16 Balls of Self Care

16 Balls of Self Care Sara Knight The Gut Clinic Newcastle Naturopath New Lambton Herbalist

We are all fortunate to have those people that come into our lives and change it for the better. Maybe they stay for a while or maybe they stay for a short time and then move on. Maybe they are there for you when you needed someone – a compliment, a hug, a smile or maybe even a kick in the pants! For me, it was Lina, a wise woman I used to work with some time ago.

She was, and still is, an incredibly capable person – she had a senior role in the company, she was raising two beautiful children, happily married, and helping her husband run a restaurant. She does all this whilst still being generous, kind and so very wise.

I remember her telling me that she had a date night every week (!) with her husband and regularly made time for herself. She sought out coaching to help her improve in business whilst still being there for her amazing kids. She appeared to be a person that really understood and lived the concept of balance.

At the time, I was trying to balance working part time and raising a baby – my eldest was less than two at the time. I was struggling big time. I wasn’t happy and, truly unfortunately, my attitude was, shall we say, less than positive. 

Lina and I were talking generally and I made the comment to the effect that I didn’t know how she did it. She was successful, calm, positive capable, and very very busy. She told me the adage of the 16 Balls. She said:

Imagine you have 16 balls. These balls represent your ability to care  – for yourself, for others, for your job, for your health. No matter what, each of the sixteen balls represents your ability to care. You have no more and you have no less. So how many do you give to:

  • your husband
  • your children
  • your friends
  • your job
  • your family

Who and whatever else, how do you distribute them?

I said I give one to my husband, two to my son, one to each of my friends, one to my job (more accurately I was giving three or four), etc.

She commented that she expected me to say this. And most mothers, especially new mothers, would say the same.

She said she shares her balls like this:

  • 8 for herself
  • 8 for others – depending on who and what needs them

Every time and all the time she keeps 8 for herself. She said to me:

How can you take care of anyone else, if you don’t first take care of yourself?

I hold this piece of loving advice sacred. When I feel out of balance, stretched, or just plain tired, I ask myself “How many balls do I have?” Many times, I only have one or two. Other times, I realise I have given too many balls to one area, so I, my family, and my friends are suffering. So I redistribute my time, my ability to care, my 16 balls accordingly. I bring myself and my life back into balance.

I will be honest, I am not sure I consistently keep 8 balls for myself.  But I do make sure that I have more than anyone or anything else. So I can take care of myself and therefore care for others who need me at my best.

I am grateful that my wise friend Lina took the time to reach out to me and share her sage advice. Thank you Lina!

My question for you is:

How many of your 16 balls do you keep for yourself?

The stress of life and juggling these 16 balls can be tough. I have herbs and nutrients to support you during these stressful periods. I also can suggest foods to support your body to not only function but to thrive during these stressful periods. 

Contact me about how to use medicinal herbs, nutrients, food and lifestyle choices to help you manage stress. My clinic is located in New Lambton in Newcastle, NSW. Let’s get you back in balance and take back your 8 balls.