Sunday, 8 November 2015

How to Survive Modern Life

100 years ago, people thought that by increasing technology, we would have more free time. I actually believe that the opposite is true. I dislike being busy, and the word busy. I think it has become an obnoxious badge of honour. If you feel that you are not busy, please tell me all your secrets. You are my hero.  

In this hyper hectic world, it can be tricky to figure out how to not just survive, but enjoy and thrive. Because of an over programmed fall, this has been on my mind. I know what to do to help myself, but that doesn't mean I always do it. I thought since I needed a reminder, it might be worth my time to write out and share my top 10 ideas on how to survive modern life.

1. Try to find balance. There are so many avenues that need attention, it can feel impossible to balance your significant other, children, friends, extended family, career, health, goals, hobbies, dreams, responsibilities, home upkeep, recreation... It can feel impossible because it IS impossible. The more I try, the more I realize this. Keep trying though! Maybe someone will figure it out one day (I doubt it though).

2. Stop comparing yourself to others. RIGHT NOW. Just stop. Absolutely nothing good can come of this. Especially since it is usually our own worst qualities that we compare to someone else's best. Learn to be happy for others and kind to yourself. 

3. Go outside, move your body. I don't care what your body looks like, if it isn't the size or shape you would prefer, you will like it more if you use it. Enjoy the beauty of the world, get some fresh air, a walk around the block and some deep breathing can work wonders.

4. Sleep. This should be a priority. If you are struggling with sleep due to anxiety or other issues, get those sorted out, maybe do more of number 3. 

5. Eat a rainbow. Stuff your face with vegetables and fruit and less of everything else. If you have a day where you eat a McDonald's Big Mac, popcorn, chocolate, and Starbucks for all your major meals (this may or may not have happened in real life), eat better tomorrow and at least enjoy the junk food while you are eating it!

6. Learn when to say "no" and when to say "yes." Feeling overwhelmed? Too much on your plate? This is not the time to join the PTA (definitely happened to me) or fill your calendar with commitments that will only leave you stressed and grouchy and taking out your feelings on your family. A friend invited you on an adventure slightly out of your comfort zone? Say YES! Your neighbour needs help with shovelling out their drive way (this will happen soon)? YES! Big opportunity at work that will help you grow? YES!

7. Unplug. I am not perfect at this, but if I am spending time with my kids, watching a movie with Husband, my phone is not with me! I also find that my best days are those that I check my messages in the morning, after lunch, and in the evening, rather than anytime my phone dings. It's too much to be available to everyone at all times. It is also ridiculous. Humans did just fine before the invention of smart phones.

8. Be kind. Assume that you don't know everyone's story or motivation for behaviour (because you don't). Everyone has a hard life. 

9. Laugh. Find funny friends, recognize how hilarious your kids/Mom/Dad/Brother/Sister really are! Find the humour in everyday situations. Disclaimer, sometimes the humour in everyday situations is not obvious until some time has passed... Ha! Watch comic shows, read comedy books. Don't take yourself too seriously. My absolutely favourite people are people that I laugh with!

10. Be grateful. So simple. The most important skill of all. There is always something to be thankful for, even on the darkest day.

Can you think of any more ideas? I would LOVE to hear them!


  1. Love your insight. Whenever I think I have some sort of balance, I start to feel overwhelmed again. It's a life long challenge.

    1. Thanks Emily! I definitely think balance is nearly impossible but worth striving for anyway!

    2. Thanks Emily! I definitely think balance is nearly impossible but worth striving for anyway!

  2. What a good post! It's taken years, but I have hugely simplified our meals to a healthy diet,pack a lunch instead of eating out, carry water in stainless in the car at all times, and finally have no bad food in the pantry. Food and sleep are the engine that keep everything running smoothly. Being able to say no is highly liberating and nothing to be guilty about. I have gotten firm about keeping my early mornings and Sundays restful. The less I own, the less I have to maintain. As I age, I find that I can let go of so much more in my heart, in my head, in my house, in my relationships. However, good reminder, there is not enough funny in my life! I also have eradicated the word 'should' from my vocabulary. Maybe we are just on the planet to help each other, so 'be kind' may be the most important one.

    1. I loved reading your thoughts! Eradicating the word "should" is a fantastic idea!

  3. Love this top ten Danielle!