How to balance work, life and school

Adult learners have a lot going on in their lives. Here are a few ways to help balance it all

When mothers or fathers are going back to college, they need to make sure their academic assignments do not overshadow their responsibilities as a parent. Unfortunately, when adults are balancing parenthood, school and possibly work, it can be easy to lose track of priorities.

Keeping a routine

For this reason, students who also happen to be parents should make sure they set aside some time each week to spend with their loved ones. Every Wednesday could be pizza night or Friday could be devoted to watching a movie. Either way, students should ensure they are not neglecting their responsibilities as parents.

Benefits of doing it all

Adult learners may not realize it, but something as simple as the family dinner can have profound effects on children’s development. A Canadian study that appeared in the “Journal of Adolescent Health,” found that sitting for regular family dinners was beneficial to adolescents’ mental health.

“More frequent family dinners related to fewer emotional and behavioral problems, greater emotional well-being, more trusting and helpful behaviors towards others and higher life satisfaction,” said the study’s co-author Frank Elgar.

As a result, it may be in parents’ best interest to at least make time for regular family dinners, even if their homework for those business courses is calling. Not only could this benefit their children’s mental health, but their own as well.

Take time for yourself

While it might seem impossible with everything else you have going on, taking time for yourself is essential to feeling a sense of balance. Can you take 30 minutes to go to the gym? Take a little bit extra time in the shower? Stop by the mall on the way home just to browse and walk around? Taking a deep breath every once in a while may be just the break you need to come back refreshed and ready to take on it all when you get back. Better to take 30 minutes now than several days if you get sick from overstretching yourself!