Balance can mean something different to everyone but one thing’s for sure – it doesn’t come easy.
Identifying what you value is one of the first, and more important steps in reaching a balanced lifestyle, because how you choose to spend your time should align as closely with these values as possible.
I know what you’re thinking: spending 8+ hours a day at school, at work, or on schoolwork often feels like more of an obligation and less of a choice. But focus on the qualities you value. A sense of responsibility and helping others are big ones for me; both come with a career in healthcare. The skills assessments and exams don’t get any easier, but knowing that I am building towards a profession I can appreciate for the next 30 years puts things into perspective.
Sleep. It’s hard to overstate just how important a good night’s sleep is. When I was an on-campus student and living at home, I was often awake past midnight. During practicum, I have shifts starting as early as 6 am—which means I’d be up by 4. Four hours of sleep doesn’t do the mind or body any favours, so prioritizing is key. Studying, cooking, and commuting are inescapable time guzzlers, but I am finding it surprisingly easy to limit perhaps the biggest guzzler of them all – TV. I only watch Canucks games, which is pretty economical if you think about it… athleticism, excitement, and frustration all rolled into one.
They say distance makes the heart grow fonder, and I’d have to agree. Moving cities was a new and emotional experience for me; it took a while to get used to not seeing my family every day, but I’m thankful they are only a call away when I need to vent or decipher cooking ratios or somethin’. A few hundred kilometres away or not, relationships are not to be taken for granted. Make plans, be a sounding board, and be a support system—you never know when you could use the reciprocity.
Finding balance is a continual process of conscious decision making, and that includes making time for yourself. For me, that’s doing something creative like poetry, painting or embroidery. Keep interests that keep you in a good place – mentally, physically or both.
That’s all for now! Beartooth put out their album Disease in September, and this is my favourite of the bunch. Fingers crossed for an acoustic version.