Another NaNoWriMo sneak peek! I’ve discovered one of my female characters is a blogger – the kind that makes money with her words 😉 – so I’m having fun coming up with inspiration for blog posts. This may bode well for my personal blogging if I could keep up the habit, and I’ll probably have to research how she makes it pay, so I may learn something there that could help me!
There’s so much to do in today’s society – drive here, drive there; make appointments and drive some more; shop till you drop to build collections of clothing and possessions that will make you the envy of friends, neighbours and strangers; buy everyone you know a token of appreciation at every holiday; keep up with social media and participate or seem an ignorant Luddite; maintain a personal blog and go for maximum site views while you also use ads and affiliate links to make money on the site; work hard at your job as if you have no outside life; maintain a full social life as if you have no job and nothing else to do but spend time with your friends; read all the bestsellers ever written so you stay knowledgeable and in the loop… And so much more I’m exhausted even typing that much! It’s enough to drive a gal crazy!
How do we stay sane? How do we balance it all? Should we even need such a long list of must-do activities?
Here are some things I think we need to do to stay afloat in this world, and possibly rise beyond the level of just surviving the days ahead of us.
Say No. Not to everything. Yes is a good word, but sometimes it gets us in trouble with a schedule too full, when we could have said No wisely to a few activities that just aren’t necessary for our personal needs. To determine these needs, you may need to make a list of life priorities (which will change depending on your stage of life, so feel free to grab my template for determining how to set them). [Sorry, no real link for this, but it’s a good idea, eh?] Use your list to evaluate whether or not you want to add an activity to your schedule. For example, do I need to follow every sporting match-up from all of my favourite teams or would the occasional one suffice while I check the team or league’s website for the standings? That would free up time for other pursuits… Or should I be saying Yes to a community event because I believe that I should give back in my community? This would take time, but be personally rewarding (and sometimes double as a social event rather than going out to a bar or club).
Get help. Sometimes it’s hard to know where to look, but if you stop saying you’re doing fine when you’re actually overwhelmed, and instead work on admitting what you need – well, I do believe there are enough good souls out there willing to share the load with another. If your family members are the helpful type, ask. Don’t hold it in and wait for them to rescue you – rescue yourself!
Take time for yourself. Running on empty will ruin you. Schedule some time to relax and watch for unexpected opportunities as well. Rediscover hobbies or start up new ones so you’re able to recharge before you burn out.
Ditch the toxins in your life. First, apply this to the food and drink you ingest. You’re not doing anyone a favour by poisoning yourself day by day, shortening your life while also reducing your quality of life. Second, apply it to your relationships. People who don’t value you for who you are only add stress and unhappiness to your life. Make it your goal to surround yourself with people who make you smile, support you when you really need them, and don’t use you for their personal gain.
Be positive. The world may not be sunshine and roses all the time, but we don’t have to be dragged down by negativity either. Some of the toxic relationships you stop pursuing will be marked by negative attitudes, and you may have such an attitude as well. Take heart, it’s not a permanent condition if you fight against its hold on you. Look for the good in life and in people around you, then expect good things to come your way rather than a steady stream of bad days.
Be grateful. Make a gratitude list, not just at Thanksgiving but often during the year. There are good things in your life, and celebrating them will keep your spirits up and give you energy for the tasks ahead.
Read. Don’t just read what you have to for work or school, or flip through magazines at the doctor’s office. Read for pleasure – novels, short stories, poetry, self-help… Whatever you enjoy. And read to children as well. Share their wonder while you encourage literacy in a new generation.
Do you have ideas now for practical implementations of these points? Put them on your to-do list and make sanity a priority in your hectic life!