By: Marley McClean; Home Based Case Manager
As a recent college graduate, I am all too familiar with the challenge of juggling work, school, life, family, friends (the list goes on!) Figuring out how to balance all of these things can seem like an overwhelming task. As you plan for the upcoming school year, keep these few tips in mind for creating healthy habits that lead to less stress and more success!
1) Make a plan. I know this seems obvious, but planning is often one of the first things people skip to “save time”. Making time at the beginning of each week to write out your schedule will not only ensure that you don’t miss a meeting or assignment, but will also highlight free time that can be used for self-care activities. I recommend investing in a planner that has time slots. Mapping out each hour of the day allows you to see how well you are using your time, when you have overbooked yourself, and schedule in time for commutes, lunch, rest, etc.
2) Work smarter, not harder! A few weeks into my senior year internship, I noticed that a lot of the activities I was doing corresponded well with my class assignments. As I worked what I was studying in class into my work with clients, I found myself having more opportunities to practice social work skills and complete parts of my required coursework while on the job.
3) Don’t over commit. You may be reading this and think, “too late” but I’m here to tell you it’s never to late to make healthy life decisions. As someone who has a chronic pain disorder, I have had to learn the hard way that overworking yourself can have some pretty serious effects. Not making time to eat, sleep, relax, and socialize can cause serious health risks such as anxiety, depression, sleep deprivation, migraines, back pain, and other issues. It can be tempting to tell yourself you can make it just a little longer, but unhealthy patterns are hard to recover from. Sorry to break it to you, but there is no end to the madness. You can make it to graduation and still busy yourself with a million other things once school is over. Make choices now that set the pace for your career. If you notice signs of your mental and/or physical health decreasing, take a moment to ask yourself what is causing it and how you can address the issue. Take the extra semester of school, say no to a few non-essential commitments, and ask friends and family for support. This is not a sign of weakness, but rather a demonstration of self-awareness, humility, and strength. You are worth it!