In this assignment I am asked to write and design a two-page magazine spread for the Ensign or New Era. This project is an opportunity for me create an article using InDesign. For my magazine spread story, I am writing to a general adult audience that may be dealing with feelings of stress. Life is busy, fast and sometimes overwhelming! I want to share six principles to keep our lives in balance and help us experience greater joy.
STORY: Wellness is being in Balance
Each year my life seems to move faster! I try to prioritize and make the right choices but I still feel overwhelmed and stressed out! How can I do all that is asked of me and still feel peace, joy and the abundance of life? All of us have weaknesses that hinder our search for happiness. In stressful moments, I try to remember six principles and practices to help me find balance and experience greater joy in my life.
Principle No. 1: Perfection is an eternal quest not an immediate goal. In her September 1990 Ensign article, Keeping Mentally Well, Jan Underwood Pinborough said, “Perhaps no idea creates more stress than the idea that we need to be perfect right now – or soon!” Stop the self-criticism and focus on the good you do each day. Recognize your daily improvement. For every criticizing thought, replace it with 2-3 positive messages. Also, recognize that these feelings of striving to be perfect, if managed correctly, can be our driving force for motivation and achievement.
Principle No. 2: Move More, Stress Less! Regular exercise offers our minds and bodies a welcome release from the pressures of everyday life. Larry A. Tucker, Professor of Lifestyle Medicine at Brigham Young University, said, “Regular exercise, which can be useful for anyone at any age or fitness level, is a healthy and highly effective approach to releasing the ‘rubber band’ we have stretched tight in our lives… when the going gets especially difficult, even a short 5–10 minute stroll can bring immediate stress relief.” Read more about the benefits of exercise in his article, Move More, Stress Less at https://www.lds.org/ensign/2004/08/move-more-stress-less?lang=eng
Principle No. 3: Less is MORE! A few years ago my kids were in sports, music lessons, dance, and church activities. We were running to something every night! Rarely did we eat dinner as a family together and we were constantly stressed out! Then I heard Elder Dallin H. Oaks say, “We have to forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best.” Everything we were doing was good, but it was not the best. I knew something had to change. The following year my kids were each in one activity and we made sure schedules coordinated so that the majority of our evenings were at home together. It was the best year! My kids were less stressed-out, exceeding in school and we all felt more united as a family. Time is valuable, but we rarely treat it as such. I have realized that you cannot make “special moments happen.” They are spontaneous and natural. Plan less, to have more time for those special moments to flourish. Relationships are lasting and much more meaningful than sports, activities and busy schedules!
The “less is more” concept also applies to financial health. For example, having that older car last longer and having less “stuff” puts more in your bank account. Financial comfort and stability is a great stress-reliever. Knowing that you have enough in savings for the next “emergency” will also bring comfort when you have to face that next financial crisis. That moment will come. It’s inevitable, so plan for it and be prepared. Just like we need to prioritize our time, we also need to prioritize our spending!
Principle No. 4: Foster Healthy Relationships. Strengthen relationships that bring peace and light into your life and be brave enough to let some relationships go! I say frequently in my stretching, yoga class, “The more we let go, the more we have!” This concept applies to stretching and life in general. Keep your inner-circle small and healthy.
Principle No. 5: What goes in DOES matter! That applies to everything but especially to thoughts and nutrition. “Good Nutrition raises resistance to stress, while poor nutrition is a stressor,” explains Dr. Glenn Schiralidi (facts to Relax By, Provo, Utah: Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, 1987, p. 56.) Eliminating excess fats, sugars and refined carbohydrates helps prevent blood sugar fluctuations. This allows you to maintain steady blood sugar and constant energy levels. Small, frequent meals and lots of water also help maintain energy. Try to never skip breakfast! Eating a healthy breakfast helps keep you energized throughout the day. Proper nutrition also increases blood flow to your brain, helping you feel more alert and happy. For a brain healthy diet, avoid fried and prepared foods. Eat natural, dark fruits and vegetables such as kale, spinach, broccoli, prunes, raisins, blueberries, raspberries, plums and cherries. Almonds, walnuts, pecans and other nuts are great sources of vitamin E, which along with other vitamins, also helps fight Alzheimer’s disease.
Principle No. 6: Pause to Pray and meditate. Rarely do we allow ourselves to STOP and connect to the moment. We need those quite moments. We can discover the “best” things as we pray to know the right decisions to make each day. There is a peaceful power, guidance and comfort that comes with sincere prayer. Psalms 46, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
I know that practicing these six principles can help bring balance and peace to your life.
I created a few sketches but these were the two that I liked the most. I had a hard time deciding on one to use, so I asked my husband for an opinion. He suggested that the bottom sketch (using and image of a lady balancing on a tight rope juggling balls in the air and a yoga balance pose) presents a message directed more to a targeted audience. Whereas, my top sketch is presented more to a general audience. Therefore, I am deciding to use the top sketch.
I prefer to use just one large image across the spread, but our assignment is to include two images. Therefore, my large image will be found at this site: http://barry818.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Balancing-act2.jpg
The top, right corner of my spread will have the following image at: http://www.changeyourlifechallenge.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/stress-3.jpg
I will also incorporate a yoga graphic symbol for a design element found at the following link: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/ff/8b/81/ff8b81d7171cdf6e7980b924d871e53f.jpg
For more information on my topic, refer to the following articles: