Work-life balance is tough for everyone, but especially those who are studying to become healthcare workers. As a student nurse, you most likely find your schedule filled to the brim with classes, study sessions, and work experience, making it tricky to make the time for socializing and non-nursing related hobbies. It is crucial that you do, though, as you could end up burning out if you don’t pull yourself away from studying or work from time to time. So, whether you are a qualified nurse studying for an advanced degree or you’re a newbie in nursing school, here is how to master a work-life balance.
Consider Studying an Online Course
To gain more hours in your day, consider applying for a university that provides online courses. There is no shortage of them, so whether you’re looking for MSN NP programs or nursing management courses, you are sure to find what you are looking for.
Studying online comes with a range of benefits, such as saving money and studying wherever you please, but it also comes with its challenges. To make sure you keep up with all the set work, you must work on your time management skills and keep in touch with your online tutors.
Allow Yourself One Free Day a Week
Everybody deserves at least one work-free day a week, so try to free one single day of any obligations and use it for socializing, hobbies, and self-care. Having a break to look forward to will get you through the toughest of weeks. On the other hand, if it’s simply impossible to manage an entire day free of work and studies each week, then at least make it a long morning or afternoon.
Get Involved in a Physical Hobby
You might find you have little time on your hands as a nurse student. After all, you have a lot of responsibilities. Unfortunately, that means your time for hobbies and exercise is reduced – two things that are required for a healthy work-life balance. An easy solution to this is to combine them by pursuing a physical hobby. There are plenty to choose from, so whether you enjoy swimming, competitive running, gymnastics, or horse riding, you can fit in your exercise while having fun with like-minded individuals.
Join a Study Group
Who says you can’t combine work and socialization? By joining a study group, you open yourself up to new friendships while ensuring you keep up with all the work set. Plus, it allows you to ask a support network for tips on the material.
Studying msn np programs doesn’t mean you can’t join a study group – just set one up online and meet up via webcam. You might not be able to drink the same coffee, but you’ll still be able to hang out and swap notes virtually.
Consider Going Part-Time
If the balance is tipping way too heavily toward work, then you might consider going part-time with your studies. It might seem like a risky move, especially if you have a five-year plan, but it could give you the breather you need to remove your stress. Plus, it could even have a positive impact on your grades. By moving through the course at a slower pace, you’ll have more time to absorb the information and perform well on exams and assignments. Have a look at msn np programs to find courses that allow you to study at a pace that suits you.
Make the Most of Your Free Time
As a nursing student, your free time is precious, so make the most of it. That doesn’t mean spending an entire day in bed is a waste if you need it, but try to do some of the things you’ve been missing out on due to your studies. That could mean catching up on fiction reading, seeing your family, going for a walk, or having a pampering session.
Write Out Weekly Schedules
It’s easy for the time to run away when you are not managing it properly. You might half plan on attending nursing classes, browsing msn np programs, studying, acing your work experience, eating well, and seeing your friends. Still, unless you schedule for all of this, you’re probably going to miss a couple of activities off the list.
To ensure you tick everything off of your to-do list, write a weekly schedule at the beginning of each week (and stick to it!). That way, you don’t spend too long in one area, completely ignoring your other just as important responsibilities.
Look for Easy Ways to Make Money
You don’t want to burden yourself with a full-time job in something you’re not particularly interested in when you already have your studies and work experience to focus on. There are plenty of easy ways for students to make money without sacrificing forty hours a week, including publishing an e-book, selling old clothes, and doing online surveys.
Keep Up with Your Old Friends
“One should not forsake old friends for new, because the old friends, having already proven their calibre, are more trustworthy.” – G. Llewellyn Watson
Being swamped with assignments for msn np programs is a reasonable excuse for not messaging your old friends for a few weeks, but if those weeks start trickling into months, it’s time to do something about it. You need a bit of fresh air in your life, after all, and your friends who know nothing about nursing will surely give you that.
Notice the Signs of Stress – and Take a Break When You Show Them
Everyone gets stressed from time to time. It’s a perfectly normal part of life, but it’s still important to notice the signs so that stress doesn’t turn into burnout. Some of the most common signs of stress are:
- Stomach problems
- Aches and pains
- Struggling to sleep
If you show a few of these signs, it’s time to take a break. That might seem daunting, but remember – you’ll perform better when you’re feeling positive.
