The Two Fundamental Concepts of Balance

By FCPS & Fairfax County Government
March 23, 2021

Balance is a term that we hear often. We are familiar with phrases such as a balanced diet, work life balance, and balance is key. Who remembers going to the park and playing on a seesaw as a child? The whole point of this game was to try to keep balanced for as long as possible, and in order to achieve this goal, you had to work together with another person. You could not balance the seesaw on your own. As adults, we are likely not spending much time on a playground seesaw. However, we can still relate to this experience in our current lives. We may find that we are balancing our own “seesaw” of tasks and sometimes try to manage this balancing act on our own, forgetting the basic principle of this beloved childhood game.

While the concept of balance can vary between individuals and situations, in order to help maintain balance in our lives, it is important to remember the value of leaning on others for support and relying on these two seemingly ordinary, yet extremely powerful concepts: consistency and acceptance. 

Consistency

  • What do you think of when you hear this term? The same thing over and over again? Does boring come to mind? Consistency does not necessarily have to be boring and actually can bring about comfort and inspire creativity. Are there areas of your life that you feel are not balanced? What is a goal you would like to see yourself achieve? As adults, we know that by breaking down a larger goal into smaller, more manageable parts, it is easier for us to start taking specific steps on the path towards our goal. When these steps are repeated consistently over time, this can bring about desired change. Children also thrive on consistency and often need support in creating this in their lives, whether it be their daily routines or clear behavioral expectations...or much more. Consistency creates a sense of comfort and security, and once children (and adults) have this basic need met, they are better able to direct their energy towards their relationships with others and themselves, as well as focus on higher order thinking, including problem-solving and creativity. 

Acceptance

  • Trying to maintain balance in various aspects of our lives can be challenging and you may consider it to be in a constant state of “work in progress.”  While it can be easy to get down on yourself for not being further along in a certain area or have regret that you did not accomplish something that you wanted to on a particular day, it is important to show yourself compassion. Remember that forward progress, no matter how small, is good progress. Encouraging yourself and your children to handle expected and unexpected bumps in the road with resiliency is crucial and can be modeled for children in everyday interactions.

Let’s work together to help ourselves and each other balance our “seesaws.” Our younger selves would be quite proud.  

If you or someone you know may be experiencing a mental health challenge or crisis, text HOME to 741741 to reach a crisis counselor, call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, or call 911.

The Healthy Minds Blog shares information related to youth mental health and wellness for an audience of parent, educators and community-based providers. Articles include tips and strategies for increasing wellness and resiliency, as well as fostering success at home, at school and in the community.

The Healthy Minds Blog is a collaborative project between Fairfax County Public Schools and the Prevention Unit of the Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services. It is part of the Healthy Minds Fairfax (see below) initiative, designed to support emotional wellness in youth and families.

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