Grad school has a reputation for being exhausting and demanding. When you’re attending grad school as a parent, the juggling act becomes even more delicate. To stay as stress-free as possible while managing a busy work and home life, check out the following suggestions.
Set a Designated Meal Prep Day
If you’re already working a full-time job in addition to parenting and taking graduate level classes, it can be tempting to eat out several times per week. To save money for your tuition and avoid making dinner every night after work, consider setting aside one day per week dedicated to meal planning and prepping. You and your family need nutritious meals to stay happy and healthy, and meal prepping is one of the best ways to ensure that everyone stays well fed without breaking the bank or overtaxing yourself after work.
Make Time for Exercise
When you’re pursuing a graduate degree, it might feel impossible to find a few extra minutes for exercise. However, engaging in about 30 minutes of light to moderate exercise a few times per week is a great way to release anxiety and ensure a healthy mind and body. Whether you enjoy going for a brisk walk with the family or you’d rather hit the yoga studio for a strengthening and centering class, you’ll benefit from keeping both body and mind in shape.
Take Online Classes
Raising a family takes hard work, and it can be a big challenge to find the time to commute to traditional classes at your local university. If you’re hesitant about going back to school due to time constraints, consider taking online classes. If you’re ready to obtain a graduate degree to advance your future, USC offers a masters program in applied psychology. This popular field of study can help make a big difference in the lives of patients, and you can finish your education from the comfort of your own home.
When you’re ready to go back to school, you might find that you’ll need to stay extra organized. Going through rigorous graduate-level courses as an adult with children is an entirely different ballgame than your undergraduate years, and you’ll likely find that organization is key to staying on task and managing your time effectively. Between dropping the kids off at school and acting as chauffeur to and from their extracurricular activities, it can be easy to let your own schoolwork slip through the cracks.
Make an Effort to Recharge
When you’re pursuing a graduate degree, it’s perfectly normal to feel stressed and a little overwhelmed. These feelings are often magnified if you’re parenting young children while working towards a degree. Keep in mind that you should make an effort to recharge your batteries as often as needed to avoid burning out. No one can operate at maximum capacity for more than a few weeks at a time, and it’s important to acknowledge that you’re only human. On the days when you’re feeling a little run down, take a break from your studies and make time for activities that you enjoy.
Ask for Help
Finishing a graduate degree takes countless hours of hard work and dedication, and it’s completely acceptable to ask for help when needed. When it seems like you have too much on your plate, try not to feel guilty for dropping the kids off with a trusted friend or family member for a few hours while you head to the coffee shop or library for some tranquil study time. Investing in your education is one of the best things that you can do for your family, and your children will look up to you as an example in the future.