Work-Life-Study Balance: Bypassing the Millennial Conundrum

It's time to focus on you.

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Image by Jess Watters

Life today isn’t what it used to be when our parents were growing up, getting jobs, buying houses and having children. Millennial’s today (born between 1980 and 2000 – approximately) face huge pressures in every aspect of their lives, from working long hours to studying until burnout and trying to lead a healthy-ish life of regular exercise, nutritious food, and a supportive group of friends.

Mental and physical health is key to surviving and thriving in our society’s overdemanding social climate, and there are several ways to keep on top of your game.

Establish Priorities

What matters to you most – in the long run? Your career? Your health? Your education? Your family and relationships? All of the above? Whatever it is, pick one and rank the rest underneath it. Prioritizing your life helps you to make short and long-term goals and keeps your mind actively engaged in working towards a well-rounded and fulfilling life. If you ensure that you have one priority in mind at all times, the others will fall into place, and you’ll start to establish a healthy routine that is centered around exactly what you want to achieve, not just in life, but day to day, month to month and year to year.

Automate Routine Decisions

Decision-making can be taxing on our mental and emotional state of mind. It is also incredibly time-consuming and wastes precious minutes every day that we could be focusing elsewhere (sleep, fitness, study). If you automate certain everyday tasks, you’ll find yourself having more time and energy on which to focus your attention on the things that actually need it.

Personally, I wholeheartedly detest making the decision about what I’m going to eat for each and every meal and needless to say, I LOVE food. So, I’ve come up with a meal plan for every day of the week. I have a set shopping list every week, I have the same thing for dinner every Monday, Tuesday, Friday etc., and I meal prep my lunch in bulk on Sundays. Not only do I save money on grocery shopping and reduce waste, but I never have to spend any anxiety-inducing time deciding on what I want to eat. The same goes for your wardrobe, your exercise plan, your study schedule and even your social life.

But, please note that there are exceptions and I do occasionally go out for a meal or miss a day of gym, but once you get the hang of a solid routine that you’re happy with, you’ll be planning your life’s activities a whole week in advance to accommodate your shopping, sleeping, studying, working and gyming habits like me!

Say No

We are all at the centre of our own lives. We can do whatever we want – literally. Don’t forget it.

If someone asks you to do something, and you don’t want to do it, don’t – within reason of course. It’s that simple.

It’s so easy to get caught up helping others around us achieve their goals, that we often forget what we actually want for ourselves. Everything you do, you should want to do. There is, of course, a fine line between selfishness and self-care, and you should regularly practice some form of altruism from time to time, but you are living your own life, so you may as well do it on your own terms.

As an example, these types of things include understanding the difference between indulging in toxic familial obligations or submitting to health-compromising peer pressure when you could instead be learning that new skill you think will boost your employability or having some alone time to recharge.

I’m not a social person and the people I choose to surround myself with acknowledge and support my decisions to gym five times a week, eat a healthy, alcohol-free, sugar-free diet and never go out a night because I prefer to watch Netflix or catch up on some dreary life admin.

Today, we can do anything we want, including letting go of the things, people, and environments that cause us stress. So what I’m saying is, no matter how hard it is, or how guilty you feel: let you do you.

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