Balance…

I understand the struggle of working a full-time job, juggling the chores of having a home, and making sure you put dinner on the table every night. Throw in trying to grow your cooking blog, it’s hard! Some things get sacrificed, and that’s okay.

Even now, I struggle with balancing all the items I have to get done on a day to day basis. I work as a geotechnical engineer during the day (8AM-5PM) and then come home to do various chores around the house, make dinner, and in the late evening trying to expand my blog. Many days I find that I wake up-go to work-come home-make dinner-go to bed. Repeat. Honestly, I find this infuriating. Lately, I’ve been trying to throw in a few things FOR ME that break my week up and doesn’t make me feel like I’m just going through the motions:

  • Journal before going to bedI like to write 3 good things that happened to me that day and WHY they happened. It helps me reflect on how the day went, and end it on a good note. It’s also nice to avoid looking at your phone before going to bed as the blue light in the screens will trick our brain into not producing melatonin.
  • Get into a new show and treat yourself to sitting down with a glass of wine (or something else!) and watching it while it airs I’m currently OBSESSED with Nancy Drew and I look forward to every Wednesday at 9PM when it airs. That’s my time to just relax, destress, and let the show distract me.
  • Every week, cook one new dish that you’ve never made before Do a little research and find a dish that sounds delicious and that you’ll look forward to making during the week. Not only will this excite you, but if you like it, you could add this to your weekly repertoire.
  • GET OUTSIDE. I live in Maine and this couldn’t be more important. It’s cold here for about 7 months out of the year, so it’s important to get outside and get some Vitamin D. Walk the dogs, go for a drive, sit by the ocean and read a book, etc.

I graduated college last May and jumped into my full-time job shortly after. Juggling everything was very daunting at first, but I learned by trial and error. It is absolutely OKAY to come home and decide that you don’t want to put a 5-star meal on the table. Choose a quicker option: soup, pasta, tacos, even order take-out (if it’s in your budget of course!) Here’s a short list of how to help you make the most out of your time (especially in the kitchen):

  • Try to do your grocery shopping on the weekendEven I often fail to live by this rule because I like to be lazy on the weekends. Personally, I find that if my schedule is jam-packed, there’s no room for me to dawdle around on certain things. I have to stick to that schedule if I want to get everything done. However, if you do your shopping on the weekends, you don’t have to fit it into your schedule after work.
  • If you can, plan ahead for your weekly meals If you plan ahead, you’ll see that it eliminates the burden of coming up with what to cook every day. That’s why those pre-packaged food boxes are so successful. They take out the decision (and sometimes a stressful one at that) of deciding what meal to cook that night.
  • If you know that one of your days will be busy (appointment after work, etc.) make a crock pot meal By throwing some items in the crock pot before you go to work and turn it on low, by the time you come home. It WILL ALREADY BE DONE! Bam! It’s like having an extra set of hands.
  • **An alternative to making a crock pot meal** Make a larger casserole dish the night before you’re busy If you make a large dish the night before (lasagna, enchiladas, mac n cheese, etc.) depending on how many mouths you’re feeding, you will most likely have enough for leftovers the night you’re busy. After you get home, throw it in the microwave, and you have dinner ready in minutes.

I can assure you that if you follow even some of the steps above, your week will seem much less daunting. If you have anything you like to do that makes your week easier, drop your thoughts in the comments below!

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