I can feel the difference between my mom and me in my bones—our genetics are the same, but our social upbringings are so, so different.
My grandmother and I lead lives that are light years away from each other. At the age 28 I find myself childless with a decent income and a deeply addictive lust for travel. This is a life that I have chosen for me. This is a life that they would have never even thought of for themselves.
As women in a modern age where we are no longer confined to our homes, there are so many limitless possibilities as to what we can do with our lives.
I can delay motherhood while I work my way up in my field. I have an adequate amount of wealth that allows me to buy the things that I need and splurge when I feel like it. I can work full time and manage my creative outlets with an online blog. I can go to work, volunteer when I get home and then spend the night socializing with my friends.
There are so many choices and avenues as to what I can do that life just feels so motivating and limitless.
Except it’s not, is it?
I know that for me, the amount of choices I have makes my head spin. With our limitless opportunities come information overload, burnout, and the constant feeling that we need to do more and produce more.
Here are some lifestyle tips we need to start addressing:
1. Stop and be present.
When we are so busy that we can barely think, our minds work on overdrive and we lose the ability to think clearly. Have you ever refused to give yourself a break from work yet couldn’t get anything done? Chances are that you could have been twice as focused had you let yourself take that break.
Breaks give us a space between our past and future thoughts, allowing us to break up with our overdrive of thoughts that happen on the daily. When we cultivate a practice of being present in our current moment we learn to focus and truly appreciate what is right in front of us.
2. It the invitation doesn’t feel like a “hell yes,” then it is a “no.”
We already know that we have too much going on, yet we keep on accepting offers to collaborate, volunteer and socialize even when we either don’t have the time or don’t really want to. We’re afraid of hurting other people’s feelings. In my experience, this creates resentment. It also overburdens our schedules and leaves us with less time for the things that really matter to us.
3. Declutter and remove what isn’t serving us.
Once we can start saying “no” to what we don’t want and realizing that we don’t need to have it all, we can start to actively remove what doesn’t serve us—both physically and mentally. Decluttering our closets, inboxes and minds can do wonders and lighten our load.
4. Make space for our health.
When we are stressed out and have an overburdened mindset we tend to prioritize things that have deadlines and important aspects of our lives suddenly fall out of that equation. One of those things is usually our concern for our health.
We overwork, don’t sleep enough and often forget about nurturing our bodies and minds because there are so many other things on our to do list. Prioritize health time, whether that means cooking your own meals, doing yoga, starting a meditation practice or releasing your creativity by writing a journal. Your health is a much more important priority than any work deadlines that you are faced with.
5. No matter how much we achieve or do, we are enough.
We modern women are more overburdened than ever. The things we want—and are told that we should want–are just too many. We cannot possibly have it all. All of the things that we add to our schedules couldn’t possibly compare with the magnitude of our presence.
We constantly feel like we aren’t enough. But we are. We, me, you, are more than enough. Cultivating an appreciation for ourselves before trying to achieve and have it all is just one way of dealing with this issue. We are worth so much more than our schedule gives us credit for.
So stand with me, proclaim your worth and ditch the busy anthem. Turn off the outer clutter and move inwards.
Let’s sculpt a life that isn’t based on what’s expected of us but one that we would expect the best from. The choice is ours.
Let’s choose to do less so that we can be left with more—more time, value, meaning, happiness, and most importantly…love.
Author: Sara Loureiro
Editor: Katarina Tavčar
Photo: Axel Naud/Flickr