6 Tips to Balance Your Life

When you’re a student, managing often-conflicting roles at school, home and work is a challenge. “I can’ tell you how many times I’ve had students in my office in tears,” says UTSC Management Professor Julie McCarthy. But you can achieve balance in your life, assures McCarthy, who offers advice based on her research.

1. Let go of your problems. “If we want balance, we need to allow ourselves time to recover," McCarthy says. Give yourself permission to forget about your problems for awhile, instead of worrying constantly.

2. Ferret out the time. Assess your day to figure out where you can find time to recharge. Your long car or public-transit commute, for instance, might be a source of stress. Turn off the news and turn up your favourite music, and see if you can use that commute time to relax.

3. Focus on your specific needs. Different strategies work for different people, so pay attention to your own feelings. McCarthy notes how she herself signed up for yoga class to relax but found her mind racing instead. She has had better luck on the treadmill with music blasting away.

4. Live in the moment. Make sure your problems don’t seep into your relaxation time. During coffee or drinks with friends, for example, concentrate on the moment, not your problems.

5. Recognize the positives of multiple roles. If one area of your life is highly stressful, take a step back and look at the bigger picture. The problem is likely to be no more than a thin slice of a much broader, more meaningful existence.

6. Don’t forget the basics. Eat healthy. Sleep well. Exercise enough. And savour all aspects of your life to the fullest!