While completing a degree while working full time is nothing new, the evolution of online degrees has changed the game – and therefore the strategy – completely. Today, professionals can advance their career with master’s degrees and doctorates while continuing to work full time. This allows them to apply what they learn in real time and gain invaluable experience while making significant steps forwards in their career.
While professionals from all walks of life now have the option to continue to work while they pursue a degree, those who need that degree for licensing reasons are the primary target. Nurses, for example, must complete an accredited degree in order to take the state exam and earn their licence. You cannot advance further than your current role without that formal qualification.
The reason why nurses are such a good example is that their career is demanding to begin with. To add on a degree on top of that can be very challenging, but by taking a page out of the nursing handbook you too can successfully complete an online degree – while continuing to work. How? By focussing on your health and wellness.
Health and Wellness Tips for Work/Study
Regardless of whether you are a business owner looking to expand their leadership skills in New York, or a nurse interested in becoming a nurse practitioner in Oklahoma, your health is going to play a critical role in how successful you are when completing an online degree. It takes a lot of energy to tackle both a full-time degree and a career, which is why your health needs to be your first focus.
Build a Health Routine
If you can, try to build up a health routine in advance and focus on these areas:
Start with Sleep
A good, easy place to start is with your sleep schedule. While you may need to upgrade your bed and bedding, most people will benefit simply from being consistent with their routine. Going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time can help your body set its circadian rhythm correctly. Doing this in advance can mean finding how much sleep your body needs. Some thrive with seven hours, others need nine. Adjust how early you go to bed and stick with it, and you will immediately start feeling a difference.
Improve Your Diet
Your diet will also take time to adjust. The good news is that a great way to eat better and take the effort out of it is to meal prep. Meal prepping will be an essential strategy when you are working and studying as it saves you time and energy during the week when you need all the extra help you can get.
Exercise, Exercise, Exercise
As for exercise, find a fun activity to participate in that will wake your body up in the morning and help it stay energized throughout the day. It can be hard to get started, but by building an exercise routine in advance you will soon build up your ability to tackle your degree and career all at once.
Caring for Your Wellbeing
You will also want to care for your wellbeing. A few easy ways to do this include the following:
One of the best ways in which you can help your career, your degree and your personal wellbeing is to take smart breaks. This means working consistently for set periods of time and then on your break period doing more than scrolling through your phone. Getting a snack, going for a sort walk, having a chat with a loved one – all of these do wonders and will help you reset and absorb the information you have learned.
Connect with Others
Socializing is important for so many reason. Connecting with your peers can give you a place where you can share in the experience you are all going through. You can also study together, work on a collaborate note project and trade tips and tricks. Spending time with your loved ones is also critical, as this can help immediately decrease stress and improve mental wellbeing.
Care for Your Mental Health
Caring for your physical health is a great step towards caring for your mental health. If you find that taking breaks and connecting with others isn’t enough, however, then you will want to look for more hands-on tactics that work for you. For some, finding a support group can help; others may benefit from seeking out therapy options. In some cases the simple solution is to take a step back and reduce your responsibilities in some way.