Self Care

Staying Balanced – Shannon Braasch

By tapping in and not getting stuck in tunnel vision mode, anyone in eating disorder recovery can live a more balanced, healthy and fulfilling life.



Finding balance in life is hard.


Actually, let me rephrase that:

finding and staying balanced is hard, at least for me!

I am a thirty-something young professional just trying to make it in this beautifully messy life. As a clinician, I constantly remind clients that balance is important, but I recognize that I find myself struggling to heed my own advice. It is so easy to get caught up and begin to develop tunnel vision on one particular area of life - to a point where I no longer create space for other important areas.

Work, particular relationships, my body, finances, etc. can begin to consume me. And even though I am fully aware of the importance of balance, I still get sucked in.

Sometimes it helps me to start at the beginning and ask myself:

 “What does it mean to find balance in life?”

For me, it means feeling satisfied with all of the areas in my life that are important, aka my values: family, career, health, romance, and spirituality to name a few. I am not saying that I feel satisfied with every area every day, but, overall, I do feel better when I pause and ask myself this seemingly simple but powerful question.

I am very grateful for all of you brave souls out there who have been gracious enough to blog about your experiences and share suggestions in an effort to support the rest of us on our quest for balance. Thanks to all of these resources, I have learned many ways to find balance in my life.

Resources to help you find balance

For starters, Smart Recovery provides a great tool to help you identify areas that you need to work on to find balance. Once these areas that you want to work on have been identified, you can find all sorts of inspiration and resources online.

Where I have been tripped up, however, is in staying balanced. I have a habit of straying away from the values that make up my balanced life. I notice this occurs when something happens outside my norm, such as when I am feeling pressure at work or when someone I love is in crisis and needs support. Naturally, I give more time and attention to an area of my life when it calls for it. The problem is, I stay focused on that area, neglecting my other values, and I lose my balance.

So what do I do about this? I have learned that all of the areas in life that make up my balance, if given the necessary attention, can be my biggest support when dealing with those “outside the norm situations.” For example, I can tap into my spirituality and family when supporting a friend in crisis or I can tap into my friends and health when I am feeling pressure at work.

By tapping in and not getting stuck in “tunnel vision mode,” I am able to live a more balanced, healthy and fulfilling life. I constantly have to remind myself that balance is my biggest strength, and I believe this is true for all of us!

I am curious, what are the areas in your life that make up your balance?

Shannon Braasch, MA is an Alumni Coordinator for Eating Recovery Center.

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