There's a lot of talk about mental and physical wellbeing nowadays. And it's been going on for a while now. The irony about taking care of yourself is that you mostly understand the need for it after multiple rounds of being overwhelmed by life to the extent of self loathing and losing sense of purpose.
But that's the thing about life. It tends to creep up on us like that.
I've recently gone through substantial change in my life in a period of two years. I upped a couple of levels at once in my adulthood by getting married and moving to a new country, and then moving to another one only a year after. That one came with an even bigger decision of quitting my job in Advertising and finding ways to monetize my talent: illustration.
On and off, I would hear my partner and my mother ask me if I'm happy. And the answer was 'yes'. But they ask with such deep concern that I actually need to justify why I really am happy. Of course I found some difficulty adapting to all the changes in my life. Some mornings I would wake up with a daunting weight on my chest, and the first breath I would let out is a complaining sigh more commonly known as an "ufff" amongst the Lebanese public.
And that's a really bad way to start your day. Even if your day comprises of chilling at home, working at your own pace and taking as many coffee and toilet breaks as you want. Because that, for me, also meant taking care of all the chores in our big new house. And that was new to me.
What I gradually came to realize was that I was looking at life through the wrong set of glasses. I can shamelessly say that…
I had difficulty quitting the corporate life.
I had difficulty keeping the house clean.
I had difficulty finding time during the day (yes, imagine that)
I had difficulty surrounding myself with proper inspiration.
With time, I managed to get my sh*t together and understand that my priorities need to be reshuffled, and that it's okay that you do very different things on different days because you actually have multiple goals to reach, such as having a house that feels like home, alternating between healthy and junk food, saving money to buy new things for the house, paying bills, and nurturing your talents or hobbies. They're all very different things.
As a young adult, it's important to maintain your physical wellbeing by cooking good food and having some sort of normal sleeping pattern. It's also important to maintain your mental wellbeing by understanding that chores are not really bad. I would actually stop referring to them as "chores" because the word itself has a negative connotation. You should want to do the dishes otherwise your sink will get stinky and you'll hate yourself for it. Getting some groceries means you have the flexibility to cook when you need to (i.e. frequently). Cleaning the floors means you can walk barefoot without having things stick to your feet…
My mistake was dedicating too much time per day on finding a new job, or working on a new project and feeling glorious! And then the next day I would hate myself for having to make double the effort to compensate for all the other things I did not do. It was a whirlwind that got me easily sucked in.
Another thing I observed was that the weekend became the go-to-date for bigger tasks around the house. And that was… no…
We'll clean the windows on the weekend.
We'll throw away the moving boxes on the weekend.
We'll go to the market on the weekend.
We'll tidy up the wardrobe on the weekend.
We'll install our new lights on the weekend.
3 months later, the boxes are still in their place. Because come the weekend and all we wanted to do was forget about all the things we have to do.
Yet another side effect of looking at time through the wrong lens.
Don't postpone things that take 30minutes. Or even an hour. Because if you can take that time on a weekday evening, your mind will feel less cluttered on Sunday afternoon when the blues are waving at you. Trust me. I experienced it for a full year and learned. And I still am learning.
This morning I felt like I have tons of things to take care of and it weighed heavy on me. I started tidying up my wardrobe after months of ignoring it and after finishing 70% of it, I paused for a coffee break to be able to write my feelings away and to actually just enjoy writing. You can read some more of my stuff here.
This may have been a long read and possibly a bit too personal, but I hear a lot about people in their 20s struggling to "adult". Knowing that I'm a year away from being 30, I can say I'm proud to share my learnings with you. I'd love to help you face the small challenges of adulting, or juggling between your office job while you build your own dream job. Drop me a message and let's talk!
But now, my coffee is getting cold :)