How to Create Balance in Your Life
One of the toughest aspects of graduating college was coming to terms with setting a new balance in my life. After four years managing my own time and adjusting to #collegelife, I needed to readjust my schedule to fit a 9-5 lifestyle.
To be honest, it has taken me almost two years to adjust to post-grad life. I think that the main reason why it was so challenging is because all I had known for the majority of my life was school. I understood what it took to be successful in school and I mastered it. So entering the world of work, bosses, and politics was a bit of a wake-up call. Sure, I had interned before, but I don't think the education system does a great job of preparing people for life after school. (Side note: now that I have rebranded the content on my blog, I am planning on posting more about career tips and lessons I've learned along the way.)
It has taken three jobs and a lot of life changes to fully feel comfortable at this stage of life. Working your life around a 9-5 job requires an understanding of your priorities. Here's what I learned along the way about balancing my life.
1. What do you want to balance in your life?
In order to create a semblance of balance, you need to know what you want to be balanced. For me, I want to balance my relationship with Travis, spending time with family, working out, maintaining this blog, going to Church, and learning new things (like photography, videography, hand lettering, and Greek) with work. How can I make sure I balance everything and fit it into my schedule?
2. Do one thing to help you grow in each area of your life each week.
I found Pocketful of Primary on YouTube when searching for people that have day jobs and a side creative hobby. Michelle said that she does three things each week, one thing for herself, one thing for her classroom, and one thing for her students. I thought it would be awesome to implement in my life a little differently.
Since starting my new job, I'm trying to do one thing for myself, one thing for my relationship, and one thing for work that will help me grow. An example of this is spending some time after work practicing hand lettering, planning a surprise date for Travis & I to go on (Side note: stay tuned for a blog post on surprise dates in the future!), and reading an educational business book to help me grow in my career. The point of these three things is to start creating balance in my life. If I just do things for myself or work, other areas of my life will fall to the sidelines.
You can apply this tip to school, work, career, friends, family, working out, etc. Just pick the top three-five things most important to you and plan on working on them during each week.
3. Self-care is important.
One of my New Year's Resolutions was to focus on self-care each week. I deemed Sundays as self-care Sundays. Now, I haven't always kept up with it this year, but when I do, I definitely can see changes in my mood. Taking some time out of the day to focus on doing the things that make you happy, feel refreshed, and excited to take on life's challenges will really help create balance.
I think that so many of us, myself included, feel guilty when we spend time taking care of ourselves. We feel like that time could be better used spend doing something for someone else. But, if you don't take care of yourself, it will eventually become hard to help other people. Why? Well, when we neglect to do the little things that make us happy, like an at-home facial, or a new clothes or book purchase, something shifts. For me, I noticed an increase of bad days because I was neglecting to do the little things for myself.
I challenge you to set aside one day or evening each week and do some things for yourself! Whether it be reading a new book, writing in a journal, painting your nails, learning something new, spend the time and do it!
4. Get off social media and your phone.
You'd be surprised to find out how much time you have in a day when you limit the time spent on your phone and social media. One of the biggest cuts I made in the past few months is limiting the time I spend on social media. I deleted my Facebook account and personal Instagram page. Instead, I'm opting for sharing snippets and snapshots of my life on my smorehappiness Instagram.
I challenge you to spend an afternoon with your phone tucked away in your bag or room. What will you accomplish?
I hope these tips help you create balance in your life! I think that as we grow and change, our balance will need to readjust. What I'm discovering is that not only is that okay, but the challenge of changing your schedule and balance is exciting.