Photographer: @Joecudjoe

Photographer: @Joecudjoe

Hello I'm Ori, Nigerian American lifestyle blogger and career consultant encouraging you to live boldly. Be original. 

Finding Balance: Affirmations to reduce stress

Finding Balance: Affirmations to reduce stress

I am currently on a pathway to becoming a professional, yet I do not feel like it. It’s a frustrating state of limbo to be in but I’m learning to find balance in it all. I have big goals and even though I’m investing in them now, I sometimes wonder if my hard work and sacrifices will pay off. This summer is exposing a lot as I try to juggle 4 classes, work, family obligations, my spiritual walk and a social life. I'm learning that most things take practice and that includes balancing my life responsibilities. Finding balance is part of the process of being aligned with who I am and the woman I am becoming. 

Photo by: @BerniceSheppard

Photo by: @BerniceSheppard

How I find a balance

I Journal to keep track of my progress and my thoughts so that I do not bottle my emotions up inside.

Most of the time, I journal to document my progress. Sometimes I go back and read things I wrote years or months ago and I’m shocked at how my previous concerns were resolved and how much God has been faithful to me, getting me this far. I also journal to keep myself in check and process whatever I'm going through in that moment. There are so many benefits to journaling so I highly recommend it. Read 4 reasons why you should journal

I take things one day at a time using my schedule’s and weekly planners

My schedule helps me to not overwork or overburden myself. I have a monthly calendar and a weekly calendar to break things down even further so that I get assignments done one at a time and stay on track. Read more on how to stay organized in grad school by reading my 5 ways to stay Organized blog post. 

Schedule time to do fun things

You may think "So what Ori?", but I used to feel guilty for spending time with friends or doing fun things. I felt like it was a waste of time that I should be spending doing something more important. But I'm human and I need human interaction so sometimes I turn off your laptop, put down that book and go out somewhere. If I’m too focused on my homework and assignments I might get burned out. Lately, I've been making time for leisure activities on the weekends . Staying connected to people and getting out of my regular schedule has kept me sane.

Keep the end goal in mind

In the midst of all the papers and projects, It's easy to get overwhelmed and stressed out but lately I've been thinking about my future office and all the cute outfits I'll wear to work and the impact I will make in my students lives and that has gotten me through some tough nights. Keep your end goal in mind and let that guide you through the process. 

I affirm myself

When I started this, I felt really stupid, but I quickly learned that I need the affirmation because I worry too much. I spoke to a few of my colleagues at Hopkins and many of us feel a high level of stress and anxiety (especially during this accelerated summer semester) because there’s so much riding on each test, or class or paper. And speaking for myself, I also worry about the philanthropic desires that I have for my career and I worry that I’m not doing enough to contribute to that. I have come to learn that I need to relax and focus on one goal at a time. Finish grad school first Ori, then move on to the next thing. 

Affirmations: 

·      I do not need to have it together yet

·      I am allowed to grow

·      I am allowed to make mistakes 

·      I can be indecisive and that’s okay

·       My accomplishments do not define me

·      I can be selfish and put yourself first

I would say I’m in a much better place now because I made some drastic changes that opened up new opportunities for me. But as always, I had to do the internal work first before I got to a place of balance and I hope this helps you get closer to finding alignment in your life. If you’re like me and you stress yourself, take a deep breath with me and let’s take it one step at a time. 

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