This is a sensation that pretty much everyone I know has felt- both men and women alike. But I would have to say that women in today's society feel the weight of the expectation to "have and be it all" on their shoulders exponentially more.
While I won't go into the whole "women and double standards" argument (otherwise this will turn into a dissertation), I think that many of us have felt the sometimes suffocating pressure trying to achieve a balance of building simultaneously successful and fulfilling careers, earning enough income to eat and pay electricity, maintaining a social life, being a good friend, being a kid to your parents, maybe getting married and popping out a kid someday, and oh that small thing called the overall pursuit of happiness.
There's a popular saying amongst college kids:
Three factions exist: academics, social life, and sleep. And you can only have two out of the three at any given time.
While all three had their roles in playing into my happiness and well-being, sleep was the only one that would solely benefit me and no one else. And I was willing to give that up first. This now says a lot to me about what type of sacrifice I was willing to make. I would daresay that a high majority of us do the same in the hustle bustle of our daily lives.
I don't know about you, but I am constantly feeling the pull in all directions of my life. I don't believe that there is a single person on this earth who has mastered the balance of everything 24/7, except for maybe Gandhi, but hey, I'm sure the dude had his off days too. And yes, I realize I just referred to Gandhi as dude...
I do believe that I have gotten a lot better at maintaining a balance. How I've been able to get there is realizing that I am only human. As much as I love to believe that I am a wizard who belongs at Hogwarts, I am indeed a mere muggle in New York City.
Recognize that there is only so much time in the day to do things.
When you overextend yourself, it's impossible to be the best version of you for the rest of the world. You should be your #1 priority. Not to say go on and be selfish, but I know there are times where I need to take care of myself first so that I have that much more to give to others afterward. Sometimes you have to say no (I am the WORST at this... working on it!) to something smaller now, so you have the energy and mental clarity to say yes to something much bigger and better later.
Figure out what are some little things that make you happy and give you a moment of "you" time that helps you feel rejuvenated and more ready to tackle whatever is next in your day.
Last week, I was really starting to feel the brunt of my hectic schedule and I knew things were getting bad when I started to feel sick and felt a need to nap about 30 minutes after waking up. Feeling that pull in about 15 different directions of all the things I "should be" doing, I knew I needed to just chill out alone for a few hours and get a good night's rest to get my mind back on track.
One of my favorite things to do is wander around NYC alone, and I love walking alongside the west side highway. I decided to first treat myself with a delicious almond chai after work at one of my favorite cafes, Two Hands NYC, then I stopped back at home to grab a real paper book (e-books are just so not the same), and spontaneously grabbed my DSLR on the way out the door.
I'm so happy I grabbed my camera because the most gorgeous sunset unexpectedly happened that night. I wanted to try out Instagram's new Hyperlapse app, so I caught the first nice part of the sunset that way- but then the sunset evolved into this absurdly gorgeous watercolored piece of art.
That unexpected evening was just what the doc ordered. What are some of the things you like to do to take some "me" time?
Check out the series of some of my favorite things in my evening below: