how to deal with living at home in your twenties

I’m taking a break from blogging and business tips today to share something a bit more personal. If you follow me on Instagram, you might’ve seen me talk about my current living situation on my stories. I’ll admit I was a little nervous to share with everyone what’s really going in my life, but felt it was important to be transparent, especially because I’m sure there are others who are in the same or similar position.

To give you a little background, when I was in college at Pitt I was living in a small two bedroom apartment with my boyfriend during our junior and senior year of college, just outside downtown Pittsburgh. After we graduated, we felt it was time to leave the city and return home to our parents’ houses. Not long before we graduated though, he bought an old farmhouse from the mid 1800’s in our hometown that needed some serious work. We (and by ‘we’ I mean mostly ‘he’), got to work on demoing the house and stripping it down to the foundation.

Years passed, and here we are over six years later, still in the midst of a major project. That being said, it’s not quite ready for us to live in the farmhouse he bought back when we were in our early twenties, so we have found ourselves in a different living situation than the “average” couple our age.

That unique situation: at 29 years old, we live separately at our parents’ houses.

My heart races a little just typing that sentence above. I feel guilty being scared or even slightly embarrassed admitting that, but I think it’s important to talk about. I don’t need to explain our situation, but common sense tells you that it wouldn’t be practical for us to rent out an apartment, a condo or a house while the home we plan to live in is being renovated, especially with both of us working for ourselves. It would just be an extra expense that neither of us should really take on right now, especially when he is doing the work himself and not hiring any outside help to get the job done.

I’m sharing this with you to tell you some of the things I’ve learned from living at home for most of my twenties, and hope if you’re in the same situation you know that it is perfectly fine to be where you are and to not feel embarrassed by it. Here are my biggest tips for your shared living situation:

Create A Space For Yourself

I’m lucky to still have my childhood bedroom, which houses my double bed, TV, dressers, computer, clothes — I’ve tried my best to make it my sanctuary. I try to keep it as clean and organized as possible, because it’s where I spend most of my time. I sleep here, blog here, get ready here, relax here — it has become almost like my little apartment in my parents’ house. Do what you need to and can afford to make it your sacred space.

Over the years I’ve added some small things to my space to really make it my own in my late twenties. I’ll link some of my favorite items below if you’d like to give them a try too:

Get Out

I work from home running my business and blogging full time, so it’s a little tough for me to get out and about. I literally have to force myself to leave the house sometimes, even if it’s just to run errands or grab a coffee. Make plans with friends or your significant other, go for a walk, head to the gym — whatever you need to do to have time for yourself outside of where you live. If you commute for your job, then maybe that’s enough time away, but if not — make time for yourself.

Respect Their Rules + Boundaries

My parents and I never discussed rules or hard boundaries, but I respect the fact that I am sharing space with them. I try to help out where I can, do dishes, take the garbage out, clean, etc. I’m not always the best at staying on top of these things, especially when things are super busy on my end, but I know they deeply appreciate it when I do. Your hosts might have stricter rules and boundaries, and it’s important you respect them and abide by them; after all, they are doing you a tremendous favor. The least you can do is help out where help is needed.

Spend Time With The People You Live With

There are some days I spend so much time in my room that I genuinely crave being around my family. I make a point to check in with them at least a couple times a day — just to hear about their days, talk with them, spend time with them. Whether it’s a friend or family member you’re living with, make time for them too. Cook dinner together, relax together — anything that you enjoy doing with them — do it.

Stop Feeling Some Type of Way About It

Trust me, you’re going to have moments when you compare yourself to the people your age who are living on their own, buying houses, moving to the next stage of their lives, and doing all the things you might wish you could be doing. To tell you the truth, when I was 22 I thought I would be married by 25, and have two or three kids by the time I was in my early 30s. I quickly realized those “plans” I had for myself just weren’t going to happen. It took a long time to accept and be okay with the direction my life was and is heading. Sometimes it does make me sad and scare me a little, but you have to let go of this “rush” we feel like we’re in to (for lack of a better phrase), check things off our list by a certain age. Slow down. Stop thinking so far into the future and just enjoy exactly where you are right now. Despite what some people might try to tell you or show you through social media, there are no rules on when you need to have your own place, get married and start a family. Let things happen naturally.

