5 Tips for Balancing The Holidays and College During COVID

This woman is fitting in studying during the holidays while balancing coursework, the holidays, and COVID.
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The holidays are here. It’s time to be merry and bright. To deck the halls and jingle some bells. With this unusual holiday season comes a balancing act like never before. Somehow, you need to juggle the responsibilities of family, coursework, and the holidays, often alongside a job–all while dealing with the challenges associated with COVID-19. Thankfully, there are tricks to balancing the holidays and college—and anything else that may come along.

So here’s the good news: you’ve got this! 2020 has tested everyone, teaching them unique new coping skills and pushing them to accomplish things they never dreamed possible. We have also put together this list of tips for creating balance during the holidays. So if you’re struggling to stay on top of things this holiday season, try some of these strategies for balancing the holidays and college and getting everything back together again. 

1. Keep track of appointments, dates, and celebrations in a calendar.

This year, keeping up with appointments and dates could be more difficult than ever before. You’re supposed to Zoom with your sister on Christmas Eve and connect with your dad on December 26. You might have a cookie-baking date with grandma (yours or the kids!) in early December so the kids can learn how to bake her favorite recipes. Shipping dates, coursework deadlines, and test dates could be ringing in your head.

Put those important dates—all of them—in your calendar. Use your phone calendar to manage video chats and online dates as well as keeping track of shipping deadlines. With all the details in an easy-to-view calendar, you can more easily keep track of exactly what you need to know. 

2. Prioritize.

Balancing studying and the holidays may seem difficult…but it doesn’t have to be! Some of the items on your To-Do list are simply impossible to avoid. Hard deadlines for school.  School plays for your kids. End of the year budgets and shift schedules at work. Some of them, on the other hand, are softer and, honestly, less important. A clean house. Baking the perfect batch of cookies. Or, shipping presents to far-away loved ones before shipping deadlines. 

Prioritize. Cut down the things that you don’t “have” to do this year. Let the items at the bottom of your priority list fall away. It may surprise you just how many things you don’t have to do this holiday season. One of the most important things you can do is to give yourself power over your time by embracing “No” as a complete sentence. Want to turn down caroling? Say No. Don’t want to give up snuggles and Christmas movies with the kids to make a potluck dish for work? Say No. If it doesn’t fit your priorities, turn it down.

3. Shop online.

Stores are offering online shopping options—and plenty of them have already launched their Black Friday deals. This will greatly help with balancing the holidays and college and other to-dos. Take advantage of online shopping opportunities, whether you have gifts shipped to you or, even better, to their recipients. Shop early to make sure everything arrives by Christmas!

4. Simplify.

Embrace simplicity. All too many holiday seasons, you may find yourself running everywhere. Going to this activity, visiting that place. Simplify your plans. Embrace new, softer, quieter traditions. Appreciate some of the time spent with friends and family, properly socially distanced, of course.

5. Address your anxiety head-on.

What makes you anxious this season? Are you worried about missing deadlines? Concerned about the possibility of quarantine? Take a moment to sit with the possibility. Imagine the scenario. Then, imagine what you can do to prepare for it. For example, you might want to make sure you have supplies on hand to prepare for quarantine after or around the holidays. Take a look at what arrangements you can make for online shopping, curbside pick-up, or home delivery. Simply knowing your options can make it easier to deal with challenges as they arise.

This year, you’re facing a holiday season like no other. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make balancing the holidays and college—and life in general—easier. The holidays are an amazing time of energy and joy—and you’ve got what it takes to face them head-on!

This article was published on: 12/3/20 12:01 PM

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