Anyone who has ever met me knows that I'm constantly incredibly busy. I like to think of it more as a feature than a flaw, but it definitely has its challenges. I struggle to balance my personal, professional, and academic lives in a healthy way - and I know I'm not the only one who finds this hard.
It's not a new problem for me. I'm used to go-go-go, constantly moving as fast as possible, jumping from problem to problem, event to event, and then falling into bed at the end of the day, too tired to even wash my face. A consequence of this is struggling to relax and unwind.
True story: I was once on vacation in Florida, and a friend decided we should spend some time at the pool. I packed up my things and we walked over. It was a perfect day: 80 degrees and sunny, with a cool breeze off the water. The pool was blissfully empty - literally could not have been better. I spent 20 minutes swimming, another 20 drying off, then looked to my friend for our next activity. When I was informed we were spending the WHOLE DAY at the pool, I was flabbergasted. How do people do that? I had so many things to work on, so much energy to spend.
My self-care balance has improved marginally since then, but probably not as much as it needs to.
When people hear I'm writing a book, their reaction usually one of the following:
If you're reading this post for practical advice, I have some. I've had a lot of trial and error. I get writer's block. I spend hours diving down wikipedia rabbit holes to figure out character names. I sometimes fail at balancing it all and dissolve in tears my poor boyfriend has to deal with. But every second of frustration and elation is worth it.
My formula for continuing to write, no matter how busy I get:
And as for balancing life? Find what works for you, and don't be afraid to adapt. There are weeks where I cancel on friends, I put writing off, or I choose to spend two hours watching a movie instead of doing homework for grad school. Listen to your body, set achievable goals, and keep moving forward. After all, that's really all we can ever do.
If it helps, I believe in you. And if you want my help? All you need to do is reach out :)
Bridget is the author of Summer Twilight, available for purchase now!