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Self care: The nine areas of a balanced life


With just about everyone I know (myself included) coming down with some sort of sniffle / illness at this time of year, I thought it a good time to check that self care is on point.

Whilst mulling over some of the things that I know I need to balance in order to feel at my best (a balanced diet, a mixture of strength, cardio and flexibility training, good quality sleep, time management, relaxation and stress reduction to name but a few), I was reminded of something that I’d stumbled over a few years ago.


The nine areas of a balanced life.

Typically, as we tend to excel in one area of life, another area bears the brunt. (Success at work? There goes the social life!) Sound familiar? It did to me a few years ago. This causes imbalance in our lives and can lead to feelings of sadness and apathy (amongst others).

So ‘the nine areas of a balanced life’ was introduced to me, although I’m afraid I don’t know where it originated.

Apparently we should try to fulfil these areas of our lives in order to achieve balance:


  • Family
  • Relationship
  • Personal growth
  • Contribution
  • Exercise
  • Friends
  • Hobbies / leisure
  • Alone time
  • Work


For me, when I first came across this list, almost all of the areas related to karate. What was my hobby? Karate. My job? Something I didn’t really care about, so that I could pursue karate. Exercise? Karate. Contribution? Teaching karate… and so it went on.

Eventually I balanced things out. Saw my friends outside of karate more, changed my career, took exercise that wasn’t karate related… and it all felt a lot less claustrophobic.

To be truly healthy, our minds and bodies have to work together. So have a go at it. Focus on some self care and prioritise not just your diet and exercise, but other aspects of your life too.


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