Make Family Plans
After all the assignments, late study nights, and classes, you’ll probably miss your family. To ensure you don’t forget their faces (as if you would!), be sure to make plans with them whenever you can. That doesn’t have to involve anything extravagant – simply going around to your parent’s house for dinner can be enough to make you feel at home again.
Always Start Assignments Early
Whether you are studying for msn np programs or nursing school, you must start assignments as early as you possibly can. While you might not be able to complete them weeks in advance, especially if you haven’t covered all the material yet, it’ll still help you get to grips with what you’re writing. By spreading out the workload, you are more likely to have time to socialize.
Study with Friends
It is hard to be social when you have so many exams and assignments to study for. Nursing students have a hefty workload, which is understandable, given that the goal is to become a healthcare professional. It can make some weeks grueling, however. To ensure you don’t end up deprived of friendly social interaction, plan to meet up for study sessions with your nurse student friends. Not only will it make studying a little more enjoyable, but it also means you have help on hand if you need it.
If you’re studying for online msn np programs and don’t have any nursing friends nearby, you can always host a virtual study session with your online course classmates.
Make Your Meet-Up Spot Close to Your University
You want to slot your social hours snugly around your classes and studying time, and one of the best ways to do this is to decide on a common meet-up spot close to your university.
Of course, this doesn’t apply if you’re studying online msn np programs. If that’s the case, then your meeting spot is at your laptop, which makes hanging out with your classmates much easier! Remember to make a group chat with the class so that you can stay in touch despite being scattered around the country.
Plan a Trip for the End of Semester
When you’re spending every single day working for the best grades possible, you can quickly become lost in nursing knowledge. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s also beneficial to have something non-nursing related to look forward to, like an end-of-semester (or an end-of-year) trip.
You can plan this with classmates, other friends, or your family – whoever you want to celebrate with. Having something exciting to look forward to won’t only boost your happiness, but it’ll also improve your work ethic.
Get into Batch Cooking
Work-life balance becomes even harder when faced with the daunting task of cooking healthy meals every single night. While you don’t want to spend hours over the stove when you have an exam to study for, you also don’t want to fill your body with junk food. To make it easier on yourself, get into batch cooking. You can use a few hours of your free time for cooking up some delicious meals and then put them in the freezer for the evenings you have no time at all. Some simple meals you can batch cook for your freezer are:
Have a look for some delicious freezer-friendly recipes, and you’ll thank yourself on the night you have two thousand words to write for the next day.
Talk to Your Professor
If you are struggling to keep up with your personal life and the work, it is worth having a word with your professor. While they might not be able to lessen the workload, they will be able to guide you through some of the more difficult parts of the material. Plus, they might just have some advice to help push you through.
If you’re doing online msn np programs, you can still make the most of your professor’s advice despite not being able to meet in real life. Schedule a video call meeting or drop your professor an email to check in if you’re falling behind, and they’ll be more than happy to help you.
Don’t Make Plans You Can’t Follow Through On
It’s so easy to say “yes” when the future seems distant. Every single plan you agree to will slowly creep up on you, though, and you’ll find yourself stressing about whether or not you should cancel on your third night out that week when you need to study. So to save yourself all this grief, learn to say no to plans. It can be hard, especially when you have a bunch of new nursing school friends, but it’s an important lesson you should learn early on. Remember – it’s all about balance.
Get Enough Sleep
One of the worst decisions you can make as a nursing student is to deprive yourself of sleep to fit in your studying, socializing, and working. While it might seem like a good idea at the time, after a few nights in a row of sleep deprivation, you’ll start to feel moody, irritable, and fatigued to the point it affects your performance on your msn np programs. You must never underestimate the importance of sleep.
How much sleep you need is unique; some people are fine on six-seven hours, whereas others need a solid ten to function. Figure out your sweet spot, and then do your best to ensure you hit that number every night. Of course, the occasional night of too many drinks is going to happen (especially if you’re a younger student), but don’t make it habitual, especially when exams are coming up!
Look to the Future
Finding a work-life balance as a nursing student is undeniably challenging. While you might not be able to party, socialize, and binge-watch Netflix series as much as you used to, you must remember that you are heading toward a brilliantly fulfilling career. By looking to the future, you’ll feel better about putting in all the work you are doing right now.