Hey, remember when you were a kid and you thought: “I can’t wait to be a grownup. Then things will be fun, and I’ll be allowed to do whatever I want”? Remember that??? Sure, being an adult is fun. You can eat a whole box of Oreos. Stay up as late as you want. Pay bills … and taxes. Work a job you maybe don’t love all the time.
You didn’t know how good you had it when you were a kid. Adulting is freaking hard. And, sure, there’s fun, but you’re also responsible for, like, everything. It’s no wonder you’re stressed out and tired a lot of the time. Here are a few life hacks that might just make your day a tiny bit easier. (But you still have to pay bills on time and take out the trash and do the dishes.)
Work meetings and conference calls. Running kids to and from extracurriculars. Trying to keep up with laundry. It’s amazing how quickly your schedule gets filled up whether you’re single or have a family. So sit down and make a list of the things you’d actually like to spend your time on.
For you, it may look like gardening, yoga, taking more vacations, or just going to bed earlier. Once you write out that list of things you’d like to be doing, create a column of ways you can make some of those things happen. It may be as simple as offloading chores to your kids or your partner, setting aside a certain amount of money each month toward a trip, or even allotting 15 minutes a day for gardening.
Prioritize Mental & Physical Wellbeing
We sorta hate the word “self-care” too, because it’s totally meaningless—especially if you’re busy AF. Let’s just call it improving your mental and physical self (or “keeping your shit together”). If you don’t regularly work out, start small, like five minutes small. Don’t feel like you have time to go to the gym? Do what you can at home. Climb stairs, run around the block, do squats, or a few yoga poses … just take a five-minute walk — anything that gets you regularly moving.
And whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or you work in an office, squeeze in two or three minutes for a mental break. Mindfulness exercises actually do help with anxiety, depression, and stress. There are plenty of mindfulness apps and YouTube vids these days, but our go-to app for meditation and mindfulness is Headspace; it’s super easy, you can find meditations for literally every life situation, and you can do a 1-minute meditation or a 20-minute one.
That doesn’t mean stuffing everything in closets before visitors come over. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by clutter (so many toys!), set a 15-minute timer, put on some music (“Alexa, play my Cleaning Spotify playlist”), and get going! Keep a donation bin by the back door, and once you fill it up with crap your kids don’t need, donate it all. Cleaning in shorts bursts makes your house feel a little less overwhelming, and you’ll be surprised at how much you can get done in such a short time.
Meal Plan … But Don’t Overplan
Planning out meals is one of those annoying mental activities that seem so daunting. Maybe it’s because you end up having to cook three different meals for all the little (picky) people in your house. But just because your favorite influencers cook restaurant-worthy meals, doesn’t mean you have to. (We have some meal prep hacks here, too.)
Find meals that actually work for your family. Crockpot? InstaPot? Instead of using them as dust collectors, use them. You can make a rack of ribs, a delish roast, or a whole freaking chicken in the crockpot … and veggies. And if you have kids, and one kid eats only pizza and the other one only likes cheese and bread, get some store-bought naan, cut up cheese for one, and make a naan pizza for the other. Dinner achievement unlocked. To get rid of the parent guilt, throw some carrots or sliced-up veggies on their plates and call it a day.
Cut Yourself Some Slack
Being a human is hard. You actually have to make decisions all the time. Plus, you don’t get nearly the amount of sleep you probably need. So … give yourself some grace, as they say (we’re not really sure who “they” is, but the message is still good). Don’t want to get up at 5 to squeeze in a workout? Don’t! Sleep in for another 30 minutes. Want to read a book instead of cleaning the kitchen? We say do it. Cutting yourself a little slack can save your sanity, too.
So here’s to you! We see you, and we know how hard you work. You’re killing it!
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