Over the past twelve months, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has completely changed the way everyday life is lived. From the necessity of working from home and avoiding seeing beloved friends and family keep social contact to a minimum, to the sobering death toll, the pandemic has highlighted for many people the fragility of life and the importance of spending time with loved ones. As such, lockdown’s enforced slow-down of a hectic modern lifestyle may have given you the thinking time to consider your current life, and you might even have reached the conclusion that you should implement some changes for a happier future. However, any lifestyle change can quickly become overwhelming and you may feel as though there is simply no escape from the rat race once lockdown has been lifted. To help you out and give you some ideas, here is a guide to pursuing a more fulfilling life.
Reconsider your Career Path
It is estimated that one-third of your life is spent at work and that you spend more time with colleagues than with your own family and friends. As such, it is important that you enjoy the work that you do and the colleagues that you work with. If you do not find your job particularly inspiring, you may have long ago reached the conclusion that it is simply a job that pays the bills and allows you to lead a lifestyle that you enjoy. As such, you may have reconciled yourself to a less-than-fulfilling career and do not derive your full identity from your job title. However, taking steps to boost your job satisfaction will have the knock-on effect of increasing your life satisfaction, so it is well worth taking the time to seriously consider your career path.
You might have become cynical and disillusioned about the cut-throat, greed-infested world of business. If this is the case, consider a career change to a more fulfilling, ethical industry that has a positive influence on the world. For example, the stories of healthcare workers tirelessly helping those suffering from covid might have inspired you to seek a career in nursing. However, how can you make this transition a reality if you have previously worked in an entirely different industry? In order to become a nurse, you will have to gain a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree before applying for your state license. This does not necessarily require spending another three years at college; look for a second degree nursing program that is accelerated and in the space of a year you can be well on your way to beginning a rewarding career in nursing.
Alternatively, you might decide to make the leap and give up your corporate role to become self-employed and fully dedicate yourself to developing a business idea you are passionate about. This transition can work particularly well if you have a creative hobby that you would like to turn into a business. For example, if you are a keen home sewer there are activities you could do to turn your hobby into your business, such as offering sewing lessons online and in your local community, creating your own line of sewing patterns, and taking on sewing commissions for clients who would like their own individual handmade wardrobe. Whatever line you go down, you are sure to get a lot more out of your career and working life once you start doing what you love.
From spending hours on social media to burning the candle at both ends with long working hours followed by hectic parties, a fast-paced modern lifestyle can soon leave you feeling drained and unhappy. One benefit of lockdown is that it has forced many people to take a step back and slow down. You might be considering ways that you can change your lifestyle permanently to prevent burnout once normality resumes. As such, practicing regular self-care can help you to relax and lead a more fulfilling life.
Perhaps the most obvious way to practice self-care is to ensure that you are eating a balanced, nutrient-rich diet and taking regular exercise. These two factors ensure that you remain fit and healthy and that your body and mind are in peak condition to deal with the stresses that life throws up. Avoid eating too much-processed food and try to keep your consumption of refined sugar and saturated fats to a minimum. Instead, follow a clean eating meal plan consisting of whole foods that pack in all the nutrients your body requires to remain on top form.
Supplement a healthy diet by remaining active, aiming for at least thirty minutes of exercise per day. Ideally, this should be carried out outside, as there is evidence that the fresh air and nature can help to boost your mood and reinvigorate you; why not, for instance, go on a family bike ride, or take an early morning jog? Alternatively, there are plenty of exercise regimes that you can carry out in the comfort of your own home, such as investing in a Peloton bike or following a daily online yoga practice.
The subject of self-care cannot be spoken about without considering indulgent pampering sessions. During the hustle and bustle of everyday life you can soon feel out of touch with yourself; dedicating an evening a week to pampering can help you to reconnect with your body and feel less ragged. You could, for instance, take a long soak in a relaxing bath complete with aromatherapy bath oils for an extra touch of tranquillity. Follow this up with a facial and full-body moisturize. Making a pamper session part of your weekly routine ensures that you can relax and remain connected with your body, which in turn helps you to feel more fulfilled and able to deal with life.
Make Time for the Things you Love
Life can soon get busy with work and family commitments; however, it is important that you make time for the things you love to ensure that you remain mentally refreshed and interested in the world around you.
How do you fill your spare time when you are not working or looking after your family? Although binge-watching a Netflix series or browsing social media are good for relaxation every once in a while, they are habits that can quickly swallow up huge amounts of time. As such, you may find yourself returning to work with the dull sense of disappointment that you have lost another weekend, without anything accomplished but not even feeling relaxed. To make the most of your spare time find an enjoyable hobby. Why not, for instance, learn how to play a musical instrument that has always appealed to you. You could even join or start a band with other musicians so that you can practice and perform. You could join a sports team like your local amateur soccer team, not only will this provide you with a fun, sociable hobby, but you will work on your fitness as well. Your life will feel more fulfilled if you fill your downtime with fun hobbies, and you will not feel as though you have wasted your precious spare hours.
Another meaningful way for you to fill your time is to become a volunteer for a charity. Many charity organizations rely on volunteer staff to operate, by donating your spare time you are sure to feel that you are spending your life in the most meaningful way possible. Choose a charitable cause that is close to your heart, this way you will feel motivated and passionate in your volunteer work. For example, if you are an animal lover you could volunteer to clean out cages at a wildlife rehabilitation center at the weekends. Or, if your family has a history of a certain medical condition, you could work to raise money for a charity that supports that condition.
Finally, one of the most important uses of your free time is to spend it with your loved ones. Take time each week to reconnect with your family and friends. It could be through a walk in the park, Sunday lunch, or Saturday morning coffee, for a few examples. Making time to be with the people that you love will help to strengthen your bonds, providing you with the support and strength to get through life’s toughest times, and creating memories that will last for years to come.
In conclusion, if your life feels a bit lacklustre there are steps you can take to feel more fulfilled. Rethinking your career, for example, and perhaps becoming self-employed in the creative sector or embarking on a new role in a meaningful field such as nursing could help you to enjoy life more. Ensuring that you look after your physical and mental wellbeing by practising self-care techniques such as following a healthy, balanced diet and getting regular exercise. Finally, making time for meaningful hobbies and spending time with your support system will ensure that your life is fun, enjoyable, and fulfilling.