Life Balance for Young Adults
In our fast-paced world, juggling academics, work, community service, and other responsibilities can be overwhelming. This constant juggle affects the overall health and well-being of many young adults.
Not having balance in life often results in increased stress that reflect negatively on relationships, as well as work and school performance. As you strive for excellence in your work, make sure you schedule in time for activities that recharge you.
Below you will find some tips and suggestions that can help bring balance back into your life if you find yourself feeling tired, stressed, and unfilled.
- Schedule a Weekly Social Activity
- Eliminate Unproductive Activities
- Don't Take On Too Much
- Slow Down
- Make Your Life Enjoyable
- Know When to Seek Help
Schedule a Weekly Social Activity
At the start of each week, plan an activity that you enjoy with your family or friends. Make sure the activity is built into your agenda/calendar. This will be your incentive to work hard throughout the week and manage your time well in order to get everything done before this special activity.
Treat the activity like you would treat class or work. You would not skip class or work, so do not skip time dedicated to yourself and supporting or strengthening your relationships.
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Eliminate Unproductive Activities
Track your daily habits. What activities do you catch yourself doing that do not enhance your career or personal life? Do you spend too much time reading, surfing the web, and on social media? If so, do you think it would be worthwhile to eliminate those activities and create time for in-person social activities or outings?
In order to have a healthy work/school and life balance, set priorities for yourself and avoid procrastination. Take note of the times you catch yourself reneging on your daily and weekly responsibilities – laundry, cooking, cleaning, shopping, paying bills on time – in favor of activities that make you inefficient.
The next time you catch yourself procrastinating, redirect your energies to finishing something on your to-do list. Do this until you have eliminated those habits altogether.
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Don't Take On Too Much
If your efforts to make time for yourself have proven unsuccessful, maybe you're taking on too much. If you are saying "yes" to too many tasks, it is important to learn to say "no" and focus on yourself.
Prioritize your responsibilities. First, limit yourself to the tasks you must complete for your boss, school, and your community – then, to chores that keep the peace at home, keep your car running, provide clothes to wear, and food to eat.
Focus on the tasks that you enjoy performing and eliminate the ones you simply do not have time for. Your happiness and overall well being is more important than all the extra tasks you may be completing now. (However, also be careful not to say no to your boss too often!)
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Whenever you feel stress is taking a toll on you, put down what you are working on and take some time to yourself. Do something else for at least 10 minutes, preferably something physical and enjoyable such as taking a walk. When you get back to what was causing your stress, you will feel more refreshed, rejuvenated, and determined to tackle it.
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Make Your Life Enjoyable
Approach life with a positive attitude. You cannot guarantee that every second of your time will be perfect. If something goes wrong, learn from your mistakes, and appreciate the good in your life. Make sure to take time and laugh every day. Be social, go out with friends, exercise, have fun.
Remember that physical activity has been shown time and time again to help reduce stress and improve efficiency. Add more activities you enjoy into your schedule and make sure to take at least 10 to 15 minutes a day to recharge.
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Know When to Seek Help
If you are feeling overwhelmed, talking to others can help. Everyone needs help from time to time, and reaching out for this help is normal. The following signs may indicate that you are feeling stressed, and may want to ask for help:
- Exaggerated irritability
- Withdrawal from social interaction
- Increased distractedness, forgetfulness, and confusion
- Anxiety and/or depression
- Changes in sleep
- Emotional outburst and crying
- Excessive worry and fear
There is not just one way to get help. You can talk to a variety of people including peers, help hotlines, counselors, religious figures, advisors, and therapists. Many colleges have school counselors available who can help you with your class schedule or time management. You may also have access to group therapy or individual sessions with a school psychologist.
If this is an option for you, try scheduling an appointment to see if it helps. If you are not a student, speak to a trusted adult or make an appointment with your healthcare provider. You may also check online to see if your county offers free or low-cost therapy through public interest mental health providers.
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Written By: Gergana Mishkova,
public health education intern
Reviewed By: Nancy Brown, Ph.D.
Last Reviewed: August 5, 2013
Below are links PAMF accessed when researching this topic. PAMF does not sponsor or endorse any of these sites, nor does PAMF guarantee the accuracy of the information contained on them.
Work, School and Life Balance, Volunteer State Community College.
Five Tips for a Better Work/Life Balance, University of California, Merced.
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