hey, i was wondering how to balance karate w/the rest of life. this past year has been rough for me, and karate keeps me going thru it all. i'm currently training for my black belt, and i love putting in the extra work and time bc it makes me happy...but it's also extremely draining. i'm so tired when i leave practice, i crash instead of doing homework. i can't help my mom around the house as much as i want to, and i feel like my friends have forgotten me. i still have 7 months--any advice?
Well, this is a hard one, but not impossible. It’s difficult to balance this stuff because of how our work system operates, taking so much time out of our lives, put school on top of that and you got yourself pretty stretched out.
The best thing you can do to begin with is prioritize. Put certain days into school, and certain days into training at the dojo. If you have to put one in front of the other sometimes, do so, don’t over stress about it. You can always put 15-30 minutes a day into practicing what you need to on your own. When you feel you need rest, rest. Sounds simple enough, but it can get difficult when we feel responsibilies are creeping up behind us. Haha
You can always adjust your schedule to be up earlier in the morning so you can train or do school stuff. Eat strong and healthy to keep that energy up throughout the day.
I know starting earlier sounds like blasphemy, but it can do wonders to your training time. And to be honest, training in the morning is often better than training at the end of the day when you’re already tired of everything else (but that’s my personal opinion there).
Sensei Funakoshi would be up before dawn, walk to work, work all day, and then later he would walk a couple miles, often at night, to his Sensei’s home to train in secret (because of the ban), after which he’d walk back to his home and repeat. That’s without mentioning his adventures in between and the work he did on his own to promote Karate. I can’t imagine he’d slept as much as we like to sleep now a days. Haha
I say this about him, because I often have to remind myself of it when I myself say things like “oh there’s no time”, “I’m too tired” etc.
But again, when you need rest, take a break, relax, breathe, sleep if you need to, and tackle the rest with a refreshed mind after. Remember, our minds get tired first, so remind yourself to give your mind some breaks. Sometimes we take breaks and sit and try to relax, but keep our minds busy, working, thinking of what’s next, how to approach this, planning on what to do with that, on the phone, TV, stuff like that. Then when we get up from our “break”, we feel equally or worse, because we didn’t actually rest.
So in short, start your days by getting up earlier, tackle a nice workout, eat a good breakfast, take some 10-15 minute breaks every few hours where you just breathe, try to let go of everything during that time, and thus relax your mind, and prioritize your activities. Say, if you have a test coming up, and you know you need to study because you’re lazy like me and put it off until 10 minutes before the test, then take whatever time you feel you need from other things, for studying.
Also, and this one might hurt a little, prioritize training, school and house work, on your free time. I’m referring specifically for whatever time you use for hanging out with friends and stuff like that that we think are relaxing but we always end up just as tired anyway.
Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t have your own time or time with friends or that they have forgotten you. Most will understand that you’re busy, and those who don’t are just being selfish, but you can make appointments, keep a schedule, make dates with your friends, agree on when to hang out and what to go do that will not get in the way of your training and school.
Sometimes we need to focus on what we love, and what we must do, this is what our lives revolves around. Everything else is optional.
Hit me up if you wanna talk more about it.