This is collaborative post.
Chances are you have plenty going on in life, from work to family, pets and everything in between including making just a little time for yourself every now and again.
It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day running of life, so much so that sometimes you forget to stop and check in with how you’re feeling. Taking some time to appreciate how you feel and some of the frustrations, hopes and ambitions that sometimes get crowded out is a vital part of staying happy and healthy and reconnecting with who you are.
You may find that all the busyness is masking a deep rooted desire to make some positive changes in your life. Perhaps as your family grows up, you’re facing the prospect of concentrating more on your career and looking to make some key decisions around that.
Perhaps it’s more of a simple case of wanting to shake up your routine and find some new hobbies and interests. Whatever changes you’re looking to make, we take a look at some key areas that might just help push you in the right direction.
Maybe it’s your nine to five that’s beginning to get you down, in which case it’s time to start planning your exit strategy or at the very least a strategy that’s going to make some significant changes to the way your daily work life looks.
If you love your company but are no longer finding your daily tasks interesting or fulfilling then plan to talk to your manager about incorporating some new challenges into your day. Perhaps you might consider going on a secondment with another team, taking on a special project or finding some new areas of work to incorporate into your other responsibilities.
However, if you don’t see any room for change or your manager can’t find a way of offering you more then maybe it is time to move on. Changing job, particularly if it’s one you’ve been in a long time can feel a little daunting and doesn’t necessarily come easily but get your CV in shape first and foremost and take it from there. There are plenty of CV templates to update your look and remember to adapt the content for each job you apply for.
Don’t be put off by jobs that seem out of your reach, a smart CV and a fantastic cover letter might just get your foot in the door and you’ll be able to use the interview to convince them of your suitability. Even if you don’t get the job you go for straightaway, having interview practice can be an invaluable experience.
Boost your education
Even if you have all your professional qualifications and haven’t set foot in a classroom for years, stretching the grey matter again can remind you of all the good things that studying can bring. You’ll be reminded of how smart you are, the sense of achievement completing assignments can bring and how great it is to learn and apply yourself to a new challenge.
If you’re working at the same time, this might seem too much but there are some great options out there for part time study. You might consider an evening class. Your further education centre is likely to offer professional courses tailored for those who hold down jobs. This might look like one evening and one weekend day a week or a residential weekend course every few weeks. Either way, with some juggling and commitment, you’ll be able to study that subject you’ve always wanted to explore.
Perhaps you’ll turn your love of running into a Personal Trainer qualification or transform your design skills into WordPress ready web development. Whatever you choose make sure you’re studying something you love and can apply to your real life at the end of the course.
The other alternative is of course distant studying. An mba-distance-learning programme for example or even qualifications in teacher training through reputable online university programmes.
The advantages of these programmes is that you are able to study at times when it’s most convenient for you. Evenings when the children are in bed, or weekends when the house is quiet. The disadvantage is that they can take significantly longer to complete, but well worth the time spent to get a qualification to take you forward on the next step of your career path.
If you’re content in your working life perhaps you’re looking to make some changes at home. This might be in the form of bringing a little order to your life and organising your household better or just carving out a little more time for yourself in order to find a little bit of who you were before you took on all the responsibilities of parenting.
When you’re looking to organise your routine, it’s good to start with the basics and the key to it all is planning. If everything feels like a rush at the start and the end of the day, what can you do to improve your routine?
Begin by thinking about what you can do as soon as you are home from work and school. Have everyone changed and packing their bag for the next day, get lunches done the night before and set aside a day (or more with older children) where homework gets done. Designate that day and stick to it.
If you’re rushing around looking for something for everyone to eat the consider sticking up a meal planner and spend Sunday night planning ahead for the week. We’re not talking about gourmet meals and even a pizza can be added to the list, anything that takes the uncertainty out of what you and the family will eat.
Consider too, investing in a slow cooker and prepping the meals the night before when you have a little time, ready to switch on in the morning and ready for when everyone gets home. Forget about striving for perfection, we’re talking about little pockets of organisation that make your life easier.
Maybe you feel a bit stuck in a rut over your health. Always tired and never having quite enough energy. It’s time to start looking after yourself as well as you look after everyone else.
Set aside some time in your day or evening to find some movement that you love. It. might be that you love running or lifting weights, or perhaps walking or hiking is more your thing. If you fancy a swim, take time to do that. You might enjoy mixing it up with classes, walks with friends or a bike ride. Whatever you enjoy that gets your body moving, is great.
The key will be to make sure you are able and motivated to do it regularly and prioritise your health. Your mental health is equally as important and when you’re rushing around all day, finding a moment for some quiet time can be immensely beneficial. You might benefit from some morning meditation or learning about mindfulness techniques that can help still your racing thoughts and allow you to find some calmness in your otherwise hectic life.
Even finding a moment to listen to some music or read a book without interruption can be super helpful in restoring a bit of calmness and order in your otherwise busy day.
It might even be time to explore some new hobbies and meet some new people. Your local college will probably run courses that you can access weekly, from the arts to languages and so on. Be brave and sign up for a watercolour class like you’ve always wanted to do and bring your imaginative side back to life.
Of course, if you want to explore this solo you have the opportunity to learn from the plethora of YouTube videos that can be found online and will guide through a programme step-by-step. Think outside the box and you might find something you weren’t sure about turns into something you love. It’s never too late to learn languages or pick up a paint brush or guitar, so explore those opportunities today.
Changing your life doesn’t have to be as dramatic as changing your career, although it can and it should be if you need it to. It might be as simple as starting an evening course towards a new qualification or talking to your boss about shaking up your daily roles. It might even look like taking a daily walk for your health.
Making those changes to your home, your career and your personal life that make all the difference to how you feel are well worth doing. If you need your home to run more smoothly or you need to look after your physical or mental health a little more, it’s time to put yourself first.
Take on a new challenge, set yourself a health goal. Do anything that makes you a happier, more confident, more invigorated you. Spending time investing in your wellbeing is time and money well spent.