How do you balance your time between work, school, and your family, while staying healthy? With all of your responsibilities, there is a lot to do with limited time. It’s important to make sure that you set aside enough time for all the most important parts of your life.
- Communicate! We all know that communication is important, but when you are going to school while working full time and taking care of your family, you need to utilize your communication skills even more.Before you begin a course, certificate, or degree program, make sure you explain to your family what you are doing and how it will affect how much free time you have. This will help set their expectations for the next few months (or years) and will increase their support of your decision to return to school.Tell your family what your plan is for studying and try to get in a routine of watching lectures and doing homework on a set schedule so your family knows when you are available to hang out and when you need to study. If you have a big project that is taking more of your time, let your family know so they can plan around you.
- Make Play Dates! Whether it’s with your significant other, your kids, your friends, or just your dogs – make a date! It will help them feel more appreciated and loved because you may not have as much time for them while you are in school. It will also help you relax and temporarily take your mind off of your other responsibilities.It helps to schedule specific times and days so that everyone knows what the plan is, and it’s not as easy to postpone or cancel. If you have a really busy week and you can’t make your date with your significant other and your kids, make up for it the next week when you have more time.These play dates can be as simple as planning a special meal or watching your favorite television show. For special occasions or milestones in your coursework, you can do something special for your family, like take them to an event in town, or to a movie they’ve wanted to see.
- Say Thank You! Your family is there for you through all of the late nights, the early mornings, and the stressful times. They’ve helped keep you sane, so make sure you thank them for all of their support.If they’ve run errands, cooked dinner, or cleaned the house for you because you don’t have time, thank them! If they give you a neck rub to help relieve your tension headache, thank them! When they tell you they are proud of you and give you a supportive hug, thank them!
- Take Time For Yourself & Relax! Not only do you have to balance your work, school, family, and friends, but you also still need to make time for yourself. It’s important to have time to relax, reflect, and rejuvenate.If you are studying for multiple hours at a time, take a five or ten minute break and go outside for some fresh air. Or split up your study times by doing an hour of your favorite hobby between your study hours.Not only can these activities and relaxation help you relieve your stress, but they can also act as a reward to yourself for your hard work. Reward yourself with a massage or a pedicure after you finish a tough assignment or project. Buy yourself something you’ve been wanting after the semester is over. Whatever the reward and the method of relaxing, just make sure you get some time for yourself!
It is challenging to balance work, school, and your family, but remember that your family should come first. You and your family will have to make certain sacrifices for you to take extra time to go to school, but if you try hard to balance your time with them, they will be even more supportive of your education.
How have you balanced your family and school? How did you make it work for you?