It’s a bit of a cliché to say that life isn’t always easy and things have a way to get complicated and make us want to shut down and take a deep breath. More often than not, we tend to focus on things that aren’t so important, letting us down quickly and making us feel powerless. Instead of being paralyzed with fear, emotions or just reaction-less, it’s important to try and stay focused, balanced and have a few hacks to snap out of it.
This is one of the most important things to remember: spend quality time with friends and family. Even if you have to make that time, try harder then usual but always try to do it. One of the negative aspects of living abroad, is to miss out on moments with people that matter a lot in your life – of course you can’t have it all, but it’s something that ends up bugging me from time to time.
Learning how to say no is one of the hardest things we do as grown-ups. If you want to be successful in most aspects of your life, you have to learn when, how and to who to say no. People are not going to like it and they are definitely going to complain, but you have to be firm and stick to what you believe.
Yes, rules do exist and I much enjoy following them, but from time to time, it’s important to break or bend them a little. I’m not talking about going over the speed limit or breaking into someone’s home, but rather let yourself go, don’t be so uptight, joke about situations, drink a little bit more than what you normally do, go out on a Tuesday, invite people over for dinner.
It’s not always easy to be nice all the time to everyone, but it’s very important to acknowledge people and let them feel appreciated and important. One of my rule of thumb, when going to a cafe or restaurant, is to always be nice to the waiter/waitress because even if my day is going like crap, it’s not their fault and I have no idea how their day is going. It always pays off a lot more when you give a smile than a frown.
It’s important to know you and where you are able/want to go. People often try to push you into doing things you normally wouldn’t and that’s not necessarily bad, but sometimes, you have to be able to decide for yourself and know how far you are willing to go.
One of the major problems I often detect on people, is the lack of ability to listen. I have a few friends who have a one way conversation with me, all about them and their lives and how they are about. While you have to know how to listen, also learn when to listen and make sure they listen to you too. In my case, I get easily bored when talking about me, so I tend to ask a lot of questions that I would like to see answered, hence making people talk and feel appreciated.
One of the worst things someone can do to me is not have a sense of humor about themselves and being unable to laugh at some situations. If you trip or fall down, and don’t hurt yourself, you have to know how to laugh at it because it’s a funny situation. Most people let it become uncomfortable because they don’t know how to deal with it.
Create a regime for you and your life and make sure to follow it as much as possible – breaking and bending the rules eventually of course. But don’t forget to incorporate exercise, clean eating, doctors appointments and leisure moments. Figure out what exercise routine works best for you, what you can and can’t eat, when to go to the doctor and, of course, when to relax and take time for yourself and others.
Most people have no problem socializing and being in a group. What they lack though, is the ability to be by themselves and have time to think alone. In my case, when I’m in New York, I spend too much time alone, but whenever I’m in my comfort zone, I tend to forget to take time to be alone. But I learned this one far back when I was in college.
Being loved and respected is one of the highest achievements you can make, because it means people want to be with you, value your opinions and respect them and you. We have to ultimately learn how to do that to others and know we are worth the same.