As a college graduate, it is especially common to feel pressure to prioritize your career above all else. After all, you just took the first step toward starting your career by finally obtaining your degree. Keep in mind that this mentality is often fueled by hustle culture, which reinforces the idea of working long hours, sacrificing personal time, and truly grinding it out for the sake of your career. Hustle culture can be a positive source of inspiration and motivation for the right person, however, as time has gone on research has shown that this approach to success can prove to be detrimental to your mental and physical health.
It is important to recognize that success is not only defined by your professional accomplishments. Prioritizing rest, relationships, and creativity can help you carve out sustainable success and lead a more fulfilling life after graduation and into your career.
1. The Importance of Rest
It may seem obvious, but it is important to remember that rest is essential for your overall health and well-being. As a college graduate, you may be facing new challenges, such as entering the workforce or pursuing further education, and it is important to take care of yourself both physically and mentally. Your time is valuable and a limited resource, so you do need to keep an eye on it.
Here are three ways to maximize the results of rest:
- Make sleep a priority!
- Aim for roughly 7-9 hours of sleep per night and create a relaxing bedtime routine. Try to stick to a consistent sleep schedule, even on weekends. Consistency is key in maintaining the results of a good night’s sleep!
- Take breaks when you can
- Take short breaks throughout the day to stretch, meditate, or simply breathe. These small breaks can help you recharge and stay focused. They will also give you a boost when you need one most.
- Schedule downtime unrelated to work
- Set aside time each day to do something relaxing, such as reading, taking a bath, or going for a walk. This can help you unwind and reduce stress, which is a big part of what contributes to burnout.
2. Forging Strong Relationships
Relationships are the backbone of any professional endeavor. Be them between your employer, your peers, customers, and especially between your own employees, strong relationships provide a sense of support, belonging, and purpose. As a college graduate, you may be transitioning into a new phase of your life, which can be scary considering the new unknowns and lack of familiarity. Prioritizing relationships will help you navigate these changes and maintain a sense of community and trust.
Here are three ways to build strong and healthy relationships:
- Spend quality time with loved ones
- Make time for family and friends, whether it's a weekly dinner or a weekend getaway. Prioritize quality time over quantity.
- Practice active listening
- Listen to others without judgment and show empathy and understanding. This can help strengthen your relationships and improve communication.
- Build new connections
- Join a club, volunteer for a cause you care about, or network with your peers to meet new people and expand your social circle.
3. Embracing Creativity
Engaging in a slew of creative activities can help reduce stress, improve mood, and provide a sense of accomplishment. As a college graduate, you may be transitioning from a structured academic environment to a more open-ended professional setting. Prioritizing creativity can help you explore new ideas and express yourself.
Here are three ways to approach creativity:
- Make time for and discover new hobbies
- Whether it's painting, writing, or playing music, set aside time each week to pursue your creative passions. This can help you stay motivated and engaged throughout the week!
- Don’t be afraid to try new things
- Take a class or workshop to learn a new skill or try a new hobby. This can help you expand your interests and find new sources of inspiration. If you’re feeling nervous about trying something new, don’t shy away from that feeling. Instead, embrace it and see where it leads you!
- Embrace imperfection
- Don't worry about being perfect, focus on the process and enjoy the journey. This can help you overcome perfectionism and be more open to new experiences. By learning to deal with failure, your own successes will be that much sweeter.
I hope that these three tenets of remaining balanced prove useful in your new post-grad life! By prioritizing rest, relationships, and creativity, you can redefine your own success and lead a more fulfilling life after graduation. Remember: success is not only defined by your professional accomplishments, but also by your personal growth and well-being. It is important to take care of yourself and prioritize the things that bring you joy and fulfillment.
Get out there and live your best life!