After moving out of my childhood home and into my first apartment in the city, I struggled with finding a balanced lifestyle.
I quickly realized that my juvenile ways would only take me so far.
Having friends over every night, or partying whenever I felt like it, may have fed all the spontaneous bones in my body (which is all of them), but I really struggled to balance fun with self-care, and the responsibilities that came with living in your own place. At first, it was a bit difficult, but eventually, I found my groove.
So, if you are a 20 something, living in the city, and you want to have your sh*t somewhat together, you may want to check out my tips below!
1. Morning routine
First things first, waking up early and making time for yourself in the morning is so important. It starts your day off on the right foot and brings some sense of routine and stability into your day. This in itself is a form of self-care. Even if you only take 10 minutes to breathe in the fresh air, say your affirmations or listen to music that’ll hype you up, it is so worth it. YOU are your priority, so before you take care of those emails or the tasks you have lined up, take care of yourself first. I highly recommend checking out FlowJo’s self-care bucket list for other ideas on what to implement in your morning routine!
2. Meal prepping will save your life!
The amount of money that I have spent on food delivery apps is atrocious. I must have been eating my 100th take out meal of the week when I stopped in my tracks and thought to myself. . . this is no way to live. Now, I am no cook. Some of my foodie friends love watching cooking videos and conjuring up new things in the kitchen. If you are one of those people, more power to you! But, if you are anything like me, your cooking skills and interest probably extend to making a mean grilled cheese, and anything further than that overwhelms you. When I plan my meals ahead and plan to use the same ingredients for multiple meals that week, it really does take a weight off. Also, cooking some extra food tonight will save you from having to cook tomorrow. Some of the best options I have come across are meal prep companies such as Hello Fresh. Hello Fresh will send you the exact ingredients you need for a healthy meal (multiple times a week) and these recipes are quick and easy to make! If your budget allows for it, I highly recommend this option!
3. Make Physical Activity Fun!
One of the components of having a balanced lifestyle is having some form of physical activity in your life. If you like to work out at the gym, my tip for you is to do it in the morning. Getting it done in the morning leaves more room for fun and spontaneity later. If you are someone who feels like it’s a chore to go to the gym, I advise you to check out classes or sports in your area. For example, I have joined a beginner hip hop class, which is a great workout! As uncoordinated as I may be, I get excited to go to dance class and get moving. I have also found ways to go swimming whenever I can (perks of having friends who have pools in their buildings). My boyfriend is more of a sports guy, and he has joined intramural soccer which he goes to every week. There is something out there for everyone!
4. Stay ahead of your finances
Don’t go broke in an attempt to have fun. You can avoid this by making sure you are checking your account balance on a regular basis instead of once in a blue moon. This will stop you from having a meltdown when you’re in the negatives and will actually stop you from being in the negatives altogether . . . trust me, I had to learn this the hard way. Secondly, if you take the time to make a monthly budget highlighting your income and expenses, it will be a lot easier to understand and control where your money is going. Maxed out your budget but want to have fun? Do it in a cost-effective way. Go on a picnic or go to an aquarium, museum, or zoo. These places typically have days during which they waive fees. Half-price movies or movie nights at home are also a great option! I personally love having my friends over for board game nights. Be sure to include savings in your monthly budget as well. This is super important and will set you up for the future!
5. Plan “me time”, Plan to socialize, or combine!
As you may have realized by now, I like to be spontaneous. I like telling my friends to come over or going out for drinks even if it’s a Tuesday night. What I don’t like is missing out on making time for myself for multiple days on end. So, I try to schedule “me time” during the day or during my work breaks, especially if I know I have plans later. To me, this can mean reading my book, watching my favourite cartoon, going on walks, scrapbooking, etc. Some of my friends have the opposite struggle, where they forget to plan to socialize and find themselves being stuck in a cycle of isolation. A great solution to this is to combine “me time” with being social. For instance, in the summer, I like to go to the park with my friends and read. I still feel like I am taking time for myself to do an individual activity, but I’m having fun doing it with other people.
These tips are super helpful but don’t let them overwhelm you. If you start to implement them into your life slowly, you will be on track in no time. Balance is the key to life but some days may be more productive while others are more fun. Getting your sh*t together is an art that no one seems to have mastered, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t figure it out right away. Hope these tips help you out and feel free to let us know in the comments below if you have any other tips you'd like to share!