I’ve been in a little bit of a funk lately. I spent the last 6 months of my life committed to living a more balanced life after functioning for years as a workaholic, and although it’s done wonders for my mental, physical and spiritual health…I’ll admit I’ve had a hard time switching gears.
I used to stay up late and work into the morning, then wake up at the crack of dawn to do it all over again. I wasn’t eating healthy or finding time to work out because I was so focused on finishing my never-ending to-do list. My friends are angels so they stuck around even in times when I chose work over them, but it was obvious my personal life was out of whack. I eventually reached a breaking point in January this year when I knew things needed to change.
I started to focus on:
- Living a life where work was important, but not the most important thing.
- Cutting down my daily to-do list from 25 bullet points to no more than 10
- Making time for books and hobbies I loved
- Prioritizing my relationship with God and my deeper purpose.
- Putting my relationships first, while still discerning when to say ‘no’.
- Putting the phone down and learning to enjoy the moment.
I’ve grown so much in the last 6 months, but realized finding the right balance is a lot harder than I thought. And you know what I found to be the hardest? Fighting the constant urge to re-enter the rat race and fall back into my over-achieving ways. Busy-ness is a socially acceptable addiction that our society loves to idolize, so pulling away from it can feel like you’re doing the wrong thing. The adjustment to a slower pace occasionally causes me to feel a lot of guilt and laziness, but ultimately I know it’s the most fulfilling way to live life.
Change is never easy, especially when it’s significant… so I’m learning to accept the ‘bad days’ and funks, but also enjoy the freedom of a life with space. Im not sure what season of life you’re in, but if something’s causing you to feel less like yourself today, I wrote a list of things that always help me refocus that I think will help you too..
1. Call your grandma or grandpa
This will never fail to put you in a better mood. I called Nani this morning and from the second I heard her sweet voice on the other line, I was instantly in a better mood. Here I was thinking I was calling to make her day better, when she’s really the one who flipped mine around. Grandparents have a different perspective on life and so much wisdom you can learn from. If you’re having a bad day, make time to catch up with one of your grandparents today. I’m sure it will make their day and in turn, make yours.
2. Go for a long walk outside
There’s not a lot of nature or open air here in New York, but yesterday I put on workout clothes and got some fresh air while walking along the bike path on the West Side Highway. Just being outside and seeing a little bit of nature always makes me happier. Most of us are confined to an office or small apartment for work most of the week, so it’s nice to get out and see new things and explore a little bit. Even if it’s just in your own neighborhood.
3. Catch up on recent articles on a blog you like reading
I do this every day, whether it’s a blog post that I actually end up publishing or just thoughts I want to write down. Getting your feelings out of your head and onto paper is a great way to clear your head and put your feelings into words. The notes app on my phone is my most used app. It’s my journal, to-do list, thought list, blog planner, grocery list… Idk what I’d do without it. Write down what you’re thinking, how you’re feeling, a lesson you learned the hard way, an apology you never gave/received, a letter to your younger self. Anything! Just write and see how it makes you feel. I’ve solved a lot of my own problems by writing them out.
5. Plan a trip or schedule a date
This will give you something to look forward to that you can get excited about. On a Monday, the work week can seem daunting, but having a girls mid-week lunch or weekend road trip on your calendar can make a big difference.
6. Learn something new
A new song on the piano, bake a new recipe on Pinterest, find a new artist you like on Spotify, do yoga/stretch, sketch or paint something.
7. Go to the grocery store and prep all your meals for the week
Humans love routine. This routine not only makes me feel more organized, but also prevents hangry moments during the week. Make a grocery list plan and then attack. Bring it all home and prep lunches and dinners for the week. I also find my mornings are always better when they start with a healthy breakfast.
8. Organize a closet or drawer
My entryway closet is an explosion of random things I have no idea what to do with. I’ve been wanting to clear it out for such a long time so I can have more closet space (and just so I can open the door without things falling on me). There’s something very therapeutic about decluttering.
Life is pretty wonderful when you have the right perspective on things. It’s ok to have bad days and even bad weeks, we all experience it. Sometimes you need to go through these times to refocus and fall back in love with the little things that make life beautiful.