woman stretching at work to relieve stress and tension from shoulders and back

How to Create a Balanced Life in a Season of Chaos and Stress

The global pandemic, injustices and catastrophes happening all around the world make our life chaotic and stressful. With so many pieces of bad news circling around, it’s really difficult to lead a balanced life. We are constantly bombarded by stress that we almost forgot what it is like to be happy and peaceful.

In these tough times, balance and peace are a luxury, but a necessity, achieved by mindfulness. Is it possible to create a balanced life even though you’re surrounded by a chaotic and stressful environment? The strongest balance comes within. Focus on yourself and the peace and balance will follow you.

1. Identify the cause of the stress

Stress is not easily defined, but it’s a feeling or a state that affect most of the population. It’s a psychological construct that, in some cases, may lead to severe physical symptoms such as chest pain, headache and stomach ache. Chronic stress is likely to impair our health, therefore we need to eliminate it as soon as possible.

What are your biggest sources of stress? Is it work, the future, social media or something completely different? The biggest source of the stress is usually the activity that drains your emotional battery, the one you’d rather skip. 

To properly identify and eliminate the causes of stress, you need to emotionally and cognitively distance yourself from these situations. Write them down on the piece of paper when you’re the most stressed, then take a break to cool off. Once you’re not in an alarming state anymore, try to come up with possible solutions to those stressful situations. 

For example, if you’re stressed about an upcoming task or exam, one of the solutions would be time management and proper organisation. This is not a one-size-fits-all situation, so don’t go down in the dumps if it doesn’t immediately work for you. 

2. Plan your day ahead

Planning your day may seem a little bit odd considering that we live in uncertainty. However, this technique can help you feel grounded and ready to tackle any future obstacles. Whether you stay at home or possibly go to work, the best way to plan your day is to write a simple to-do list before you head to bed. Why then?

Not being able to fall asleep is quite common when you’re stressed. Your mind is racing and all you can think about is the future. By writing your plan ahead, you add a sprinkle of certainty regarding the future which minimises the anxiety; therefore, you’ll be able to fall asleep faster.

Keep in mind that your plan shouldn’t be overcrowded with tasks. Be mindful of your capabilities and time. More tasks won’t lead to more happiness, but stress and tension that will follow you throughout the day. Remember to include a leisure or fun activity in your plan.

Don’t forget to leave the expectations behind. Not everything will go according to the plan, and that’s okay. You’re a human being, so cut yourself some slack. Celebrate the little victories during the day. That’s how you’ll feel more content and happier. 

3. Calming breathing techniques

It’s common to get anxious or overwhelmed at random times during the day. Whenever and wherever that happens, getting back on track is quite hard. It’s easy to lose focus and interest in the daily activities if you’re feeling uneasy or tense. That’s how implementing various calming breathing techniques will help you relax and focus again.

One of the easiest breathing techniques is three deep breaths. The first one is for letting go. The second one has the purpose of getting back the focus and retaining it, while the third one is meant to come with a question “Now what?”. Take three consecutive deep breaths and you’ll notice your mind clearing and a heartbeat slowing down which will make you more grounded and calmer.

4-7-8 breathing technique is a great relaxation method. Sit down comfortably, unclench your jaw and lower your shoulders. For a better effect, do this in a silent room with your eyes closed. Focus on yourself and not on the material thing around you. Breathe in through your nose while you count to 4. Don’t count out loud, imagine the numbers instead. Feel the cold air coming through your nostrils as you breathe in. Retain your breath for 7 counts while you’re focusing on your “internal” body. Breathe out through your nose for 8 counts. Repeat this exercise until the stress is minimised and the frustration is gone. 

4. Spark up your creativity

One of the best ways to forget about the world is to engage in a creative activity. You don’t need to be a mastermind or Picasso to enjoy creating and inventing new things. This can be a great family or solo activity to pass some time. Let your imagination be free and spark up those creative juices. 

