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News > School News > It's all a question of balance

It's all a question of balance

It's more important than ever to create a balance between mind, body and soul in lockdown

21 Jan 2021
Written by Ian Morris
School News
Mindfully making a carrot on a cocktail stick balance on a bottle of water
Mindfully making a carrot on a cocktail stick balance on a bottle of water

We all want the best out of life. Ideally, we'd all like health and happiness that let us live long, productive lives. The trouble is we don't always get the balance between health and happiness right.

Back in the 80's, health experts discovered that the nation's penchant for manufactured processed foods that made life easier was the leading to serious health risks. In response, many fled their ready meals and flocked to the F-Plan diet. The “F” officially stood for “Fibre” as that was identified as the must have ingredient. However, so much was added to anything and everything that adherents to the plan became social pariahs and the “F” stood for something a little more smelly!

Later, cholesterol was identified as the nation's #1 enemy and so enter Rosemary Conley's Hip & Thigh diet. Out went foods high in fat such as red meat, cream, cheese, and chocolate whereas carbohydrates, chicken, fish, fruit, veg were in -. But science then showed that eating too many carbs was a big no, no and so we embraced Dr Atkin's diet that said no to carbs and yes to as much red meat as you could munch… Until it was shown that the carnivorous lifestyle really isn't the healthy elixir, we hoped it would be.

That these diets all became fads shows our inability to achieve a harmonious balance between health and happiness. We've lurched from one food group to another, in the hope that we can get maximum health and happiness from following one easy to follow diet plan when all along that which is best for us, is a balanced diet. But achieving balance seems impossible because we're so easily tempted to upset the balance by favouring what we want to eat against what we ought to eat to maintain the balance.

Beyond the realm of food and diets, the same principle can be applied to how we live life. Us humans are beautifully complex creatures, made of a body, mind and soul that are intricately entwined. Everyday life is best lived when all three elements are given the care and attention they need. When one is neglected or another overworked, we begin to store up problems for ourselves even if we think we are getting away with it the present:

·      For healthy, happy bodies we need a balanced diet, exercise, and ample sleep

·      For healthy, happy minds we need to read, learn, and have our passions fuelled by the world around us.

·      For healthy, happy souls we need to meditate, pray, spend time outside, volunteer, be grateful, be kind, forgive and be forgiven.

The loss of the real school day, opportunities to get out and socialise coupled with so much time spent in front of a screen poses a serious threat to our ability to keep all the components of our wellbeing in balance. To try and maintain our balance, it can be helpful to make a weekly timetable that not only incorporates what we have to do from a schoolwork perspective but also includes the things that we ought to do to keep mind, body and soul in balance. By formalising down times, time for play, exercise and the like, we can ensure that we stay balanced and thus enjoy life, even if it is in lockdown.

Take care, stay safe and God bless

Ian

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