Finding work-life balance has become a modern-day Holy Grail; more so, if you are an expat student in a foreign country. Being an expat student can be quite demanding, given the high costs of living and education in a foreign country. The pressure to excel in academics clubbed with the financial burden compels expat students to take a lot upon themselves – be it taking up part-time jobs to manage their expenses or constantly suffering from performance anxiety.
Juggling studies, a part-time job, pursuing your hobbies, staying in touch with family – it all may seem quite overwhelming. But nothing is impossible with the right attitude and some smart planning. Here are a few tips to maintain a healthy work-life balance:
› Organise Your Time
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Time management is a very important skill when it comes to maintaining a good work-life balance. Though tricky, it’s not impossible to achieve. The first step is to make a list of your daily tasks. Do factor in your other commitments such as sports training, night outs and gym training. This list will help you visualise your tasks and enable you to set achievable goals.
› Set realistic goals
Don’t overcommit. Set goals that you can actually achieve in the given circumstances.
› Make Small Changes
From your list above, determine which areas are most important and commit to spending more time on those first.
› Build A Support System
It’s important to have friends in a foreign land. When stress gets to you, make sure you speak to your friends or a trusted senior/professor.
› Seek Counselling
If things are spiralling out of control, get in touch with your college counsellor who can guide you to gain some perspective. Speaking to a certified counsellor may help vent your frustrations and release the tension that may be weighing on your mind. This aside, confiding in a trusted friend or a family member can also help you calm your mind.
› Don’t Take On Too Much
Try not to take on more than you can handle at work or in other areas of your life. While supporting yourself financially is important, don’t forget that your primary goal in life is to get that degree from your university. Hence, divide your time wisely between work and study.
› Leave Work At Work
Easier said than done, it is important to not let your work worries spill over to your study time or vice versa. Work is an ongoing process, hence working longer hours to get everything done is not the best approach. Set small achievable goals for the day and strike them off your list in a methodical way.
› Take Time Off
No matter how busy you get, give yourself some time off – from work as well as studies. Go for walks, spend a relaxed evening with friends, watch a movie or simply detach yourself from your surroundings. If you love books, you could also spend some quiet time in a library reading your favourite book or go for a walk in a nearby park.
› Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself
Remember, the balance of your life is in your hands. Go easy on yourself, allow yourself to make mistakes, and work within your limits to make it work for you. If your schedule doesn’t allow you to take time off, change the place of study. Instead of being cooped up in your room, step out and try studying in a coffee shop or the library. A change of scenery could refresh your mind and give you that much-needed break.
> Reward Yourself
Keep yourself motivated by rewarding yourself. Be it taking time off or indulging in a sweet treat, reward yourself on achieving a goal as it gives you something to look forward to.
This article has been provided by InstaReM.