photo: Death to the Stock Photo with edits by me
In an ideal world, I would wake up at 6:00 a.m. every morning after getting a full eight hours of sleep, drink lots of green juice and exercise daily…all while kicking butt at my job, having a fabulous social life and somehow staying super-stylish and on top of my finances at the same time.
Clearly, we don’t live in an ideal world.
I have learned that having it all is a myth and work-life “balance” is a term very much open to interpretation. I’m still figuring out what that means to me, and there is a lot of trial-and-error involved. So, yeah, I am by no means an expert. I bought a yoga mat and I have used it approximately once. I make sure to pack a lunch for work 99% of the time, but buy a little too much Starbucks during the week. I budget for clothing but tend to overspend, cutting into my grocery budget (oh hi, ramen diet). But I’m in my twenties and according to the world, I’m not necessarily supposed to have it all figured out right now, so that’s okay.
As much as I like to joke about what a “hot mess of a human being” I am, it’s not like I’m falling apart by any means. And while I don’t always follow them all the time, there are a few tips and tricks I’ve picked up along the way to help with this balancing act known as post-graduate life:
Prioritize – You can cry about how there aren’t enough hours in the day until the cows come home, but that’s not going to magically put more hours into the day. (That’s some tough Midwestern love for ya right there.) That’s why prioritizing is key, and priorities will differ person to person and even week to week. This week, spending time with family might be a priority while other weeks it’s work. Whatever the case may be, prioritizing makes decision-making easier, and you don’t have to feel guilty about or justify those decisions, either.
Sleep – I know I just said that priorities are up to the individual, but everyone should make sleep a priority as often as possible. Being well rested will make you more alert and able to take on everything else that comes your way. I know very well that it’s easier said than done, but consistently getting 7-8 hours a night will improve pretty much everything else in your life, as far as I can tell.
Take a break – Doing a million things at once? Feel like your to-do list is a mile long? Take a break – even for five minutes. Walk around the office. Walk outside. Scroll through Instagram. Get a coffee. Whatever it takes to restart your engines…but that’s the key second part of this tip. Restart your engines! Don’t let the break turn into hours of procrastination. Reset and refocus.
Enjoy the little things – Texting an old friend. Nice weather. Seeing a dog on your walk home. Sometimes, we’re moving entirely too fast to see this stuff. Slow down, notice, breathe and appreciate. Yeah, it’s a little hippie-dippie, but that’s because it’s true!
Forgive yourself – So maybe you only got four hours of sleep. Maybe you did end up procrastinating, and staying late at work because of it. You are not failure or a hot mess of a human being. You’re just human. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and move on – because this great balancing act called life will go on, and it will all be okay in the end.
This post was written as part of The B Bar’s monthly linkup series – to read other bloggers’ thoughts on balance, check out the links below:
The B Bar // 26 and Not Counting // Rae Loves // Sarah Hartley // Carrie Loves // Soak and Simmer // The Not Quite Adult // White Cabana // PreppyPanache // LiskaMonet // Alyssa J Freitas // Rossetto // With Love From Ellie // Cake & Lilies // Feathers and Stripes // Leigh Clair // White Oak Creative // Life Modifier // Perfect Enough for Us // Random Little Faves // Jacque Of All Trades // Business Betties // Girl for Granted // Alicia Tenise // The Yuppie Flies // It’s Droolworthy // Something Good Blog // Elana Lyn // Forth Chicago // Emilie Lima Burke // Manifest Yourself // Fit for a Bride Blog // A Little Leopard // Coral and Cognacs // Little Wild Heart // It’s Julien // Boys and Bombshell // Meg Biram // Victoria McGinley