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Wellness check: When life gets busy, remember these four things

Sometimes the juggling act is overwhelming. You are trying to go back to school to take the next step in your career. But it’s not easy. You may be working a job… or two. You may have people to take care of at home. The days are long, especially when you are fitting in classes around your work schedule.

When life seems overwhelming, here are four things to keep in mind.

It’s temporary.

Part of the beauty of earning a credential at a Virginia community college is that you are in and out quickly. Whereas associate or bachelor programs can take years to complete, our short-term credentials have you ready in weeks.

When life gets hectic, it’s much easier to wrap your head around taking things week by week rather than month by month. Before you know it, you’ll be done and in a better place because of it.

There’s support available if you need it. Just ask.

Every community college in Virginia has career coaches who can work with you before, during, and even after your time in the program. And you’d be surprised at the level of support the coaches can offer – whether it’s transportation problems, childcare or resume and job application help – the list goes on and on. They can be a resource, but to take advantage of it, you have to ask for help.

Struggling with something specific? Reach out, and you just might find that they have a solution or can point you in the right direction.

Learn to say “no.”

Individuals who sign up for our credential programs often are yes-people. They work hard. They do everything they can to better themselves. They want to provide and be successful for those around them. But when life is beginning to feel overwhelming, it’s helpful to take a pause on saying yes. And even when it’s not hectic, saying “no” allows you to protect your schedule… and your sanity.

Ultimately, when you say yes to one thing, you are saying no to something else – time with family, time for studying, time for rest. Learn to make “no” your default, so you can be picky about who and what get your “yeses.”

Make time to care for yourself.

And speaking of rest, you’ve probably heard that you can’t fill up someone’s cup if your own cup is empty. So, while it’s easier said than done, taking time to care for yourself can help you better provide for those around you. That go-go-go mentality can only be kept up for so long before it becomes too much.

Find a day of the week, or even a few hours, that you can dedicate to some rest and recharging. Get good sleep, have your lunch outside, take a walk, listen to music, play a game.

Humans need breaks; allow yourself them.