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Take Control

Jamaica Gleaner / Take control

You know how they say, ‘out with the old and in with the new?’ Who says the new is always a good thing? Sometimes issues don’t really lie within old customs, but are deeply embedded within newer, overworked ones. So how do we go about achieving a balance between the new and the old? Let’s take you on that solutions tour, shall we?

In order to make any changes, you first have to address the cause of the rut you may currently be in. Stress can arise for many reasons.

Working world and new responsibilities You might be joining the workforce for the first time, re-immersing yourself into the work world, or you may have been given a promotion – acclimation can take some time. The pressures from superiors to get everything done may sometimes be too much to bear. You might be doing too much or not doing enough, as the case may be. Before you get all flustered, you need to stop and ask yourself, what is it that you used to do back then that you no longer do?

The solution: Remember when you used to write down everything that you did, and you would have timetables outlining things to do by the hour? Maybe you need to reintegrate that structure into your life. Also, be mindful of the fact that you also took the time out to participate in co-curricular activities, such as sports and other hobbies. These escapes sought to relax the mind and get those endorphins going, so have that throwback make a comeback so that you can create a little harmony and be at peace.

Family Matters Family matters may take the form of new additions and recurring old traditions. Whatever your reason, it’s safe to say that they often last for more than a season. So how do you incorporate the balancing act with the ones you love?

The solution: There was nothing like family time back in the days. Join in on fun activities with the little ones and make every moment you set out for them count. It could mean a family vacation, or it could be on a smaller scale, like eating Sunday dinner together or playing an active role in their interests, just as your parent or guardian once did. As far as oldie-but-goodie traditions go, set some time to spend with the family, instead of beating them in the game of neglect. You know your parents used to have that one auntie or uncle who they loved, but couldn’t be around them for too long without it being a problem? Learn to politely say no to imposing family members, like they once did. They had their reasons for eliminating unnecessary stress.

Relationship Woes The fantasy of happily ever after may get a dose of reality every now and then. And when the tide gets too high, making those waves bigger than expected, your relationship becomes far from smooth sailing. How do you go back to cruising together?

The solution: Bring back those date nights and incorporate more of them on a weekly or monthly basis. Or take a ‘baecation’ (vacation with your significant other) you probably did before, or made talks of doing so, and rekindle the desire you once had for each other. You might be surprised by the intimate outcome.

Financial issues From credit card debts, student loan debts, car payments, mortgage payments, or rent, to insurance plans, doctor and dentist check-ups, groceries, school fees – you name it, you have to pay it.

The solution: Begin to budget. It’s amazing the little things we used to do back in school to get what we wanted. Yes, some of us had help from our parents, but for the most part, you got it done yourself, because you were determined to do so. Apply this similar approach to budgeting daily. You used to juggle several subjects back then, too, so see if there are ways in which you could earn a little extra income. And remember, save, save, save. You saved for a rainy day then, so you can achieve the seemingly impossible by saving for a rainy day now.

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