Finding balance takes intentionality, drive, and willpower.
In our fast-paced world, being busy is a normality. Many young adults, including myself, find ourselves smack dab in the middle of the rat race of life with the finish line nowhere in sight. Young adults, are overworked and overstressed. Anxiety and stress is evident in almost everyone I speak to in the working world and happiness is not. I’ve always wondered why it was so hard to find a balance between work and joy, work and play, and work and self. Here are eight ways to help you stay sane in the craziness:
1. Schedule quiet time.
There’s no easier time to sit down and determine if you’re feeling balanced or not than when you’re alone. Quiet time is important, especially for creative individuals, to recharge, rethink and refine their lives. I can recall one too many instances where I felt extremely overwhelmed by #justlife, that I forced myself to be alone for an hour or two with no distractions. Every single time I come out of my quiet time, I realize how much it is needed. My alone time is every morning when I wake up, either on my porch or in my car before work. I notice, when I go too long without that sweet silence and re-centering of my thoughts, my life becomes hectic. Determine a place and time that you can assure quietness and loneliness (a good thing, in this case) and make it a must in your schedule.
2. Make mornings special.
If you are driven by success, motivated by growth or have a goal, waking up early to plan out your day is a simple way to get started. Your morning can determine your whole attitude, depending on how you choose to spend it. Hence the phrase, “I woke up on the wrong side of the bed.” Choose to wake up on the right side, every morning! Waking up earlier than most gives you the advantage of peacefully starting your possibly busy day. While others are cramming and rushing to get their coffee spilled during morning traffic, be the one who wakes up, has their coffee, and casually drives to work while playing music or a podcast before the morning rush. *ahhh, how calming*
3. Evaluate your job satisfaction.
Basically, check yourself! It’s common to get evaluated by your supervisor or manager every quarter at work, but it’s uncommon to sit back and evaluate your job every quarter. If you’ve been feeling stressed, anxious, overwhelmed and unbalanced, maybe you should try this. Determining your life stressors is the most important part of reducing them and finding peace. Ask yourself the following questions:
– How do I feel after leaving work every day?
– Do I dread going into work every day?
– Are my co-workers uplifting me or dragging me down?
– Is it my attitude towards the job or the job itself that makes me unsatisfied?
– Can I find something to replace this job, that will make work worth it?
4. Exercise to feel good.
There’s no question about it anymore and you’ve heard it before. Exercise makes you feel good! It’s too easy to say no and pass up a chance to exercise, but you what you miss out on is much more than a good sweat. You miss a chance to work muscles, work your brain, push yourself, increase dopamine, and get a free shot of motivational adrenaline. If you don’t work out at all, this may be why you’re feeling unbalanced. Start slow if you need to and promise to work out at least 3x a week. Then increase the number of times as your life starts to balance out and your priorities start to fall into their rightful place. Working out should be a high priority, for your health, life longevity, and mental wellness!
5. Be mindful of your goals and direction.
Are you stuck in the same job? Are you stuck in the same bad relationship? Have you taken steps backward in your growth? If the answer is yes to any of these, it’s okay! Slowly start to make yourself aware of your goals and the direction your going in life. Doing so will make you realize where you need to go, but also how far you’ve come! Acknowledge your accomplishments and be proud of yourself! Then, acknowledge what it is you want to achieve next. If you’re aware of where you’re headed, you’re less likely to find yourself asking, how did I get here?
6. Choose your company wisely.
If number 3 on this list really spoke to you, maybe you need to choose the company you work for wisely, but this speaks for choosing your companions too. It’s a universal truth that you become like who you hang out with most. It’s easy to get sucked into friendships for the sake of camaraderie, but be wary of where your comrades are in life. Do they talk down on people? Do they complain constantly or only call to vent or gossip? Does your spirit feel full after speaking or hanging out with them, or do you feel like your energy has been drained? To be balanced, you might have to balance your friend list on the way. It’s okay to hang out with someone less (or stop completely) if they’re a negative influence. Simply love them from afar and love yourself by protecting yourself. You’ll become stronger from this and maybe, even teach them that they need to change.
7. Always remember to show love.
Easier said than done, I know. Choosing to show love, especially to those who don’t show you love, is a choice that will make you better in the long run. I think being balanced has a lot to do with your attitude. If you carry bitterness, hold grudges, or simply see things in a negative light more than a positive one, you’re always going to feel a weight on you. This weight, is not going to help you live a balanced life! It’s going to make you do irrational things to make up for the negative weight you are carrying. Show love when you have a choice between love or hate, love or fear, and love or cruelty. It will make you feel better and make others feel better. Good karma!
8. Count your blessings!
Even the tiniest blessings are still blessings that count! Actually making time to be thankful for the things you have and the things you don’t have, does wonders for your mental well being. Do you have the place to sleep? Are you healthy? Do you have a job to pay your bills? Did you wake up this morning? If your answer is yes to any or all of the above, be thankful. A lot of times we worry and see life with the glass half empty because we forget how much we’ve been blessed. Cherish the loved ones you have, the memories you’ve been able to make, the food you’re able to eat, and the life you were granted to live! Living a balanced life can be hard and trust me, you will teeter off that balance more than once. The important thing is, you are actively trying to give your life meaning and loving yourself enough to find joy in every single day you’re here.