|Celebrating my acceptance into the BYU MPA program. (Look at baby Audrey. She couldn't even walk yet)|
I know, it sounds hard already. BUT the trick here for me was to figure out my routine and incorporate the essentials that would help me take care of myself and keep me going. That thing theyl tell ya about good sleep, exercise, and nutrition... it's real. I wasn't always super good at doing all fo these things all the time, but organization and making it a priority were key, very truly honestly. You make time for things you care about and these bare essentials will help you function as a person, so please, please, please make time for them, regardless of whether or not you're going to grad school, but especially because you have these responsibilities. This is taking care of yourself. And it doesn't have to be an exact everyday thing, but it could be. My "thing" was monoskiing and hand cycling, and I tried to schedule those things in as much as I could. Skiing was a bit longer of a commitment so sometimes even just once a week and doing as much as I could to compensate at home. Meal prep on Sundays. And SLEEP!! Limit your all-nighters if you can! (My body and brain can't do that anymore, so that's a no brainer ;)
Another thing is do something that is good for your soul, e.g., reading scriptures, taking walks, planting something low maintenance, talking with a friend throughout the week (once, maybe twice a week? whatever works for you!). I still wanted to feel like there was me somewhere amidst all the responsibilities. Think long term and take care of yourself.
|This could be you working and being a lap pillow while your baby sleeps on you. (Look at toddler Audrey!)|
It requires discipline. It sounds simple right? But it was an everyday battle for me to decide what or who I was going to put into my schedule. There were times where I overcommitted to different responsibilities that took me away from my core activities (family, school, work), and I had to learn to become more disciplined with my time. I learned it takes a great deal of discipline to follow through with the schedule as well. Sometimes, if I didn’t get enough sleep the night before I spent time sleeping during lunch instead of doing homework. You can be FLEXIBLE. Sometimes, I had no motivation because I was simply too tired and just wanted to veg out. Those days are allowed, but I had to be careful not to get sucked in and fall behind because it would be so difficult to catch up. I had to remember my end goal! I wanted to make the most out of this experience, learn as much as I could, make as many friends as I could, be as happy as I could, so I needed to do those little yet necessary things that would allow me to make things happen.
This experience made me more aware of the challenges others are facing (probably silently) and try to be a lot more empathetic. I committed to looking for opportunities to support others who might need a little connection and human pick me up.