2016 humbled us all in the worst way.
During the first week of January, there's usually an influx of social media posts of people claiming "new year, new me" or "this is my year!" Believe it or not, it has been very quiet for the bragging and boasting of the new year resolutions and trust me, we understand. However, we want to see our fellow brothers and sisters flourish!
So here's a survival guide for you to be prepared for whatever 2017 may throw your way because you deserve to have a great year:
Unleash your inner chi
Chi is an anicent Chinese term that means energy. As millennials, we are constantly doing, moving and working to the point that we don't set time aside to look after ourselves. If you deal with anxiety, stress or overthinking, meditation may be the remedy you didn't know you needed! Meditation helps you become more compassionate, more creative, more focused and strengthens your memory. Trust me, I know you're skeptical. You're probably wondering how do you even get started? Do I have to sit criss-cross apple sauce like a child and hum mantras? Absolutely not.
Meditation can be a different experience for everyone. Russell Simmons' book, Success Through Stillness: Meditation Made Simple shares stories of people meditating in their stairwell at work, walking in the park or even riding silently in the car after a long day of work. It's all about silencing your mind and getting in touch with your inner self. Try one of these meditation apps and by the end of 2017, you'll be a natural.
Stack that paper
Let's be honest, millennials love to have a good time. Many of us are fresh out of college with that first adult job, so why not enjoy ourselves? Yes to that dress that's been taunting me from the store window. Yes to boozy birthday brunches even if it's the third one this month. And of course, hell yes to that extra guacamole at Chipotle, because I deserve it! Yes, you do deserve it all and then some, but there comes a point when you have to say no.
Many of us aren't buying houses or investing in stocks like our parents because we are drowning in student loan debt. Besides that, don't forget expenses such as rent, credit cards, car payments/transportation, health insurance, utilities, groceries and much more. It's exhausting! Although it seems like a nightmare, you can overcome it one step at a time. Try one of these 5 budgeting apps (Digit is a personal favorite) and save up for the life you deserve. I'm also trying the #BanishMyBalance challenge provided by Tonya at Myfabfinance.com to reach my 2017 financial goals. Trust me, all the bottomless mimosas and day parties will still be there when you're done.
Education is key!
You did your four years of high school and then put in your time at undergrad. This was either for yourself or because your parents gave your an ultimatum. Some of you even went on to earn our master's degree or entered law or medical school (Anyone that survives law or medical school gets all the respect from me. Y'all are a different kind of species). You're burnt out! At this point, you never want to sit in another classroom until you're the parent side eyeing your child for talking too much at the parent teacher conferences.
Thanks to technology, new information is being invented each and everyday. In order to "keep up with the Joneses," you have to keep learning. Thankfully, YouTube is a great source with hundreds of millions of "how-to" videos on literally anything you can think of, and it's still free! Sites like Skillshare.com have over 13,000 courses in various categories from culinary to design. Here's a list of more amazing places to learn new skills online. Knowledge is power!
That's right, put in work...eat your salad, no dessert!
Unfortunately, we've reached that age where all that fast food and alcohol consumption is starting to stick. That beer gut and those muffin tops won't disappear just because you click your heels three times and wish on a star. Exercising can increase your quality of life, improve stamina and decrease certain health risks such as high blood pressure or diabetes. It's easier than ever now to jump into the fitness life from the privacy of your home.
Websites such as fitnessblender.com and befit.com offer free workouts for different levels and body types. Whether you want to do a 5-minute warm-up or a solid hour of HIIT, you can find it all. Along with exercising, dieting is a must. Doing 100 push-ups a day and rewarding yourself with a large bag of sweet spicy chili Doritos is counterproductive. Apps like MyFitnessPal serve as a calorie counter and a diet tracker for those that slowly want to cross over into the land of leafy greens. If you're looking for a hardcore, committed diet, give the paleo diet a chance. Trust me, you'll miss the carbs, but your year-round summer body will make it all worth it.
Have those uncomfortable conversations
One nightmare from 2016 that we will have to deal with in the new year is our new president and his Trumpettes. They're everywhere. On the train, passing us on campus, the doctor's office and especially at your job. You can try to ignore them, but they're not going anywhere. So should you A) speak to them or B) throw on your invisible cloak from the Hogwarts gift store. Option B sounds great, but we're going with A. Many Trumpettes aren't are as insane as their fearless leader and if you're somehow in the same office or class, you have something in common. Use these conversations as a learning experience. Have an open mind and hear them out, but be prepared with your knowledge to teach them a thing or two. Mic.com gave some great tips on surviving the holiday with Trump supporters that can be used year-round. Best of luck and know when to tap out! At the end of the day, no need to stress yourself over the ignorance of others.
Create, create, create
A lot of us get so caught up in the motion of our day-to-day routine that we begin to lose the magic that made us happy. Remember those hobbies you would do, not for money, but just because it made you happy and you had time? Hobbies such as writing, painting, dancing, sculpting, and designing? NEVER STOP! Creativity is the best way to express yourself. Now more than ever, the world needs our magic and if you don't believe so, just take a look at the Forbes 30 Under 30 list filled with black excellence.
Join networks such as MiMConnect+, which is a digital community that offers a platform to communicate and collaborate with like-minded individuals in their Slack group. Plus if you're in major cities like New York City, Los Angeles, Charlotte and Atlanta, attend happy hours and ask your friends about any GroupMes that can serve as any interest to you.
Find your tribe
The ironic part of social media is that is has made us more anti-social than ever before. Have you ever stepped foot into a party or a bar, and there will be a group of people at a table, but no one is talking? Everyone is hunched over starring at their phones, coming up for air when it's necessary. It's freaky as hell. When you live in big cities, it can be lonelier than ever. You get so used to doing things for yourself that you end up doing everything by yourself, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Going to dinner or the movies by yourself every once in a while is actually therapeutic. But what about those moment when you've had a horrible day at work and you wanted to clap your boss upside his head with your keyboard? Or your parents are bugging you because they're getting old and keep asking, "when are you going to give us some grandkids?" Or what about you finally thinking you found the one but you log on to social media and they're being a complete Twitter/Instagram honey?
That's when your tribe comes in. There are a few friends that will be there for you whenever. If you need someone to work out with, a shoulder to cry on or someone that won't judge you for getting too drunk at the last Hennypalooza. These can be childhood friends, old college roommates, or co-workers that you actually do like. If you're too shy to go up and speak to someone first, like everything else, there's an app for that.
Treat yo' self
Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle said it best in one of the funniest sitcoms to hit NBC: TREAT YO SELF! Okay, I know some of y'all are like, "didn't she just tell us to budget our money?" Yes, I did and I meant it. This tip is for those that have been budgeting their whole lives or those that rush home after work every single day. Before you know it, your whole life is passing you by and you've never made it to that music festival, took a girls trip to a tropical island or had a weekend getaway with your bae. Sites like Groupon have daily deals on everything from restaurants to sporting events. Apps like Hopper will track flights for your from nearby airports so that you're always getting the best deal. Treating yourself doesn't equal throwing away your money, it simply means smell the roses while you can. Life is already hard, don't also making boring.
If you have any survival tips for black millennials to make the most of their 2017, share in the comments below!