it's best met with balance, so that you can find the joy, peace, and relaxation you’ve always craved out on the water, and get to bring it back into every other area of your life.
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