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Life After Graduation: How To Make The Most Of It

Life After Graduation: How To Make The Most Of It

After 16 years of studying and testing, you finally walked across that stage. It’s such a short walk for such a long journey, but now you are a graduate. You are an adult. So… now what? The last 16 years of your life have been planned out for you; however, a short walk later, you are now in charge of the direction of the rest of your life.

Here are some tips and guidance to make the rest of your life mean something.

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1. Be intentional

You are now the primary author for your life’s adventure. This is a tremendous amount of responsibility to land on your shoulders in a matter of days. Hopefully, you have been actively preparing for this moment, especially over the previous four years, but there is no way to be completely prepared. Life is a vastly complex series of situations, circumstances, choices, decisions, and the resulting consequences. To have a fulfilling life, you must actively and intentionally pursue it and craft it. A mediocre life doesn’t require anything of you – an excellent one does.

2. Get a mentor

After graduation, you realize just how little you actually know. You don’t have it all figured out, and you certainly don’t know how to answer all of life’s questions (why else would you be reading this article?). Seek counsel. Ask for advice. Surround yourself with people who are smarter and more experienced than you are. Find at least one person with whom you can meet to talk through tough situations or decisions. Nobody is meant to handle life alone because no one person knows everything. Draw on the wisdom and experience of those around you.

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3. Make choices and stick with them

With a new world of infinite choices now at your disposal, you have to make choices with tact. However, sometimes you just have to make a decision. Wisdom does not usually come knocking at your door – you must pursue it. Experience also goes a long way (and much wisdom can be gained from poor decisions), but don’t find wisdom only at the end of your life of poor choices. Instead, make wise choices now. That being said, with all of the options in life (just look at the chip aisle!), sometimes you just need to make a decision and stick with it. Be decisive. Be persistent. Have conviction.

4. Be bold

Here’s a maxim: “Life is spelled R-I-S-K.” How about another: “Boy, I wish I had played it safe more often”, said by no one ever. You have to be risky in life. Life itself is a risk – so play along. However, don’t be stupid when it comes to risk-taking. Learn what risks are good and bad. Play life’s game like you have nothing (and everything) to lose. Do hard things. Find a job that challenges you. Take on some heavy responsibility. Life is not made full by taking the easy way out and choosing the safe options. Life is abundant outside of your comfort zone.

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5. Give everything

If you spend your life investing in yourself, when you die, the investment is completely lost. When you spend your life investing in others, that investment echoes into eternity. How you spend your time doesn’t matter as much as who you spend your time on. Let’s be honest, life is bigger than little old you. It’s best to learn that now before life slaps you clear across the room with it later.

6. Write a journal

Journaling is one of the greatest discoveries I have made in my personal life. There’s a lot that goes on inside my head, and it often gets overwhelming. When I started journaling, my head cleared up. A whole new level of focus and drive opened up in my life. Journaling brings depth – of thought, character, and purpose in life. I won’t spend any more time talking about it. Just do it. It’ll surprise you.

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Featured photo credit: Alan Light via flickr.com

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Austen Broome

Social Media/Public Relations Manager and Copywriter for Liquid Creative

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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