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Well, it’s been a nice “blogcation” but it’s good to be back!  If anything, taking this break has reminded me how much I love to write this blog and share it with you!

Back to School, Adjusting to Change, Adult EducationNow that I have had an entire two weeks of working full-time and going to school part-time on Saturdays (as well as maintaining a personal life!), there are a few things I have observed about my new world.  First and foremost, I am a creature of habit through and through and getting pushed out of my “routine” is not comfortable for me.  If my normal schedule changes as it has and will be for the next few months, I need to find myself a new routine or I will be a stress case.  Maybe you too are going back to school for the first time in a long time, or maybe something else like a change in jobs or a move has uprooted your “normal” life.  Even if not, I am sure you can relate to the feeling of wanting to do your 100% best at everything but not going crazy in the process!

At this point, the change in my schedule and priorities still feels a little overwhelming, but I have found some small things that help change be a little more comfortable for me:

1) Plan. Write. Plan Some More:  Use a day planner to write out what you are going to do every day.  This is something I have done on and off for before but never really developed the habit.  Now that it is necessary with work/school/personal life/responsibilities to balance, I find if I write something down in an agenda or day planner, it’s more likely to stick in my brain rather than when I put it into an electronic calendar.  Every night I consult my agenda for the next few days’ schedule, plan for the weeks ahead.  Bonus: if you keep a food diary, this is also a great time to record what you have eaten for the day.  I have a planner that gives me enough room to use for both purposes.

2) Eat for Energy.  Keep healthy snacks and food a priority for the best source of energy.  Anytime life gets hectic, it’s easy to start eating whatever (unhealthy) item is on hand.  Stress eating also increases.  Since I’m trying to lose weight I’ve gained over the summer (maybe you are too?), making sure I eat right is key to feeling energized and good about myself.  I have a standard stock of healthy snacks at home and on hand at work if needed, as well as prioritize making healthy lunches and dinners every night.  Does that mean less time to do something else? Probably.  But you will thank me when you feel less sluggish after eating apples with almond butter instead that unhealthy bag of Skittles for your 3pm snack.

3) Reward yourself…once the work is done.  It’s hard for me to admit I’m prone to procrastination but I am.  In fact, while I write this, I have 4 days until my next (huge) assignment is due.  But, I made some headway on school work today, so my reward is relaxing by writing this post, and when I’m all done this week’s assignment, my PVR has multiple episodes of the Real Housewives waiting for me!  Choose something for you that is a treat (but not a pound of M&Ms! see #2 above), and only allow yourself to indulge when you have accomplished what you have set out to do.  Trust me, the reward will seem so much more satisfying if you don’t have that nagging feeling that you should be doing something else.