Over the last few months, my ideas about how I want to live and where I want my life to go have drastically shifted from what they were a year ago. I think that it’s natural once you hit your early 20’s to have some kind of paradigm shift, whatever that may mean for you.
My life is still changing right at this moment in remarkable ways, but even if they are remarkable, sometimes I get a little startled by it. When a person’s worldview shifts it can be quite a shock no matter if it’s good or bad.
In America, it can be difficult for a person to process all the changes that are happening to them, especially as a young adult who is still trying to figure out how to do important things such as paying taxes and finding a job. There are so many things in the early adult years that we have to learn about and sort through; so trying to find an ounce of time to take a good look at ourselves and work through whatever we’re going through at the time can be almost impossible. Americans have a hard time making time for the little things in life that are actually incredibly important to be fulfilled and content, and it’s only more difficult when you’re young trying to juggle school, finances, relationships, etc.
Let’s be real people: older folks are always going to say that the “adult” life is much harder than it is for people in college, but for the young people who are trying to manage all these things with 15-21 credits of class and homework on top of it life can seem pretty uncontrollable. Yeah, taxes are hard, but try paying taxes while also doing six hours of statistics homework. I think you get my point.
So of course it’s hard for us young people to really get a handle on what’s going on in our personal minds and souls while we’re doing all these other things that take up so much of our attention. In the society that we live in, there isn’t really another choice that we have other than to focus all our time on the outside situations while our inner beings are being jostled in all the uproar around us. I believe that this is one of the reasons that so many young people are “lost”; I don’t think that we actually are, I just think that we have so many uncertainties and new responsibilities that we don’t have the time to sit down and think about who we are or what those responsibilities mean for us. And without the ability to map out all the confusion in our inner selves there isn’t any way that we could map out our physical lives in a decent fashion either.
In my personal life, I have to deal with a lot of different daily pressures of life from both myself and the world around me. In this next spring semester alone, I have 20-21 credits of daily class with work after, my sorority commitments, blog work, and homework while also trying to be healthy and maintain good relationships. I probably don’t have nearly as much as some other people my age out there either who might have even more than I do on their daily schedules. But for me I can be overwhelmed when I plan out my bullet journal for this next semester and see how much free time I really have. And let me tell you, it’s not a lot.
Because of this I’m worried that I won’t have any time to take care of myself and just relax and read a book or spend time learning something outside of my class teachings. I’m definitely worried that finding the time to strengthen my spiritual self and focus on my mental health will be just as difficult as finding time to relax (though these things can definitely go hand in hand).
I know that many of there people out there must be having the same worries as myself. American health culture has really started to put an emphasis on self-care and mental health, but in the reality that we live in, this can seem legitimately impossible. We have so many things going on that it seems like there isn’t a way to take care of ourselves.
But I have an idea that might help you deal with this all as much as it has helped me, and it is a pretty simple one.
Think about all the time that you spend with your phone listening to music or watching videos. I feel like we spend a lot of the minuscule extra hours that we do have in our days just zoning out watching Netflix or Youtube which doesn’t have any quality for us whatsoever. I get it, I used to (and sometimes still) do that just as much as you. When you’re overwhelmed it can seem like the easy solution to just go mind numb and stop thinking to watch something that takes your mind off of everything.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t watch Netflix or that you shouldn’t listen to music; I’m a big fan of both of those things. What I’m saying that instead of spending every free moment on those things that there might be another option out there that might be more beneficial to you.
And that’s podcasts (or audiobooks). Podcasts are an easy way to fill that free time with information that can help you in the long run the way watching a rerun of The Office won’t. There are so many different options out there that cover any topic that you could ever think of: self-help, finances, scary stories, anything. Even Oprah has a podcast. There is really no end to the list.
I’m sure you’re wondering how this relates to everything else that I wrote in the previous paragraphs, but I promise that it does.
You see, since there are podcasts over any topic that you could ever think of, you can find ones that will help you get a handle on life in any way that you need to. There are so many that have good advice for anyone on any issue, from how to find time for health to growing your spirituality. And because you don’t have to take the time to sit down and read, watch, or write anything, you can still use that time you would be doing those things to relax or work out or whatever you want to take that extra time for. Instead of squandering those few hours away for no reason, you can now help yourself while still having time for the important things that you once didn’t seem to have time for at all.
Some of the best advice that I’ve gotten over the last few months have been from the podcasts that I have listened to as I walk to work or workout or take a shower. By using this time to listen to a good podcast, I no longer ignore my need to grow in order to pay all my attention to the things that I need to do on a daily basis. The worry that I won’t have time for spirituality and for myself go away because I now can find the time in between my daily tasks to feed myself the soul food that I need.
Listening to my favorite podcasts gives me a way to strengthen my mind and soul without taking time away from all the things that qualify as more important in our society. I still get my homework done and still go to work, but with less stress over my soul’s well-being because I know that I’m still taking care of it too. Plus listening to these podcasts also gives my mind the freedom to wander and think about other things than all the mundane tasks that I have to accomplish each day. It gives me a way to figure out all the changes and developments in my life without taking away from all the other stuff going on around me.
And that’s why I recommend them as a way to find time for yourself in this new year. It’s a simple solution to one of the many systemic problems that we face today, and I think that it can really benefit your life if you give it a try. I’m going to link some of my favorite podcasts down below if you’re interesting in checking out some of my favorites! Let me know what you like to listen to in the new Miss Tae Lo Facebook group The Positivity Huddle. You can find the group by visiting my Facebook page @misstaelo and I’m excited to start creating this community together!
Over and Out,
My Favorite Podcasts (all of these can also be found on iTunes):