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Balancing Acts and Stress: The Art of the Twenty-Something

Walking Bankside, London

Walking Bankside, London

Throughout our lives we are always trying to find a balance, but I think that your twenties are one of those major turning points that make keeping said balance particularly troubling.

This is a point where we are constantly in transition. From professional to social situations, we are in flux and all the while most of us are trying to figure out not only what we are doing now and what comes next, but who we are and who we want that person to be.

And that’s hard!

I’m a Master’s student balancing classwork and dissertation plans, travel wishes since I’m living in a new country, and looking for an internship for now and possible opportunities for the future (including where I want to be living and working next year). My sister who started this blog is balancing her first grown up job and starting a career, married life as a young twenty-something, and figure out the social, financial and time consuming aspects that go along with becoming a functioning part of society.

That’s the thing: we’ve all got different balls in the air, but as a twenty something we’re all just trying to keep them all up while another could be lobbed in to our act or a sudden draft might upset the balance.

Basically, we’ve got some serious stress.

So here are some of my tips for getting through:

1.  On a very basic level, we all need to drink more water—most of your body is water so withholding this vital substance because you are stressed is just going to add a physical level of stress to your equation. And don’t forget that things like caffeine actually dehydrate you—so yes that tea or coffee has H2O but maybe a clear glass between rounds, heh?

2.  Figure out how cook a few quick meals that you can get excited about that don’t break the bank or kill your schedule.—in thirty 50 forty-five minutes, I can make a personal pizza, pasta with cheesy garlic cream sauce or a melted cheese burger with little to no thought (definitely fit a salad in at some point though if these are your go to quick meals!).

I’ll put my recipes up later if anyone wants but it’s great to be able to pull something more than a sandwich or salad after a busy day and it’ll save you the time, hassle and the myriad of issues that go along with going out.

3.  Find a non-job related hobby that get you excited to do something—cooking is great for twenty-somethings and is a life skill that you can empress people with later (I’m seriously shocked at the number of us who can barely make pasta. I mean, come on, guys!). This can be as easy though as a half an hour picture walk around town or learning an instrument or craft.

Just do something that’s just for you and lets you have a few moments (I’m really into the thirty mark!) of Zen. And I know it’s tempting, but don’t let your hobby simply be marathoning Netflix. You should be trying to actively DO something.

4.  Don’t hide your passions— it’s a thing I’ve noticed about most people recently: it’s not cool to be too passionate about anything. Well, I say, that’s ridiculous. Most of the time, you won’t look back at your life and think “I wish I just sat back more and just didn’t care.” Sure we may think this sometimes but how boring would that be all the time—generally, it makes you boring and utterly exhausting to be around.

Paris Geller said it best: I want to read an in-depth biography of my life and puke.

So, there you have it, some of my mental and physical stress relievers that keep me same while juggling my life as a busy and forever moving twenty-something.

The next few weeks are going to be hectic as I start outlining my upcoming travels alongside my class work and beginning my dissertation prep. I’ll probably be posting here and on the other site covering this process and the trip so follow both if you want to hear more about my book neriness and adventuring, and take a look at what’s ahead here.

Until next time, check it out and let me know what you’re balancing and what you do to relieve your stress!

-Taylor Gallagher

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