6 Great Ways to Balance Life Family & Study
By Nicholas Sinclair| January 23, 2020
Balancing life and study can be a real challenge, especially if it’s not just your time to manage. Family commitments are very real and place additional demands on what is often an already busy schedule. This is going to have some impact on your personal learning and study strategies, however, thanks to distance learning finding that balance between study and life have become easier and more achievable!
Everyone can benefit from balance. Taking on additional study whilst working and maintaining the relationship with your children (if you have them of course), friends and your family can be hard, but achieving a balance is the key to both professional and personal success.
In recognising that a lot of our students are in this very boat, this week in ‘Student Life’ we have decided to put together a summary of what we think are six great ways to balance family life and study.
1. Prioritise your wellbeing
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial to finding a true balance that fulfils both your study life and life in general. You might think that skipping your exercise routine and eating well can be sacrificed when the going gets tough, but, your exhaustion and lack of nutrition can be damaging in the long run. There’s no question, cooking up a healthy meal every night and getting to the gym a few times a week can seem nearly impossible. This is where a little bit of planning and creative thinking comes in.
It’s probably something you have seen on Instagram or other forums under the hashtag #fitspiration, but meal prepping isn’t just about steamed chicken breast, brown rice and broccoli. If you have the opportunity, take a few hours on a Sunday afternoon to plan, cook and freeze a few meals for the coming week. Not only is this a great way to save time, but also a great way to manage and monitor your nutrition.
Now for the dreadmill! If getting to the gym is out of the question, there are plenty of other activities you can roll into your existing lifestyle and daily habits. Such things might include walking to the next stop on your tram route, taking the stairs at work or even looking at simple workouts you can do at home (a skipping rope is a great cost and space-effective solution!). Not only will this assist in keeping you fit but improves your mood and concentration in addition to providing you with a better night’s sleep.
2. Communication is key!
Remember, you’re only human. There’s no need to hide how you feel from the people around you. Yes, your boss, your spouse, your neighbours, your friends all have their own busy lives that they need to attend to. But you’re not going to be any use to anyone if you collapse in a heap of stress and exhaustion. Make people aware of your situation. If you’re not communicating, then everyone’s just going to assume that everything is fine. If you are open and honest you never know where support may come from. (This includes our student support department here at Mentor!)
3. Be clear about the balance that you’re striving for
What is it that you’re trying to achieve? What does a balanced life look to you? These are the types of questions you need to ask yourself when developing your ideal study/life balance. It’s almost impossible to achieve something if you’re not even sure what you’re trying to achieve. Make it clear for yourself, so you know where you’re going. Once you understand the balance you’re striving for you can make it clear to others. Everyone benefits from you being at your best, so let those around you know your study objectives so that everyone can help.
4. Work out your study schedule
Most institutions are quick to provide you with a course syllabus, so once you receive it, get cracking! Know when all your projects and exams will be so that you can prepare your life around them. If you’ve got kids, that extra time will be crucial if you need to organise a babysitter or negotiate with your partner or family on managing parental commitments. Know your study schedule in advance. Giving yourself time means that you’ve got time to make last-minute changes if necessary. For example, in the event of an emergency or last-minute commitment, no worries, you’ve given yourself that extra time to switch things around.
5. Study with your kids !
Do you have kids in school? If yes, this can be beneficial to your efforts. Now you’ve all got study to do, so why not do it together. Not only does this “kill two birds with one stone” so to speak (helping them get through their work while you get through yours), it also teaches children great discipline. Everyone knows kids learn by example, by seeing and then doing. So, if you’re doing it with them, you’re setting a good example.
6. Negotiate with your family
Your family love and respect you, so be open with them when negotiating about your priorities and moving things around. Even your kids can understand that Mum or Dad need quiet time. Just try to help them understand and negotiate with them in a way that makes sense. If you need to change your schedule, then work with those around you to make it happen, the balance you’re striving for isn’t just for yourself, it’s a balance between you and all of those important to you.
Finding the balance between study and life can be a challenge, but if you’re communicating with those around you and making time for yourself then you’re well on your way to achieving your study/life goals. Know what you’re trying to achieve and stick to it, but don’t be afraid to be flexible, you’re managing a whole operation here! So, plan and give yourself birth to switch things around. You’ve got this!