For those of us still working and not yet “financially free” Money Vikings, we need to have life hacks to make the daily grind manageable. This is not a selfish concept. We must preserve our mental and physical capacities so we can be of highest value to our children, spouse, employers, society and ourselves. Most of us must work for many years before we have accumulated enough assets to do what we want. I believe it takes at least 20 years of gainful employment to begin considering financial independence or FIRE. Therefore It is important to have strategies in place to avoid burn out and a depleted quality of life. This can be challenging in today’s modern world. Most of us will have to work at least 20 plus years before we attain some kind of financial freedom and have some flexibility, so we must have tools to survive. We have commutes, cell phones, children we care for, stressful/high demand jobs, very few vacation days compared to other industrialized nations, etc. All this can take a toll on our physical and mental health. Remember, we do not have a healthcare system, we have a sick care system. Perhaps with time, effort and education we can change this for the better. It can be a lot like ground hogs day for a long long time. All this and we are supposed to be able to take care of our needs and health, have a loving relationship, be present for our children, be a star employee, etc. This is not an easy balancing act at all. Here are 8 ideas that may ease the stress of the daily grind. 1. Socialize with work colleagues, friends & family. We are people, not robots. We have more to experience and offer than being a cog on the assembly line of a job. Find your niche, tribe and your group and lift each other up. 2. Nightly/daily walk around the neighborhood. At the end of a long day, instead of just vegging out on the couch, get outside for 20 minutes in nature. Make that connection with being outside to help reduce stress, get some low impact exercise and just enjoy the feeling of moving your body. 3. Negotiate a telework day or two. Many workplaces now offer (or should) offer some amount of telework. There is nothing magical about sitting in a crappy building downtown and doing your work vs a local coffee shop or home office. The work is the work. Email, cell phones, video teleconferencing, etc. Having the option to do some of this can take the grind off the commute, dressing up, etc. of going in. I understand there are some jobs that are not conducive to this. In that case make sure you are using your vacation days to get some well deserved rest. 4. Ensure you are really getting a solid night’s sleep. There are very few people that can operate effectively on less than 6-7 hours a night. Scientists are still discovering the power of sleep, but I have read that sleep removes the proteins and toxins that accumulate throughout the day. We need this time to be healthy and energized to take on each day. We live in a chronically sleep deprived society. Turn off the TV, the computer, the phone and make yourself feel better in about the easiest and inexpensive way imagineable. 5. Trade off with your Spouse. If you are married with kids, schedule a night that one of you watches the kids and the other has a kind of “free” night. They can read a book, exercise, or just do nothing and recharge alone. One more thing to add, make sure you schedule some time for just the two of you to connect about your day. When we get busy with jobs, children, demands etc. it can feel like two ships passing in the night. 6. Take care of your health. Are you drinking water? Limiting alcohol and smoking? Walking or exercising in some way? Eating as many fruits and vegetables as possible, etc? Think of yourself as a warrior Viking in life. You need to be strong and fit to run this marathon called a career and life. Remember little things add up, it is not all or nothing. One of my favorite mantras is to just get up and start moving. The little things add up in life and finances. 7. Read blogs like The Money Vikings! Reading about other people’s real life examples can be very powerful. You realize you can do great things like other folks. We will continue to provide you inspiration, tips, ideas etc. to build wealth and create your best life. You can get excited about taking control of your personal finances and build your future with many ideas to choose from. It’s great to be achieving your goals one day at a time and have great things to look forward too! 8. Hobbies/Outside Interests. Cultivate some kind of passion outside of work. This can be anything, sports, the arts, music, literature, blogging, your family, exercise etc. This has a huge impact on your mental health and ability to thrive. Do you have other ways you survive the grind? You want to reach financial freedom in a healthy state, not in a completely burned out condition. If you can’t take care of yourself, it is very hard to be there for others.
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