Doodling is extraordinary stress relief. It doesn’t matter what you draw. The important thing is to escape from the stress at least for a moment. Grab a paper and pen and doodle anything that comes to your mind. It keeps your mind focused on the present, it lets you forget all the worries for a while. 

You can also colour some colouring books or paint by number. It’s an interesting and easy activity that results in wonderful art. If you’re feeling inspired, you can even draw or paint something yourself. Try to find inspiration within you. That’s a great way to practice mindfulness.

Books and stories are a form of art as well. You can pick out an interesting book to read or even write your own story if you feel like it. At least one of the amusing activities should be a part of your day.

5. Journal

Journaling is a method often used in therapy as it has many benefits regarding mental health. It can help you stay grounded, build positivity, discover repressed emotions and spark up your creativity. Many people find it hard to begin journaling as they are afraid of doing something wrong. However, when it comes to journaling there are no rules.

Contrary to popular belief, journals don’t have to be perfectly neat or nicely written. To start you can always search for beginners’ guide to writing a journal. This method can help you declutter your thoughts and clear your mind. That’s why it is called a brain dump. When you’re feeling stressed, nervous or anxious, open up your journal and write down all the things that come through your mind. Once you’ve finished, you can peacefully get on with your day.

Journal can also be the place where the greatest ideas are born. It doesn’t have to contain long sentences. Write down the main idea or theme in the middle of the page and create a mind map around it. It can be quite useful in the decision-making process as well.

6. Start a DIY project

Staying at home in quarantine results in a lot of free time. Some people let the boredom get to them which creates bad and unhealthy mental and physical habits. Is that a balanced life? Certainly not. While you’re at home, you can start a DIY project for a greater sense of accomplishment.

DIY projects don’t have to be anything complicated nor hard. For example, you can take out your old bike and make it new and shiny again. Find bicycle parts online, have them delivered to your home address and create a machine you’ve always dreamed of. Your two-wheeled companion will flourish with new, high-quality parts, and you will be very proud of your work. 

The sole act of repairing and renewing your bike is extremely beneficial for your mind. You’ll focus on the activity and take your mind of the stressful world. Once you’ve finished, you can take out your bike for a ride, if going outside is not prohibited. Having a bike is amazing when it comes to following the physical distance rule. You can roam around the streets or nature, breathe in the fresh air, stay fit and safe.

7. Don’t neglect overall health

Taking care of our mental health is essential, but we mustn’t neglect our overall physical health. Staying home while the Coronavirus is still active narrows our options for activity since the gyms are closed. This shouldn’t be an excuse for leading an unhealthy life. 

You don’t need a gym to be physically active. You can implement at-home workout routines that don’t require equipment, in your daily plan. Even the simplest exercises are enough to keep your muscles active and boost your immune system which is essential during the pandemic.

While you’re working out, don’t forget to eat a balanced diet containing a lot of proteins, nutrients and vitamins. Don’t neglect the carbs either, as they give you additional energy through the day. Drink enough water and get at least 7 hours of sleep to be able to function properly.

8. Practice yoga and meditation

Yoga and meditation are both physical and mental exercises. While doing yoga asanas, you’re practising mindfulness and focusing on your body and its limits. It’s a magnificent way to take a break from the stress and chaos going around you. 

Find a silent place where no one will bother you while you exercise. Make sure that the space is clean and has enough fresh air inflow.  Playing light, relaxing music may help you deepen the exercises and focus better. Get your yoga mat and practice yoga poses for beginners. Dim the lights and close your eyes while you take a couple of deep breaths.

Once you’re ready, start from simple asanas and overtime increase the intensity of your exercises. Yoga and meditation help you feel more peaceful and more grounded which leads to a happier and more balanced life.


The best way to survive in this stressful world is to learn how to lead a balanced life. Just the right amount of rest, work and leisure activities get you there. Even though things may seem hopeless right now, by leading a balanced and peaceful life we find hope within us.  

Fight that stress and negative thoughts with activities you enjoy doing. Take care of your mental and physical health and enjoy the happy moments while they last.