Don’t Ever Take It For Granted

Whether you are living with your parents, grandparents, other family members or friends, you are going to get annoyed. You are going to get frustrated. Hell, you might even down right hate it at times and wish you could just have your independence back. But please promise me that even in those moments of frustration you will remind yourself how lucky you are to have a roof over your head. How lucky you are that someone is providing you a place to live. How lucky you are to be saving so much money. How lucky you are that someone cares for you and loves you so much that they are willing to open their home to you again. My parents are obviously a huge reason why I’m the person I am today, and I am so grateful for them. They love me unconditionally and always welcome me at home. Remind yourself of all these things over and over again, and don’t ever take it for granted.

So tell me, do you live at home? What are your tips?

xxElizabeth

how to up your personal development game

Before I get into some more detailed content on how you can start your own business or blog, I wanted to chat about a little something called personal development, because it is a critical component to blogging, running a business, and just your overall life.

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Wondering what personal development is? Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s all about working on yourself, usually through reading, listening to podcasts, or watching motivational videos. Think the self-help section at Barnes + Noble.

I learned about personal development when I tried my hand at being a Beachbody coach. While I am not a Beachbody coach anymore (I’ll get into that another time), I walked away from that experience with a newfound love for this genre of reading and listening material. As I dove further into my own business, I realized I needed personal development more than ever.

The first book I ever purchased on personal development was The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. From there, my collection started to grow and I soon found myself heading to the book store or perusing Amazon to find more books to add to my bookshelf. Even if you’re not a blogger or business owner, I encourage you to find something that speaks to you and benefits you in some way (I’ll have a full list below of some of my recommendations).

As I’ve mentioned many times already, personal development is crucial before and during your new business or blog venture. How can you provide valuable and quality content, services or products for others if you are not working on and taking care of yourself? Same goes for anyone who isn’t a blogger or business owner — how can you stay on top of everything and tackle all the challenges that will inevitably come your way if you don’t have the tools to mentally deal with difficult situations? You can’t. Trust me. Whether your a blogger, business owner, or working a 9-5, we all have moments where we feel the walls closing in on us. Stressful deadlines, difficult co-workers, jobs we aren’t fulfilled by…it’s easy to get wrapped up in our own thoughts and emotions during challenging times. This is where personal development comes to the rescue.

I’m not saying it’s going to be the antidote for all that ails you, but if you truly take the time to read it (or watch/listen to it), absorb it, and actually apply it, you will start to notice its benefits. See that word that’s italicized there? Apply. It won’t work for you if you don’t actually apply what you’ve read, watched or listen to. You can read all the things, but unless you take action, nothing is going to change. You have to do the work. It’s already written or recorded there for you, you just have to actually do what these authors and speakers are telling you to do. Once you apply what you’ve read, or heard, or seen, not only will it nourish your mind and soul, but it will have a domino effect in all aspects of your life.

That’s not to say you’ll love everything you read or hear. There might be things you disagree with or don’t care for; things that seem a little “out there” or difficult to understand…that being said, I truly believe there is something to take away from every one of these books listed below. While I haven’t read every single one of them cover to cover just yet, I have found such valuable information in all of them, even just in the first few chapters, that have helped me shift my mindset.

In addition to the list of reading material, there are several YouTube videos and podcasts that I turn to for some serious pep talks. I’ll add those in at another time, but for now, here are my MUST-HAVE personal development books. Even if you pick just one of these on the list, you will find something worthwhile:

By Darren Hardy
By Jen Sincero
By Eckhart Tolle
By Eckhart Tolle
By Gary Vaynerchuk
By Gary Keller, Jay Papasan
By Tony Robbins
By Mark Manson
By Kelly Brogan M.D., Kristin Loberg
By Stephen R. Covey
By Gabrielle Bernstein

So really, what have you got to lose? I have yet to regret a single penny that I’ve spent on these books, and find that especially in times of high stress or anxiety, I find comfort. I find peace. I find new information that I can apply directly to my life, my business, my blog. Even if I’ve read it before, I read it again to remind myself of the important messages these authors and successful individuals have taken their time to tell their readers. I urge you to find something in this list that speaks to you. Read the descriptions, or be influenced by a title to start your own personal development journey. Even if it’s something not on this list, find something that works for you.

Do you have a favorite personal development book? I’m always looking for more to add to my list. Stay tuned for a post about my favorite YouTube videos and podcasts I listen to to up my game!

xxElizabeth