This post is a simultaneous depressing and uplifting one. It’s for the drifters, the creatives, the middle aged and the graduates. It’s for the people that find themselves settling, settling in a job, in a relationship and slowly but surely letting their very soul slip away from them…
I see them every day: the settlers. I feel like they’re the type of people that yell at retail workers or complain about insignificant things at restaurants. They take their middle management jobs way too seriously and convince themselves that they are doing something that matters. That they are happy.
I’m only 24 and it is my biggest fear to end up like them: middle aged and grumpy as hell.
No matter what age you are I have tried to think of some small ways to prevent this from happening!
1. Exercise- As we get older life tends to become more complicated and whether you have a crazy job, crazy kids or you just don’t have the time, exercise can fall down on your list of priorities but it shouldn’t. Exercise can help boost self-esteem, sleep quality and energy. It can reduce your risk of stress, depression and even Alzheimer’s. It can reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer by up to 50% and lower your risk of early death by up to 30%. Why wouldn’t you do it? Even if it’s just ten minutes a day or an hour two times a week. Get to the gym or the pool or even your own living room and get moving. Your future self will thank you for it and it is a key way to stop yourself from settling and giving up.
2. Read– Learning is fun, it actually is and as we get older our thoughts become more focused so it’s important to keep our minds active. Reading, whether that’s fiction or non-fiction will help to engage your mind no matter what age you are. I feel like sometimes when people get settled, they lose interest in reading, they forget there’s anything new to learn or discover but there is always new information, new stories out there waiting for you…
3. Do something for yourself- What are you dreams? Do you want to write? Act? Sing? Whether or not your dreams have come true yet doesn’t mean you should settle and give up on them (which so many people do). Even if you’re stuck in a job you hate and your dream job isn’t knocking down your door doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still engage it. Take some time out every day to go towards what you love, whether that’s taking time out to practice singing, emailing CV’s to companies you want to work for or even writing in a blog (oh hey) Never give up on what you love, even if it’s just a hobby for you!
4. Never lose your creativity- Life has the tendency to bash our creativity out of us. If you’re not lucky enough to have a job where you get to express that creativity you are probably slowly losing that side of yourself which can lead to just settling. Always keep that side of you alive and you can do that by following number 3 and taking time out for yourself!
5. Travel (once in a while)– Not everyone can afford an around the world ticket where they discover themselves on an ashram in Bali but traveling even just a bit now and then can really stop us from settling. Book a ticket to the south of France for a week or to the Devon cliffs. Plan a trip to Machu Picchu in Peru and do the Inca Trail or discover the tastes of New Delhi. Party all night in Thailand or shop all day in New York City. Wherever you have always wanted to go- GO! Even if you have to save up for a year or two. It will be worth it.
6. Talk- This is a big one because I think as we get older we have the tendency to just get on with things. If life isn’t going our way or we feel ourselves getting into a horrid routine, we just keep it to ourselves. Years and years could go by and you could be stuck in this cycle of life that you hate and you haven’t spoken a word of it. Talking is always good, whether that’s to a friend, a parent, a child, a pet or the internet. Talking always helps to bring things into reality, talking can change your life for the better!
7. Write- Possibly the best thing to do to stop you from settling is to write. Not necessarily in a blog but anywhere. Buy a note book and write down all your dreams and aspirations, write down your goals for the next year and see how you can achieve them. Write down what’s bothering you and why, if you can feel your life going down a path you’re not enjoying. Write. It down. It’s the first step to admitting that you need a change and the first step to actively going towards a life that you enjoy!
Life can suck and sometimes it feels like we’re gonna end up with tragically mediocre lives but the only thing that can stop that from happening is you. I honestly believe that everyone can live a happy, exciting and fulfilling life if they put in the effort to create one for themselves.