Balancing Work and School

I’m having trouble balancing work with school.  I’m working more hours this school year but I still have a lot of homework to do.  I always feel stressed out.  What can I do?


High school students truly juggle A LOT of responsibilities and pressures, so I’m going to start with the assumption that you’ve asked yourself some important questions about time management first: Am I realistic about how many hours I can work while attending school full time? Working more than 15 hours per week, especially if those hours are during the week is really putting a lot of pressure on yourself. Am I realistic about how much time to spend on social media, gaming, online? Not only does this habit distract from getting your work done, thus increasing a sense of overwhelm and stress, it also makes your eyes, brain, and whole body more tired – which increases stress. Do I get enough sleep? Having a regular sleep schedule is vital. Don’t believe me? Watch this.


Okay, so your work and school hours are non-negotiable and you have reduced your online distractions, and you’re still stressed. Try this mindfulness activity:


Which Thought Feels Better?

  • I have so much to do.
  • I can break up my responsibilities into smaller tasks and do just one right now.


  • I am always late.
  • I have trouble being on time, but I am aware of it and am using technology (my smartphone calendar and alarm) to remind me of appointments.


Which feels better, to appreciate or condemn? 

Which feels better, to applaud what you have done, or to feel critical that you did not do enough?


Variation: Use your thoughts to provoke self-reflection.

When Feeling: Try:

This is too much. What do I need?

I am behind. What have I accomplished?

I messed up. What did I learn?

This isn’t working. What adjustment can I try?


THERE IS ALWAYS A CHOICE. No matter what the issue is, there is a choice to focus on it, continuing to justify why it doesn’t feel good. Or, focusing on why you shouldn’t feel that way. Or, blaming the thought/situation as the reason for not feeling good. Or, there is the choice to find something else to focus upon and try to feel better right now.


From this clearer mental perspective, you can tune in sooner to the beginnings of stress and then take action (like closing your eyes and taking a break or focusing on your breath) to reset your mood.

Shifting your focus of attention mindfully can be the first step in alleviating the stress. 


I really believe in taking time to rest. Try these links to help you destress and refuel:

Deep Sleep Meditation to Calm an Overactive Mind / Reduce Anxiety and Worry / Mindful Movement (60 minutes)


A Journey of Relaxation to Sleep / Sleep Meditation / Mindful Movement (30 minutes)