Almost all of my time of late has been taken up by dissertation writing, which is definitely productive, but can start to be a bit psychologically an emotionally draining. Spending hours in front of my computer without talking to people tends to start getting a little weird. Luckily I only have about two weeks until I start an internship (yay!) which will force me to take two days a week as a break and get out of my head a bit.
Since I decided to take June and July and really focus on dissertation work, finding a balance has been the key to retaining my sanity. Growing up as an only child has made me super comfortable spending time alone, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t occasionally get a bit stir crazy.
This list are all things I’ve found to be really helpful in finding balance, and are simple enough you can incorporate any number of them relatively easily, whether you’re writing dissertation or working full time.
• Find a Routine (and stick to it!)
This is probably the most important thing for me in terms of personal happiness and productivity. Having a schedule takes a lot of the thinking/planning out of the way so I can focus on other things. It also makes things like workout a bit easier to fit in– if you get used to doing something every day momentum starts to build making it easier to stick with it. Beyond this, having daily or weekly ritual, like dinner sans-phones can be a great way to recharge.
• Schedule Some Personal Time
Whether this means an a.m yoga practice, a few minutes of reading a book for fun, or even watching an episode of your favourite show, this time is super beneficial. I’ve recently started taking some yoga classes at a studio near me, and found that having that to look forward to makes the writing go by that much more quickly, but the key here is to find whatever helps you relax.
• See Other People
Even besides having some personal time, I’ve found that planning one ore two activities with friends per week does wonders for my happiness levels. Even if it’s a FaceTime call with a friend, it helps me to feel like myself again. It’s so easy to lose track of time and push things to the next week, but strong friendships are key for both mental and physical health.
• Make a List
One of the things I do each night as part of my evening routine is to make a list for the next day of all of the things I need to do and would like to accomplish. I generally include a few shorter, fun items like yoga, or a coffee date to boost my morale. Seeing a visual representation of everything I’ve done makes me feel even more productive. If lists aren’t your thing, try writing down all of the tasks you accomplish after the fact– it will still be a nice visual, but will likely make you feel less anxious about crossing things off.
Finding balance for me means finding ways to acknowledge something positive, or find some happiness in every day. All of these are just different ways I do this. Whether it’s making a list that lets me prioritise the important things so I don’t sweat the small stuff, catching up with a friend over coffee, or exploring my yoga practice, they all help me life a fuller, more present life.
Do you use any of these to find balance? Feel like I’ve forgotten something? Let me know in the comments!