Balancing: School, Work and Life

A lot of people ask me how I manage to balance full time school, job shadowing, and three jobs. If you want my honest answer, in terms of my stress levels, I have no clue. But if you want to know how I got here there are two very important tools that I've integrated into my weekly life that the majority of college students neglect: exercise and time management/organization (kind of the same thing right?).
In terms of being organized? Me? Not at all, but that's just how my mind has worked since I was a young child. I'm an abstract artist and I’m not very neat but recently I have decided to push myself to develop healthy habits that will benefit me and the people that I interact with daily. 
This semester instead of taking everything one step at a time I decided to take life head on because, why not? You don't know your limits until you challenge yourself and I wanted to learn mine. Sure there are some hard days but that's when exercise comes into play. Specifically yoga. I know what you're thinking already. "Yoga isn't exercise." Okay, maybe you weren't but I want to argue my case anyways because, another personality trait. According to the well known magazine Yoga Journal, yoga has multiple benefits in your daily life that don't just stop with physical fitness. Here are a few:

  • Yoga not only improves flexibility but it lowers your stress levels
  • It improves your posture
  • Improves blood circulation 
  • Increases muscle strength and tone
  • Makes you happier
  • Helps you focus
  • Gives you a better night sleep

These are just a handful of examples as to why I chose to integrate yoga into my weekly schedule by taking one of UAF's recreational courses. By taking a recreational course I not only have to work out, but I become a little more motivated to eat healthy and stick to it. Making physical fitness and burning off stress a requirement rather than an option helps me to stick to my regimens and keep track of my health especially in those hard winter months.When my stressors are up during the week yoga has become something for me to look forward to.
The second factor in my success has been organization, specifically time management. Utilizing my at home calendar, google calendar and an on the go planner has helped me tremendously in terms of knowing my weekly assignments and tasks. I believe very strongly in writing things down and setting reminders because that is one of the best ways I retain information and memorize my goals. A good organizational practice to get started is to take everything that you need to do in a week and write them down from greatest to least important and make it your business to set aside time for every goal each day. Before you know it your entire list will be diminished and you might even have some time to spare for extracurricular activities.
These may seems like two very small methods towards self improvement, however, practice makes perfect and habits turn into muscle memory so even if you don't see much of a change immediately, taking baby steps towards big goals are still steps in the right direction.

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