I felt the urge to write this post because life has a tendency of complicating and when it does, we tend to feel alone in the process. This is a reminder to others like me that.. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. It puts me at ease to hear/read others’ stories and strategies to deal with their responsibilities without leaving aside the important aspects of life. As I have disclosed on some of my previous posts, I am a young single mother and I strive every day to be the best version of myself, for 1. myself and 2. my son. However; reality is not always as romantic as it sounds and some days I struggle to keep that goal in mind.
Finding balance between education and motherhood can be tricky, especially if the person is a highly dedicated student (here you have an overachiever) and a highly dedicated mother. To make things more interesting and fun, let’s add work and paying the bills to the equation, plus being an international student coming from a country with a severe socioeconomic crisis. These past few months I have had to deal with constant blows in the face and, even though I love life, I am exhausted ! I follow the principle that life moves on and you must move along with it, thus I focus on the present and keep on going, trying to juggle every ball thrown at me to keep the flow and excitement of the act.
After leaving an amazing talk from two ex-convicts about empowerment and giving meaning to life, I am incredibly inspired and would like to share with you some things that I have learned along the way and tips to keep life interesting when the clock is winning the race and you have not had a chance to take a shower !!! Parents out there, I know that you are guilty…
-Always be grateful.
I know that this sounds cliche, but I have found so much peace when I have allowed myself to take a couple of seconds to breathe and thank the Universe for the life that I have.
-Give yourself a chance to be outdoors.
There is nothing more healing for me than getting a breath of fresh air, actual fresh air! I am at peace whenever I am outdoors and even though I don’t always have the opportunity to fully engage with it, I make sure to at least go to my backyard and breath because.. The birds are talking and we must listen.
There was once a stage of my life where the only utility that I gave to exercising was to get in shape and have a smokin’ body. I never contemplated the act as an actual form of therapy and pure enjoyment and now that I have reached that point, I am never letting go… Which is utter bs because we all know that it takes a village to maintain that form of discipline; however, whenever I am very stressed out or feeling blue, I force myself to run for at least 30 minutes. I try to take as much advantage as I can of the resources that I have to break a sweat and release some endorphins. Trust me, as long as you don’t dehydrate in the process, you’ll feel better.
-Make time for the ones you love.
This is my favorite part and the saddest thing is that it is the one that I do the least. I am not proud of this aspect and I am trying to gain as much awareness of it as possible. It is so easy to get caught up in the routine and external responsibilities that without realizing it, you neglect what is most valuable to you. A couple of weeks ago I started noticing a change in my son’s behavior. He later complained to me that I was always working or studying and didn’t spend as much time with him as I used to. After that occasion, I make sure to take a weekly walk together and to be more present for him.
-Hug your loved ones…Or a tree.
There is nothing more soothing than a warm embrace… Trees are great too !
-Ditch the phone.
After having my son I decided to get rid of social media because I was more focused on it than actually taking care of him ! I decided to detox myself from all of it and have not been more pleased, I now know how to balance between life and social media and control the urge of opening Instagram, etc . Give it a try, you will have withdrawals, but it is worth it !
Writing this has been therapeutical and I would love, love, love to hear your stories and recommendations ! How do you juggle ?