I started this blog as a school project focused on finding balance among the craziness of a college lifestyle. Between school, work, health, a social life, extracurriculars, fitness and your hobbies, finding a health balance can seem like a daunting task. As I finally graduated from the best four years of my life, I realized I had a new balancing act to work out- creating my own happily ever after at a life I’ve worked hard on (and thus, Erin Leigh Ever After was born!)
As a post-grad, my balance beam has all new tasks and responsibilities weighing it down. Proving myself in my first real, adult job, friends and a boyfriend in different places throughout the country, figuring out my own passions and fostering my hobbies/interests, staying active and establishing a healthy lifestyle, all while living back at home!
I’m far from perfect – and I would never want to be! For me, I believe creating a satisfying life is all about finding the balance between each element in your life. It’s eating all your vegetables, but indulging on the dessert every once and a while. It’s working hard, but taking all your vacation days. The idea of a happy, balanced lifestyle (for me) is somewhere between a six mile run and a New Girl Netflix marathon.
Everyone’s definition of what makes a happy and successful life is different. But finding the balance between the good, the bad, the crazy, the stressful, the happy, and the sad will help you find a place of ease and calmness, within your own life, making you feel more grounded and motivated to continue to grow.
Reflecting on my transition from college life to a post-grad lifestyle, here are 10 tips to help you find balance within a new, hectic lifestyle.
- Do what you want to do, not what you think you should be doing. Take the pressure off yourself to do what you think you should be doing, and start doing what you want to be doing, not what everyone else is doing.
- Work smarter, not harder. I’m not saying to ditch your work ethic and throw all your papers out the window- but work life can be really stressful! Sometimes it’s hard not to bring it home with you or to let it seep into your attitude and relationships. Think about ways at work you can start to work smarter, not harder. Write down all your questions and the answers so if it comes up again, you’re prepared.
- Make time for yourself. In the balancing act of life, make sure you have your own time to do what you wish. Maybe it’s time in a bubble bath with a book, meditating, going for a walk- just make sure you take the time on your own to reset when you need to.
- Make a plan. Maybe you need to start by tackling a to-do list either at home or at work. Maybe it’s having a day to meal prep every Sunday to help you stick to a health diet. Maybe it’s creating an itinerary for an upcoming trip- or the opposite- deciding to not have a plan but to set forth exploring unchartered territories. The best way to get going is to just get started. Figure out what your plan is.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. I’ve been seeing a lot online lately about how we should be encouraging each other and building each other up- helping each other reach our goals without tearing others down and I completely agree. Not everything in life is a competition!
- Remember that both the good and the bad are all a part of the balancing act. Finding balance doesn’t mean you’re going to be happy all the time; in fact, it can even mean being able to stay grounded through the short comings in life. Trust the process of finding balance and keep your goals in mind throughout all the fluctuations life brings.
- Don’t take your friendships for granted. Make sure you relationships remain two-sided. If you’re always canceling plans for work, doing all the talking and forgetting to listen, your relationships with others are going to suffer.
- Set small goals. I’ve found that setting specific, short-term goals help you reach the long-term ones. For example, make the goal to run 10 miles this week, rather than just to start running this month. Once you reach the smaller goal, you’ll be more likely to keep setting bigger and bigger goals.
- Make it a habit! Whatever it may be for you, going to the gym, reading before bed, reciting a daily mantra, turn your goals into habits and commit to them! It will be easy to find time for the things that make you happy when they become a part of your daily routine.
- Know yourself. Understand how much rest you need to have a good day. Figure out what activities make you feel the happiest. What things in life make you feel the most excited? Find what feels good to you and do it. Every day.
“Balance is the process of holding something(s) steady during change.” -Mindy Bacharach