It's hard to have a full-time job, pursue an education, balance work with family and friends, and still have some "me time" left.
Whether pursuing an online course or attending physical classes, trying to have a balanced life can be challenging.
There's a constant push to succeed and continual challenges of balancing conflicting priorities.
Although stress and anxiety are prevalent among nurses and students, they don't have to interfere with your mental and physical health.
Try the following tips if you're finding it difficult to balance your work and life due to academic overload.
They can help you succeed in advancing in your education and your job as a skilled healthcare provider.
Create a Schedule and Stick To It
Having an organized schedule is very important.
For one, it creates order and routine in your daily life.
A weekly schedule or monthly schedule that is realistic and practical will help you stay on track, calm, and organized.
When you have so many things on your plate, and you're overwhelmed by how much you have to accomplish, setting aside time for everything else in your life and following a set schedule will help reduce mental discomfort and anxiety.
Find a method that works for you.
Whether you're using a scheduling app on your smartphone, a color-coordinated planner, a wall calendar or wall chart, or diaries and year planners, use whatever scheduling tool you are comfortable with.
Don't overlook anything. Schedule time for work, studying, classes, socializing, sleeping, etc.
To juggle between your job and school, the most essential thing you can do is learn time management.
Always remember to allow enough time between tasks to be mentally prepared for the next one.
Prioritizing means you're organizing your tasks based on what needs to be accomplished first.
Concentrate on larger workloads that may take more time, and don't procrastinate.
At work, prioritize the most urgent situations to ones that are not so important.
You can ask for assistance and outsource the least important tasks to your coworkers.
Before studying, finish your assignment first.
Focus on what is of absolute importance on busy days and leave less important items for less busy days.
Seek Peer Support
Your classmates are the best people to turn to for emotional support.
No one understands your struggles more than the people you study with.
Create a study group with your peers or join an existing study group.
This will improve your learning process and motivate you to stay focused.
There's also the possibility of forming lifelong friendships.
Prioritize Working Out
For many people, exercising and going to the gym is the last thing we want to do.
Don't forego regular physical exercise.
Engaging in physical activity can greatly improve your physical and mental health.
Keeping fit is just as crucial for your brain's functionality as for your physical well-being.
Anxiety can be reduced by going for an aerobic walk for a few minutes.
You can also try jogging or skipping rope.
You can do light exercises like Yoga.
You try swimming or playing your favorite sport.
You'll notice that exercising will make you less tired, improve your alertness, and enhance general cognitive function.
Exercise helps in the retention of knowledge by promoting the production of a brain-derived neurotrophic factor that improves memory circuitry by rewiring them, thereby enhancing your memory.
Self-care, especially regular spiritual self-care or spiritual grounding, is important to your prosperity and mental well-being.
You're preoccupied with school, work, family commitments, and attending to the needs of patients.
It's easy to lose track of how important mindfulness is.
Spiritual practices like meditation, mindfulness, gratitude, and journaling can be uplifting to your spirits.
Remember to include your spiritual practices in your schedule.
Take time to focus on yourself and other self-care practices.
This could be going to a spa or getting a massage, catching up with an old friend, taking one or two days away from work, etc.
Make it a priority because self-care is essential.
Expect the Unexpected
Some days will be normal and ordinary at work, school, or home, yet there will be days where the unexpected will happen.
When this happens, maintain a level head.
Take a step back, reorganize your schedule, and try and get things moving again.
Just having a documented plan to look at when things don't go as intended can help you navigate around interruptions by referring to what your next activity was in your schedule.
Remember Your Purpose
Everyone has their own reasons for getting into their job.
For most nurses, it's usually a specific objective or passion that drives them toward pursuing a career in healthcare.
Whether it be the desire to help people or the compassion for other humans, you got into nursing for a reason.
Likewise, you had an objective and goal as to why you're taking an online certification or pursuing a higher degree.
So it's important to remember this and keep your objectives in mind when the pressure is high.
Remember what your purpose is.
Keep your eye on the prize, especially when everyday stresses force you to lose sight of your long-term goal.
It is still possible to achieve your goals.
Take whatever steps or actions need to be taken to regain control of your professional path if you feel discouraged or demotivated.
Do you need more assistance?
Do you require more educational materials?
To feel more personally empowered and be more in charge, reevaluate your professional growth strategy.
Communicate Your Intentions with Management
Talk to your supervisor or the management at work.
Communicate your intentions and goals before you start school or if you've already started school, explain to them why you're pursuing an education.
Explain why your education will help you advance in your career or open up opportunities at work.
They most likely will be understanding and supportive.
Some institutions may have programs that provide funding for upscaling employees' basic skills.