As a child, you likely dreamed of getting married, having kids of your own and traveling the world. As an adult, you have likely come to the realization that the demands of modern life make you choose between having a family or having the freedom to travel. However, it’s important to make time for yourself, your family and your interests even if you don’t think that you have a lot of it to spare.
You Rarely Regret the Things That You Do
Research suggests that few people regret the things that they actually do even if their decisions led to negative consequences. Instead, people tend to regret not taking chances such as buying a home, quitting a job or asking someone out on a date. Furthermore, anecdotal evidence suggests that older people tend to regret not spending more time traveling or with their families when they had the chance to do so.
Time Away From School or Work Can Be a Boon for Your Mental Health
You may have heard a friend, relative or colleague talking about how he or she is feeling burned out. This typically occurs in those who work 60, 70 or 80 hours per week for months or years at a time. If you go too long without taking a break, you can become bitter, depressed or even suicidal. Furthermore, you will be more prone to making mistakes and less likely to find any joy or purpose in your work.
The only way to get past burnout is to take time for yourself on a regular basis. For instance, you could dedicate an hour a day to reading, writing or some other personal interest. You could also decide to spend at least one weekend a month in a remote location where you can simply be alone with your thoughts without distraction.
If you have a spouse and kids, you should spend at least 30 minutes a day with them. This ensures that they feel as if they’re an important part of your life, and it allows you to keep tabs on what your children are doing, which can help to keep them safe.
Where Can You Find the Money to Live Your Preferred Lifestyle?
If you own a home, it may be possible to access the positive equity it has accrued since it was purchased. This may be done by taking out a home equity line or home equity line of credit (HELOC). It may also be worth looking into a reverse mortgage. A reverse mortgage allows you to access the equity in your home without having to make any payments during your lifetime.
When you pass, your beneficiaries will likely have the option to retain ownership of the home by repaying the loan. An outstanding reverse mortgage balance may also come due if the house is sold at any point after you receive loan proceeds. Ideally, you’ll go through reverse mortgage counseling before choosing to enter into such an arrangement.
Traveling Can Help You Grow as a Person
As a child, you tend to believe that anything your family does is normal because it’s all you have been exposed to. However, as you get older, you will begin to see that other families have different rules or traditions that are much different than yours. When you go to college, you will likely be exposed to people who have different cultural or political beliefs than those held in your community.
Traveling to other countries will further expand your horizons and help you think about issues from a broader perspective. When traveling to other countries, try to live with the locals as opposed to at a posh resort. This will provide you with an authentic experience that can offer greater value for your time and money.
Living among the local population will force you to learn the language, eat traditional meals and otherwise ingratiate yourself with the natives. While you’ll likely experience culture shock at first, taking this approach will help you grow as a person.
Don’t Be Afraid to Quit a Job You Hate
Ideally, you will work to live instead of living to work. If your job requires you to spend too much time away from your family, it may be better to quit and find employment elsewhere. This may be true regardless of how much it pays or the type of benefits that it provides. These days, you can use your experience to become a consultant, start your own business or take other steps to achieve a greater work/life balance.
It may be tempting to spend your life chasing a higher salary, a larger house or a more attractive mate. However, the primary key to happiness is spending time with the people who value you for who you are as opposed to what you can buy for them. The other key to happiness is spending time doing what you love even if it means going without a large home, car or job that pays millions of dollars per year.