I’m not sure I can deny it any longer. It’s a massive weight, a burden that I just need to get off my chest. I’ve been denying it but it’s always there at the back of my mind; I just can’t get rid of it, and I really need to talk to someone about this. I’m not sure how I let it get to this point! I’m just going to come out and say it:
I’m an adult.
Like an actual, proper grown up, who has to pay bills, and who owns a gravy boat and a National Trust membership.
When did that happen? At some point, I stopped being the sixteen year old, who spent most of her time walking around Basingstoke with her friends, occasionally stopping to get some Cherryade – and became a 26 year old in Cambridge with a life and a job, and stuff to get done.
And let’s face it, adulthood isn’t necessarily as easy as they made it looked, when we were teenagers and we were watching Friends after school.
So here’s some things that we’ve found make that adult life run a little bit smoother:
Tackle the Elephant First.
I don’t know if this is an actual expression, or one that I’ve made up at some point along the way – but this is a key one, in my experience. I am a master procrastinator – I will do 100 tiny things that don’t really need doing, in order to avoid doing the thing that does need to be done, especially if it’s a little bit scary to me – and then the longer that I put it off, the bigger and scarier it gets. From a bill, to an essay, to a phone call – I will avoid that thing until it becomes so stressful that I crumble.
So here’s what we do (it’s going to be a bit tough to begin with, but we can do this) – I start my day with a list of some of those tasks – the elephants – the scary things that tower over me and make me want to sit down and not do anything. They’re not usually massive, time consuming things – for me, these are usually the conversations that I know are going to be awkward, or the emails that I should have replied to yesterday, or the phone calls that I don’t particularly want to make. And then, I start my day with these things – I tackle those five tiny tasks before I even put the kettle on, and then I reward myself with a cup of tea, and I get on with the things that I actually want to be doing.
Tackle the elephant first.
Get Your Space Sorted
One of the things that has really surprised me about being an adult is how important my bedroom has become to me – that safe space behind a closed door has become more important, rather than less important, than it was as a teenager. It’s the calm place at the end of a busy day; it’s the quiet place in a full house; it’s the place where all my favourite things are, comfortable and tidy (sometimes).
Take the time to give yourself somewhere nice to be. For me, this looks like putting pictures up on the wall, hanging some fairy lights, collecting those cushions and soft blankets, and lighting a scented candle. Pyjamas are always acceptable in that space – whether it’s 10pm or the moment that I get in from work. Without that space, life can get a bit crazy – that space has been a big part of looking after myself.
Eat Great Food
For the most part, I would stress the importance of learning to cook proper, actual food as an adult: there are definitely significant links between bad diet and tiredness, poor mental health and stress; and I promise that you will feel better with some vegetables in your diet, and some water. It just matters.
But, also, let us appreciate that being an adult means that you can cook yourself pancakes for dinner, if you want to. Sometimes, pancakes for dinner is exactly what you need to get through that difficult day, or to just get some food in your body when you’re tired or ill: keep some honey in your cupboard and some eggs in your fridge for those moments, and be kind to yourself.
Side note: I’ve also learnt the beauty of keeping a filled-up Nandos loyalty card in my purse, for those days when you just need a treat with a friend – sometimes some lunch with a friend is all you need before you’re ready to face the world again.
I want to know about the little things that you do to make adulting a bit easier! Leave us a comment or drop us a message…