Many McGill School of Continuing Studies students are working full-time or part-time on top of managing family duties or other responsibilities. It’s a full plate!

Know that you aren’t alone! Balancing various responsibilities, in particular parenting, is a common challenge. Canada was ranked the fourth worst developed nation for work-life balance for parents in a recent report.

Here are some tips and resources to help you reduce stress and improve balance.

Take power naps!

It may seem counterintuitive, but taking a nap will make you more productive. The key is keeping them short and napping at an ideal time of day. Try to nap between 1 and 3 p.m. if possible and set an alarm for 15 – 20 minutes. Read more napping tips.

Find quiet time and zen spaces.

Find quiet spots on campus or off campus to give yourself a mental break. There are many libraries across campus, so find the one that’s right for you. If you schedule doesn’t allow for extra time on campus, considering creating a quiet retreat within your own home. Erin Vaughan of Quiet Revolution advises, “Striking a balance between organization and the chaos life can bring is the battle, but clean surfaces and uncrowded spaces are major strategic wins.” Clutter can even impact our stress hormone, cortisol!

Use apps to manage time.

Do you often forget when to take a break to the detriment of your health and productivity? There’s an app for that called Smartbreak! If organizing your tasks is a challenge, you can try a task organizing app like Trello. Having problems with concentration? Use the Pomodoro method to break study time down into manageable 25 minute intervals. You can even connect your tasks in Trello to the Pomodoro method by using the Pomello app. Find what works for you!

Check out the McGill Mental Health Hub.

The McGill Mental Health Hub includes a list of on campus and community resources. Depending on your situation and location, there’s a resource for you if you need extra emotional or mental health support. Take a look!

Maximize your MACES Health and Dental Plan.

Use it to access a wider range of services at a reduced cost when combined with an existing employer plan. Remember, you can use it for psychological services! The Studentcare network is a great place to start looking. Don’t be afraid to reach out for extra support.

Reach out to your MACES Student Rep.

Student reps are there to listen to any issues you may be having with your courses or instructors. They are a great source of knowledge and experience when it comes to navigating university life. Read why you should get to know your rep!