5 Tips for Juggling Grad School, Career and Family

Here you are in grad school, beginning your career, and raising a family. This will likely be one of the busiest times of your life. This is probably something you already know, but is a good reminder that things will likely only get better from here. Each one of these three activities can be stressful and all-consuming on their own, but thrown together it can make a person feel crazy at times. How does one survive and thrive through this period in their life?

1. Remember to Sleep

This may seem an odd first point, but it is so important. Often when we are busy, we put off things that are non-essential. The problem is when we begin to deem as “non-essential” the things that are actually very important.

Sleep is one of these things. If you are burning both ends of the candle, so to speak, eventually you will suffer. Without enough sleep, your body cannot handle the stresses you are facing, and will eventually deteriorate in one or more ways. Make sleep a priority and you will thank yourself later.

2. Nutrition

During times of stress, good nutrition is vital to health and productivity. Be sure you are eating a wide variety of whole foods in order to obtain sufficient vitamins and minerals. Meal planning can help when times are busy. Meal planning may be what rescues you from not being prepared, as not being prepared is what usually leads us to devour fast food too often.

3. Prioritize

Sure, you want to be a good person and help your friend as she moves to a new home, but do you really have the time? Or maybe the weather is beautiful and you are dying to go camping. While living through such a busy stage as completing grad school while starting your career and raising your family, you will have to learn to say no. Say no to the things that are unnecessary, and prioritize the ones you simply cannot pass up.

4. Family Time

Through all of this sacrifice and hard work, keep in mind your reason for all of it. Although your children may seem like a distraction when everything else is going on, make time for them. Don’t let days go by without enjoying a laugh or snuggles with your little ones. If you need time alone, consider hiring a babysitter or family member to keep your young ones amused while you work hard. When you finish, let your family have your full attention. They need you, and you need them.

5. Support Team

Everyone needs a good support team. This can be family, friends, or any other person you feel a bond with and who is committed to seeing you succeed. It can include grandparents, a trustworthy babysitter, a study partner, and a group of friends you meet with regularly to de-stress with. Enlarge your circle to include as many as you see fit. The more support, the better.

Taking on the challenge of going through grad school, building your career, and raising your children all at the same time takes hard work and dedication. If you are someone who chose this path, you are more than likely a person who has the determination to make it succeed. Remember these important “must do’s” and you will remain on the path to success without any unnecessary setbacks.