If you follow my Instagram, then you may have seen a recent post where I hinted at a bit of chaos occurring in my life right now. That day, I was in the process of moving out of my place and currently, I am securing a lease for my own apartment. Somewhere in the middle, I am subleasing a room for just 3 weeks and the thought of having to move all my stuff out again relatively soon baffles me to the core! At the same time, I went about 5 days without making a smoothie in the morning, my Pilates instructor is out of town visiting her mother, and I have to wake up every morning to go to work and come home to a room full of storage containers, stuffed paper bags, and a bed that isn’t actually mine but is jealously cozy nonetheless. This is what I call “Adulting”, a word that I picked up in college and only really know the gist of what it means, but seems to be the best way to describe what I’m doing. Even though it doesn’t sound like an actual word we’d find in Webster’s Dictionary, I think it’s still worth defining.
Well, this is what Urban Dictionary says:
Adulting (v): to do grown up things and hold responsibilities such as, a 9-5 job, a mortgage/rent, a car payment, or anything else that makes one think of grown ups.
And while we’re at it, let’s Google “balance“:
1. an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.
complete disorder and confusion.
There we have it! Adulting while trying to maintain balance in the midst of chaos. Now, how do we do that?
Here are some tips that I find useful lately:
When life starts to feel like it’s weighing your spirit down, it’s important to detach yourself from the stress and seek peace within yourself. One of the simplest ways I do this is to practice long, controlled breaths for at least a minute. I do it while I’m laying in bed or while I riding in the car. Let’s do one right now:
First, we want to take a deep breath – just breath in for about 6 seconds.
Next, we will hold this breath for about 5 seconds.
Finally, we exhale our breath for 6 more seconds.
Seventeen seconds sounds very short, but when I’m mentally stressing about three things at the same time, stopping myself and breathing feels like a long time. The reason why is because when one stresses, they get lost in their worries and are consumed by them. Hence, the word anxious. Do you follow? Breathing forces you to pause, stop thinking, and focus. Taking you back to your center.
- Confide in Someone you Trust
Although I’ve never really struggled with being verbal about my struggles, I am aware of how difficult this can be for others. Talking to someone about the things we are going through in life can be a big help and sometimes can save us from being self-destructive. I went to therapy for about a year from 2015-2016 after one of my counselors suggested it to me. Initially, I was on the fence about it, however, looking back at it now, I cannot imagine not going through with it. Let me tell you why.
I was a Sociology major who had discovered the connection between her past and present.
I was a woman with walls, struggling to embrace vulnerability.
I was a student who felt distanced from her counterparts because of internal battles.
The trials and tribulations we face in life can make us feel alone. Even when we have a support system surrounding us, we still feel like no one is there. No one is listening. No one really understands what we are going through. It takes time to get out of this funk, for some of us it can take our entire lives. But no matter how alone we feel at times, it’s important to push aside our pride, our sadness, our hopelessness and confide in another human being. This also ties into the whole idea of living beyond ourselves. Stepping outside of our bubble and being courageous.
- Take a Walk
Walking is not only a great form of cardio, but it also helps me relax during hard times. Instead of getting caught up in my daunting thoughts, I get more caught up in the smell of fresh air or the crispy breeze of the evening. Usually at night, I have the whole block to myself and I can look up into the sky without actually looking at anything. At this time of the year, Berkeley is pretty cold so I’m layered in jackets that keep me warm. I settle in this warmth against the contradicting cold I feel on my face and I begin to embrace the calm from giving myself away to my senses. Brrrrrr!!
Walk for about 10 minutes at a medium pace. It’s just enough to break a mini sweat.
Look at the trees. The sidewalk. The cars passing by in the distance. The dark sky that seems endless.
Uses your senses instead of your brain.
If walking is too much for you, just find a place outside to sit. We just need to get away from any type of suffocation, i.e. our bedroom, our office, etc. The only thing about sitting is that you may continue to lose yourself in stressful thoughts, so I recommend listening to music that doesn’t relate to the subject of your chaos. Try some Erykah Badu. Or some Colbie Caillat.