If you are in nursing school, then you know how difficult it can be to balance your life inside and outside of nursing school. From juggling clinicals to plans with your friends and family, it can be hard to find a balance. Nursing school doesn’t have to be a sacrifice to your life outside of school. Although nursing school is challenging, there are many tips and tricks you can do to live a balanced life while in nursing school. Below are our biggest tips for getting on the right track to living a balanced life while in nursing school.
1. Create a Calendar/Planner
Utilizing a calendar or planner in nursing school is a great first step to organizing your life inside and outside of school! Whether you utilize a hard copy planner or a digital version, pick a calendar/planner that works best for you. Choose a template, use your own photos and images, add events, and plan around your busy schedule! When using Picmonic, you can also set up a study schedule directly on the web version of Picmonic for all of your upcoming exams! The Picmonic Study Scheduler is an adaptive tool that will help you more efficiently learn and review all the information you need to know by a specific date. Add in to your calendar or planner your allotted study time, so you can easily see how much free time you have for non-school related activities.
2. Find Your Peak Study Times
No matter what degree you’re pursuing, you will benefit from finding your peak study times! Identify your peak study hours by keeping track of how you feel at certain times for a couple of days. The first step to keeping track of how you feel is to block out the hours where you feel the most productive, the hours where you feel decent, and the hours where you feel the most tired. If you find you are the most productive from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. then schedule all of your most important tasks for the week during this block of time. On the other hand, leave your low-level energy tasks for the times you are typically the least productive. Knock out all of your coursework when you are most productive, so the other times can be filled with catching up on social media or hanging out with your friends and family!
3. Rest When You Need To
I’m sure you know the power of a good night’s rest, but it is crucial to listen to your body and rest when needed. If your most productive hours are after you wake up, tackle all of your important tasks for the day during these hours. Once your important tasks are complete, reward yourself with a much deserved and needed nap or other relaxing activity. It is recommended that you take a nap in the early afternoon so you can avoid disrupting your sleep at night. Resting helps to regulate your mood, mind, improves memory function, and helps your body to replace lost energy. Resting also gives you a much needed break from all of the tasks and assignments nursing school requires. Take advantage of the power of a good nap!
4. Figure Out What You Are Willing to Sacrifice
Since nursing school is an extremely busy time in your life, prioritize your duties and figure out what you are willing to occasionally sacrifice in order to live a more balanced life. Sacrificing your time means that you need to prioritize your day-to-day tasks. Sometimes you may have to sacrifice a fun party for studying at the library all night, but that’s okay if it means achieving your nursing goal!
Another aspect of life which you may now have to organize in a new way is your budget. Being in nursing school oftentimes means being on a strict student budget. Budgeting comes with sacrificing a lot of your wants and really focusing on your needs. On the other hand, figure out what you are not willing to sacrifice in nursing school. Nursing school will probably cause a couple of all-nighters, but try to not sacrifice your sleep on a regular basis! Everyone has to make sacrifices in life to achieve their goals but your health and well-being are something you should always put first.
5. Schedule Some Time for Friends and Family Each Month
Making time for your friends and family each month can easily be overlooked in nursing school. A step in the right direction is to incorporate specific time into your schedule at least once a month. Whether you organize a game night, secret date, cook a special meal or even pick a book of the month, these are all things which give you something to look forward to with your loved ones. Once you get comfortable with your schedule and balance your coursework, you can figure out when you have time to set aside for fun activities and events. Take advantage of a study date with friends, or even a home cooked meal, these small things can make a world of difference. Make the effort to call your friends and family even if your schedule changes or gets too busy, as a 10 minute call will make not only their day but yours as well!
6. Find Your Own Support System
Building a strong support system is extremely important in nursing school. You can start to develop a strong support system by finding a strong network of people. Whether it be your closest friends, family, classmates, church group, etc., finding people you can go to for the good and bad moments will be a lifesaver. Your classmates can be a strong support system for everything that you endure in nursing school. From tough homework assignments to finals, having a support system filled with students who understand exactly what you are going through is crucial. On the other hand, having a support system outside of school who you can go to about friendships, relationships, etc., is also extremely important to maintaining a balanced life.
7. Practice Good Time Management Skills
Utilizing a calendar/planner can be a great first step to practicing good time management skills. With planning out your day and delegating your most important tasks at your most productive time of day, you can avoid procrastination. Starting your day early is another step in the right direction when it comes to practicing good time management. Waking up earlier allows for you to accomplish more tasks throughout the day, and gives the kickstart you may need. Another tip is to set daily goals of things you need to accomplish. Tackle the most important tasks first, avoid multitasking and procrastinating, and reward yourself for completing all your daily goals with something you enjoy.
8. Develop Efficient Study Habits
Developing efficient study habits is crucial in nursing school! Figure out your learning style, and understand the information you are learning. For visual learners, utilize Picmonic! Discover the need-to-know nursing topics, learn, quiz, and then take your daily spaced repetition quiz so you can review the right information, at the right time! In addition, utilize Picmonic’s Study Scheduler so you can be prepared for all of your nursing school exams. Remove any distractions that will get you off task when studying, seriously, turn your phone off! Lastly, always study when you are most productive and always prioritize your assignment dates. You can do it!
Nursing school is a difficult journey, but these tips can help to live a happier and more balanced life. You don’t need to sacrifice your social life because you are in school! Use these tips to help you find a perfect balance between your education and your personal life. Don’t ever hesitate to reach out to a loved one or the Picmonic team if you need some encouragement. We believe in you!