2018: Life, Work and Managing Stress

To start off my reflections for 2018, I want to talk about this year in regards to balancing work, play and rest.

It’s gonna be a bit of a long read so stay with me…

So boom.

Work: I’ll be honest… for the majority of 2018 I couldn’t stick to any sort of schedule to save my life. 😕 This was mainly due to the fact that my work schedule this year wasn’t consistent at all. Where I otherwise enjoy flexibility, an inconsistent work schedule made it difficult to plan other parts of my day efficiently without having to change things last minute. Laziness/bouts of depression and anxiety also played a big part in not planning well. I hardly made use of my planner which sucks because I feel like I wasted the cutest planner ever and the money I spent on it… And some days when I had all the time in the world to get stuff done, I made excuses to catch up on shows and experiment in the kitchen instead. 😅

So for the new year I’m definitely looking for a way more consistent work schedule so I can reclaim my time. 😎 That means I’m currently on the job hunt as well which is both an exciting and scary experience after being complacent for so long… but I’m ready. I also got another planner so I’m determined to not waste my money again this year lol.

Health: My diet and exercise this year was as inconsistent as my work schedule… However I commend myself for eating WAY less junk food and eating healthier in general. I had fun experimenting with different diets as well and this time Roy joined me. I’m yet to find one I can see myself committing to but I think in 2019 I’m finally ready to try eating vegan for an extended period of time just to see how I like it.

I really need to find a way to fall in love with the gym y’all… I hate the gym. 😭 I would much rather walk for a mile a day than work out on machines but I’m gonna figure out a routine that works for me that doesn’t feel like a chore.

As for mental health… this year was a stressful one because of a certain interview that I’ll talk about in my 2018 top memories. My anxiety was manageable but could be a lot better with less stress. I spent almost ALL of the year (up until the second week of November) in a state of worry and panic over it so now that it’s over with I feel so relieved. I’ve also been using the Breathe app on my Apple Watch more often for a quick way to calm my nerves. My current coping mechanisms for stress consist of binge watching any good show I can find and taking long, steaming hot showers. Yikes. In 2019 I want to find more ways to consciously relax. 😴 I’m considering doing yoga again and finally trying Painting With A Twist with bae and friends. And reading! I miss reading so much.

Travel: I’m happy I was able to stick to a solid budget for the two big trips we took this year. We visited Dallas, New York and Houston, the latter two being the longer trips we planned together. I want to travel so badly next year and I’m sure we’ll take another trip or two, out of the country this time. 😄 My list of places I want to visit changes every year. I’m ready to start crossing places out before I change my mind. I’m yet to find the best way to go about traveling other than stalking flight prices on the daily. We did try AirBnb for the first time this year and it was a great experience + of course the price was right (especially for a location in NY) so I’ll definitely use their services again.

Saving + Managing Debt: I did a way better job of saving rather than spending this year. My savings aren’t spectacular but I’m happy my accounts are no longer on E… I’ll be using Qapital again for sure next year. It’s the best saving app I’ve found that doesn’t hold my money hostage when I need it. I’m considering reviewing the entire app on a whole some time soon so y’all can see if it’s something that will benefit you. Does anyone want to teach me how to be a couponing boss? I used the Krazy Coupon Lady app to find STEALS all year including new bedding, clothes and makeup deals. But I’m open to learning more ways to save money on things I buy often, apart from the apps I now use on a regular.

I tried my best to make extra payments this year on everything I owe. I’m proud to say that this year I never made any late payments and paid each bill above the minimum, even if just a few dollars extra. Apart from planning trips with Roy, the majority of the money I make in 2019 will have to go towards paying off debt. I know for a fact that 2019 is gonna provide more opportunities to pay off my debt especially after securing a new job *fingers crossed*.

Overall this year was rough but eye-opening. I have a lot to look forward to and can’t take the experiences of 2018 for granted. To sum up my desires for 2019 where life, work and stress management is concerned, I would like to:

  • Have a more consistent schedule and use my planner to plan my weeks ahead
  • Continue eating healthy and possibly try a vegan diet
  • Be more active and get some more gym time in even if I have to force myself to
  • Do more conscious relaxing activities like yoga, reading and art instead of watching tv
  • Continue budgeting for trips and cross another location or two off of our list of places to see
  • Be frugal with my purchases and save save save!

All gifs found on: https://giphy.com

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