Adulting isn’t taught in school. None of us was ready for it.
When I was young I thought I’d have it together when I became an adult. The older I get, the more I realize it’s just the same — figuring it all out.
Most of us thought that adulting is about making your own decisions without being called out by a parent. The promise of independence lured us. The idea of having our own money became an obsession.
Little did we know that adulting would be spent mostly on paying off credit card debt, nonstop search for side jobs to avoid homelessness, and seeing people in and out of your life.
Sometimes, it feels good to step back from adulting. To put the thought of bills and deadlines aside and just revel in an IDGAF day. Wouldn’t it be nice to switch your adult mode to Alpha mode? In case you haven’t heard of it yet, Alphas are the successors of Zoomers. Most of them are still under 10 years old.
While we can’t shove responsibilities out of our way, we can still get easily excited and silly. Once in a while, we can just enjoy life with simple rules.
Here are some ideas that will get us through adulting days:
1. Make your bed
This is a piece of standard life advice that parents always tell us when we were kids. William H. McRaven even wrote the book, Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World. McRaven’s decades-long Naval career and training inspired him to write the book.
Making your bed may sound basic, but it actually requires discipline as we grow older. The bed represents you and what you do with it is a reflection of how you handle your day…your life. So make it the first task of your day and see how everything else follows.
2. Make coffee a morning ritual
Coffee (or tea) makes us feel more alert and less tired, but sipping a cup every morning makes it extra beneficial. Caffeine activates neurotransmitters including serotonin and dopamine that can control mood. It must be the reason why some of us get addicted to coffee — it keeps us in a happy vibe. As the catchphrase I saw reads, “While some people drink coffee to wake up, others wake up to drink coffee.” Who wouldn’t want some feel-good hormones in the blood before seeing that first work email?
3. Keep a journal
Remember when we were ten and used to hide the cutest pink diary under our mattress? We thought the lock will keep our secrets safe until we suspect someone was reading them.
Adulting never said we should stop writing. The only difference is, that we now call it a journal. Countless studies have shown that people who write about their problems in a journal have reduced anxiety levels. Treat your journal like a best friend or a therapist. Write anything you’d like, high or low. Did you like the sound of birds chirping outside your window? Write them down. Did you get a nice compliment from a colleague about your new dress? Make a note. Journaling can improve your mental health.
4. Put down your phone
For some people, looking at their cell phones has become the first thing to do when waking up. Even I am guilty of this. The alarm goes off first and before you realize it, an hour went by as you scroll through Facebook posts and messages. Social media and texting can disrupt your personal time. Give more time to important tasks than keeping tabs on your Facebook friends and Instagram influencers.
For example, leave your phone somewhere out of reach if you’re going to watch a movie. Your phone will probably ring off the hook when there’s an emergency. You can always return texts or reply to emails later.
5. Take up a new hobby
Most hobbies can be very expensive, but there are those that are cheap and can be done at home. Some women have found arts and crafts creative and relaxing, thanks to month-long quarantines. Jewelry making and Macramé require tutorials and patience but the results are worth it. Photography can be a good excuse to get out into nature. You can use your smartphone initially and choose to invest in a professional camera and gear later.
6. Declutter your closet
There’s no good reason to hold on to clothes that don’t fit anymore. How many times have you told yourself that you will lose enough weight to wear them again, but ended up disappointed? Our body shape has changed and we should love the body we are in now.
You only have two ways to dispose of those old clothes in your closet: donate or sell. In selecting clothes to get rid of, ask yourself these questions: Do I love them? Do I wear them?
Go through the items and sell anything you don’t want or use for over a year. Make sure the items are not torn and are fairly clean. If you’re holding a garage sale, ask friends and family to contribute old items. People are drawn to larger garage sales. Online selling is also an option. On the other hand, if you want to donate clothes, make sure you know ahead of time where you’ll donate.
7. Take a short walk or trip
Don’t underestimate the healing power of a short walk. Remember when you’re told to walk it off after a heated argument with someone? Walking doesn’t just burn calories. It also improves mental health, as it reduces anxiety, depression, and negative mood. Download a step counter app to your phone to monitor your progress. Start with a 30-minute walk and you’ll soon find yourself wanting to walk farther.
Short trips distract our minds from our thoughts. There’s no need for expensive flights and many vacation days. A weekend road trip is enough to divert our thoughts to something else. It could be a drive to the nearest park or lake.
8. Cancel plans
Canceling plans is a self-care move. I’m not suggesting that breaking a date last minute is a decent thing. You could lose a friend or a work connection if you habitually cancel plans.
Opting out of a date or a party is fine if you’re not really into socializing that day. But make sure to let the people who are expecting you, know ahead of time that you’d rather stay home. If you’d bail because you had a long day before, your friends will surely understand.
9. Invest in your bedroom
Make the bedroom your sanctuary. Invest in a good mattress. Look for makeover inspiration from YouTube, Pinterest, or any social media page. Play with lighting. Turn it into a project until you are satisfied. Your bedroom is the place you run to so make it the haven that you’ve had since in your mind. Make your dream bedroom a reality.
10. Plan a brunch with friends
Dinner is overrated, it’s time for brunch! It’d be ten times the fun if you’re hosting a brunch party and your BFF is helping.
Don’t underestimate the superior power of brunch to gather people. Nowadays, adults hardly find time to meet up for dinner parties. Most of us have endless excuses to decline a dinner invitation. While one hands-on mom can’t find a babysitter, the other single but actively dating auntie is already looking forward to a nightcap.
So send out that group text and ask your friends to brunch.