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Herzing Staff

Empowering Parents: How to Avoid Burnout While Pursuing Education

Remember, you're not alone on your path to a greater career, and every step you take toward your goals is a testament to your resilience and determination—you’ve got this!

It’s no secret that balancing life as a parent can be a challenge. Needless to say, parents who are going back to school have a lot on their plate.

As a parent juggling family responsibilities and academic commitments, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed out. When that mental, emotional and physical stress continues over a long period, it can culminate in burnout, leaving you feeling like you have nothing to give.

For your well-being, it’s crucial to recognize the signs of burnout and put strategies in place to maintain a healthy work-life balance while pursuing additional career skills.

Recognize the Signs of Burnout

Burnout develops over time, which can make it harder to recognize. According to WebMD, if you are feeling burned out, you might:

  • Feel drained or exhausted all the time.
  • Feel little to no excitement in your day-to-day.
  • Feel negative and cynical about your job, classes, and other people.
  • Struggle to concentrate on tasks.
  • Feel self-doubt, helplessness, and defeat.
  • Consider quitting your job or school.

Not everyone who burns out will feel all these symptoms, but seeing even one or two in your life could be a warning sign. Eventually, burnout can stand in the way of the goals you have been working so hard to achieve. It can also create a ripple effect that touches every aspect of your life, from home to work to social life.

Six Strategies to Avoid Burnout

If you start noticing the signs of burnout, there are steps you can take to help. Even better, you can put a plan into place to help you achieve a healthier work-life balance and avoid the burnout cycle before it begins, with these six strategies:

Practice good time management.

Managing your time is one of the best ways to prevent and stop burnout, and staying organized is essential.

Start using a daily calendar to ensure you allocate enough time to each item on your to-do list. Prioritize your tasks not just by urgency, but by importance.

This can help you avoid scrambling at the last minute and pinpoint any time-draining habits that may contribute to your stress. It also ensures you don’t unintentionally neglect important family commitments over your coursework. Remember, setting boundaries with others and yourself, like saying ‘no’ when necessary, is integral to managing your time effectively.

Take advantage of childcare resources.

Parents can significantly ease the challenge of childcare by tapping into financial aid opportunities, like the Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) grant. The CCAMPIS grant is a federal program through the U.S. Department of Education that assists parents with the cost of keeping their children enrolled in a quality childcare center.

Through this grant, Herzing University aims to give parents peace of mind, knowing their children are being taken care of in a safe, licensed and accredited childcare center, enabling them to dedicate more time to their pursuit of education.

Get a peer tutor with Knack.

Another valuable Herzing University resource is Knack Tutoring. This online platform provides students with 24/7 access to one-on-one peer tutoring. Through Knack, students are connected with fellow Herzing peers who know what it takes to succeed and want to help other students do the same.

With individualized attention, discussions on complex topics and advice from someone who knows what it is like to be where you are, students can deepen their comprehension of course material, stay motivated in their work, and not feel like they have to do everything on their own.

Take good care of yourself.

Taking care of yourself is essential. As parents with young children, it's easy to prioritize their needs over your own, but neglecting self-care only leads to exhaustion and irritability.

Ensure you get adequate sleep and nourish your body with healthy foods. A quick fix like coffee or a sugary snack might give you a temporary boost, but without a well-balanced meal, you’ll likely end up crashing later. Incorporate nutrient-rich foods into your diet to stay energized throughout the day.

Additionally, make physical activity a part of your routine. Even a short 15-minute walk can boost your energy levels, clear your mind and alleviate stress. 

Celebrate the wins.

Every accomplishment, big or small, deserves recognition! Be your own cheerleader by celebrating your victories and giving yourself grace during challenging times. Going back to school as a parent is a huge achievement in itself. You’re not just pursuing your dreams; you’re taking the steps necessary to create a better life for your family and set an inspiring example your children can remember!

Lean on your community.

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your support system. If you have questions or need advice, your Herzing University advisor and instructors are here to help. They can connect you to valuable student services resources through your university.

Allow your friends and family to help as well. Let them be a supportive community, whether it’s picking up the kids from school, babysitting while you are studying or working from home, or even simply being a listening ear you can talk to about your experiences, triumphs, and struggles.

Being a parent in school can be a scary, courageous, and rewarding experience. It comes with its own challenges. By recognizing the signs of burnout, putting strategies in place and utilizing your school’s resources, you can prevent burnout and navigate this journey with greater ease.

Remember, you're not alone on your path to a greater career, and every step you take toward your goals is a testament to your resilience and determination—you’ve got this!

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* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics 2023 / Occupational Outlook Handbook 2022. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.

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