How to Stay Afloat in a World That’s Trying to Drown You

I’m the last person who should be giving anybody inspirational advice, but I’m feeling particularly inspirational today. Juggling part-time college with part-time work this summer while also keeping a social and personal life has been trying for me. And I’m only on week three. So far, I’ve had one anxiety attack, one cold, I’ve cried more times than I’m willing to admit, and I’m exhausted. But regardless of all the obstacles, I’ve had to persist. I’m paying for these summer classes, so I need this job. I’m pushing through my minimal sleep and trying to make the best of it.

So I thought I’d chime in with my advice for doing just so — how I’m trying to keep myself grounded while also transitioning into the real adult world. It’s tough, especially for a kind-of sheltered 20-year-old like me. I don’t know how to manage money. I don’t know how to manage this much school and this much work. I don’t really know how to manage life, but I’m trying, and here’s what’s helped.

Wake up every morning with a purpose.

Don’t make “I have to go to work” your reason for waking up every morning. Yeah, sometimes it can feel like that, but you can make so much more out of your day that just going to work. Set a new goal for yourself that can only be achieved if you get out of bed. This will make life a lot more livable.

Keeping a daily planner would be really helpful with this; tracking your to-do lists (or “adventures”) on a daily basis, will allow you to see what you need and want to get done each day — even more motivation to get up.

Think of things in a more positive light.

My biology teacher said something very interesting on Monday. When she writes our daily to-do list on the board each morning, she titles it “Today’s Adventures” instead of “Today’s To-Do List.” She said that there’s scientific evidence proving that simply thinking of things in a more positive light can re-wire the brain to be more positive thinking. Head into each day as an “adventure,” and not a long to-do list.

Have set goals.

This reaches way past daily goals. Have long-term goals set for yourself that motivate you through each paycheck, each installment of rent, each birthday. Have a life plan — and be open to change. Keep a notebook of your long-term life plans, planning three, five, ten, twenty years in advance. And then map out how you’re going to reach those goals. This is something I definitely plan to do soon (and I’ll share it with you all!).

Do something once a day that makes you happy.

Whether it’s meeting a goal or getting your favorite latte, do something once a day that’s going to make you smile. Chances are, you’ll find yourself smiling more than once a day, and realizing just how great your life can be. My personal favorite things to do are knit, play with my cat, or take a nap.

Brush your teeth & wash your face twice a day.

This might seem like a “duh,” but personal hygiene is super important, and in the stress of a busy work week, it can be really easy to forget. Personally, I feel really gross if I skip a shower or face wash and it leaves me feeling kind of off. Simply sticking to a basic routine can make you feel a whole lot more like you.

Keep a nice home.

Having a clean, decorative, warm home goes far beyond just staying organized. Make your home a place that you look forward to coming back to every day, and a place that you know other people like coming to as well. Make it inviting and welcoming for everybody, not just you. For me, I get a huge self-esteem boost when I have a nicely organized and clean living space, and it makes me feel healthy and put-together…even if I’m not.

Life can be challenging but, honestly, where would be all the fun if it wasn’t? I’m currently going through a pretty big transition right now and I’m trying to learn how to become more of an adult, while also keeping my sanity (if that’s even possible). These are just a few things that have helped to push me along.

Photo Courtesy of: Unsplash

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