Adulting is hard, I’ve come to find out. I am five months into my first “big girl” job and I still go through times when I feel completely out of whack! With trial and error, I have established three ways to find balance in my new adult life and keep myself on track toward my greater goals.
1. Keep Hobbies
It’s easy to let our hobbies go because we need to do things like run errands, work extra hours, or even schedule in a workout. I try to find hobbies that are inline with things I both enjoy and deeply value. I decided to ditch the gym for the time being and find alternative ways to workout. Now, I go ice skating once a week for a cardio and strength session and I workout a few times a week at Xtend Barre. Xtend Barre combines my love for ballet and fitness. I love it so much I am planning on becoming an instructor in the next year! Besides working out, I have a paint set at home that I take out for a little quite time with good music, acrylic paints, and my brush. Hobbies really do keep me sane as long as I schedule time in my busy week for them.
2. Be Mindful
Mindfulness techniques are essential to my well-being. I make time for one session a day at the very least. I prefer the Headspace app but Calm is also a good one. Both offer free trials that teach you the basics of mindfulness techniques. The best thing about these two apps is that you can customize how long you want to meditate for – 3, 5, 10, 30 minutes and so on. There are also a lot of free resources on YouTube like progressive muscle relaxation, those are my favorite to do before bed.
3. Get a Schedule
I struggled so hard in the beginning of my career to have enough energy to live my life after work hours. I would spend the entire day at work and get home around 6:00 after running necessary errands. I would eat dinner and just want to pass out on the couch. I didn’t care about being social, doing things I love, or even taking care of my spiritual needs. In any free time, I would always have some work I could catch up on. I had no desire to work on my personal goals and things that would propel me toward the future that I want for myself. It didn’t take me long until I realized I couldn’t live like this forever. Slowly I started introducing a loose schedule each week that penciled in everything from phone calls to friends across the globe and date nights. I scheduled the days I would go to the store, bank, and other mandatory tasks. Every day was scheduled out and then I would hope for the best as I tried to keep things in order. I have come to realize the importance of wiggle room but the essential aspects of having a calendar.
As you continue into adult life, it does take a bit of trial and error to find a sense of contentment amidst the chaos. It’s almost like a right of passage. For awhile, I couldn’t fathom how people had full time jobs and a life outside of work; but alas, I acclimated to my busy schedule and found out how to strike a little balance in my life. It’s all been a whirlwind but I can guarantee these experiences will help me in the future. Good luck!