How to Find Space

There are times (very frequently) where life can get a bit hectic and I find myself feeling like I’m struggling to keep up. I’m sure there are plenty of people who can relate. We like to be busy and to take on a lot and to compare ourselves to what other people are doing, and, in doing so, we miss all the little moments and joys. I study full-time, work, put my spare time into this blog and try to juggle everything, but sometimes it’s important to take the back seat – pause and find space.

I’m not perfect, but here are some tips I’ve found that help me find space in my life when everything gets a bit overwhelming.

  1. Set a ‘switch off’ time. I’m not talking about tech, although it’s not such a bad idea to put your phone away and get off Instagram for a bit. Allow yourself a certain period of time each day where you can walk away from any urgent responsibilities or work and just be present. I’m a morning person and don’t work very well in the evenings so, rather than fighting it, I stop my study/photographing/writing etc. at dinner time and take the evening off to be with my boyfriend, read a book, watch a movie, or go for a walk.
  2. Make sure you get enough sleep, water and nutritional food. It’s an obvious one but we tend to neglect it. I was at the Canberra Centre for a masterclass with nutritionist Lola Berry on the weekend and she put it very well – ‘When I’m giving my body the best fuel, what it needs, then it will give its best back and I can live as fully as possible’. Having more energy, a clearer mind and a healthier body means you’ll be well equipped to face any challenges or stresses that come at you.
  3. Leave work at work. As a student, I know that’s no always possible, and it’s definitely more easily said than done. But as much as possible, give yourself permission to not be at 100% 24/7. It’s okay to not read your emails until the morning – in fact, if you reply, it trains others to¬†expect¬†you to reply. Set clear boundaries and you’ll go back into work or study feeling refreshed. If you can, also give yourself a weekend – whether that’s one or two days off – where you can just do whatever you want (I’m really bad at this, but I’m getting better…).
  4. Find your meditation. Find a space of half an hour, perhaps on a lunch break, where you can do something that really takes your mind off all the stress and gives you some inspiration and perspective. For me, it’s a 2-3km walk with my headphones on, listening to my favourite podcast. If you can squeeze in a 15 minute mindful meditation or yoga session, even better. For some people, a morning or evening gym session is also the perfect meditation, where they can just focus on the moment and nothing else.
  5. Write it all down. One of the best ways to keep a clear mind and give the illusion of space in your life is to keep a diary. Even if you just keep a small notebook in your handbag where you can jot down ideas or to-do lists as they come to you, having it all down on paper means less to remember and less to stress over. I’m a big fan of an uncomplicated version of the Bullet Journal (you can find my full review HERE), but find what works for you.

I hope some of you find these tips useful. If you’ve got a little ritual that you use to give yourself a bit of space and me-time, let me know in the comments or via my social media platforms – I’d love to know!