Life is pretty exhausting. You have to wake up every day and be a good girlfriend (or a good first date), a good friend, daughter, employee, etc. When we feel totally burnt out thanks to our careers, it can be pretty difficult to muster the energy to do anything on the weekends except fall down a Netflix rabbit hole. So what’s a modern career girl to do? We’re all guilty of making things much harder than they have to be, from dating to friendship drama to making plans. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You should work hard but make the rest of your life as simple as possible. Here’s how.
- Figure your diet out. I don’t mean go on a diet – that’s never fun and never a good idea. But it’s generally a good idea to follow some sort of food lifestyle, whether you’re finally going to try this whole vegan thing or you’re curious about going Paleo or you just want to be healthier. If you generally make breakfast and lunch pretty much the same day after day, switching up the ingredients in your trendy 7 a.m. smoothie and 12 p.m. salad, then you never have to worry about face-planting into some pizza ever again. The fewer food decisions we have to make, the healthier we are.
- Streamline your friendships. Sure, it would be awesome to have tons of good friends, the kind of people you can call in the middle of the night and who are always up for a night out. But does anyone actually have that kind of friend circle? That’s the movies, not real life. I’m much happier after cutting a few toxic friends out of my life and making time for the friends who are strong women and always there for me. When you have a bunch of BFFs that you can truly count on, you can finally say goodbye to drama.
- Learn to love sweating. Okay, not in your daily life. No one likes to sweat. But by now you know you should definitely be working out, and if you find something that gets you excited, you’ll fit it into your weekly routine. Try that barre class your BFF has been raving about or finally break up with yoga and try Crossfit instead.
- Date with zero expectations. As we all know, spending time worrying about first dates and second dates and situationships is not time well spent. You’re already putting all of your energy into your awesome energy, so don’t worry about why he hasn’t texted back after a seemingly fun date or whether he even wants a relationship. Go into first dates with your head held high and a smile on your face, hoping for the best but knowing it might not work out as well as you would like. If you can date without expectations, you’ll have no trouble shaking off a bad date and moving onto the next.
- If you don’t like something, don’t do it. Pretty simple and yet pretty hard to do. But this is a very freedom-inducing thing to realize. You never have to do anything you don’t want to do (except going to the dentist and paying your taxes – sorry about that). Whether that’s deciding when’s the right time to sleep with a new guy or if you should quit the new job that is making you totally miserable, it’s best to follow your gut and your heart and your head. They will all tell you what you need to do or not do, depending on the situation.
- Reframe your guilty pleasures. Let’s just agree to stop referring to stuff as guilty pleasures. If you love something, it should never make you feel guilty (even if it’s Hilary Duff movies). I’ve had guys make fun of me for confessing my love of reality TV on first dates. My reaction? Laughing and then never answering their next-day text. You’re allowed to ghost someone if they insult your TV preferences, it’s a law of the dating world. Never apologize for what you like.
- Remove “sorry” from your vocab. I’m Canadian and we joke that if you bump into us, we’ll be the one apologizing. It’s actually totally true. But apologizing all the time is definitely a female thing, not just a Canadian thing. If you can stop saying you’re sorry unless you’re truly done something wrong, your life will be a million times easier. You’ll be able to say no to things you don’t want to do but not only that, your confidence will grow. There’s something satisfying about standing behind your words.
- Accept that not everything will go well for you at once. Of course it’s great to want a sweet boyfriend, an amazing social life and a thriving career all at the same time. Yet that rarely happens. If you can figure out this rule of the universe (another rule is that if you freelance, every assignment will come to you on the same day), your life will be streamlined. You’ll be able to handle whatever happens.
- Don’t be afraid to dump people. And by people I mean that guy that doesn’t deserve you but also that TV show that’s so far beyond terrible that you are actually ashamed that you’re still watching it. If someone or something makes you unhappy, give the break-up speech. You will always be glad that you did.