Learn To Find Balance in the New Year

By Marie Peters, MBA, CPP

Did you spend too much time last year feeling stuck, stressed and exhausted? As busy adults, we often prioritize our responsibilities to work and other people over our own self-care, which leads to discontentment, burnout and, ironically, absences from work due to mental stress.

If you are ready to achieve a healthier balance in your life in the upcoming year, evaluate how you spend your time, try to minimize any nonessential commitments and focus more on personal growth and fun.

A smart way to unwind is to take classes for development, inspiration or pure enjoyment. There are many benefits to taking avocational courses:

  • Learning for leisure reduces stress and keeps you healthy. From fitness to gardening, avocational and leisure courses are proven to reduce stress. Your overall psychological well-being benefits from continuous brain stimulation.
  • Avocational classes aren’t a major time commitment. Personal growth classes require a low time investment. Many classes are just a few hours in length but still lead to high levels of inspiration. Carve out some time that you might otherwise use to scroll through social media, watch television or other less rousing activities.
  • You can connect with other people who have similar interests. It can be especially fun to interact and bond with others while learning. Expand your social circle and engage with others in class, and you’ll achieve even greater fulfillment.
  • It’s a low-stakes opportunity to try something new. It can be intimidating to pursue a passion, but community colleges provide a safe, supportive environment in which you can explore new things.
  • Lifelong learning helps you in the workplace. Keep your skills competitive in today’s fast-changing, multigenerational workforce by choosing a continuing education course centered on leadership or technology. Or, choose a personal enrichment class like ceramics or swing dancing and take time to clear your mind from your weightier responsibilities so you can return to your work with a refreshed mind.
  • You can learn to find balance – literally. Want to learn techniques that tackle your balance challenges more directly? Take a personal growth class around time management, mindset or finding balance!

Resolve to balance your responsibilities with your personal growth in the new year. Thousands of short-term classes, many as few as one to three hours in length are available year-round through St. Louis Community College Continuing Education. Check them out now at stlcc.edu/ce and make this coming year the most balanced one yet.

Marie Peters, manager for Continuing Education at St. Louis Community College, has been involved in the education sector for over 15 years in training and development in the both community college and university settings. From planning classes to program oversight, she hopes to inspire individuals to take advantage of lifelong learning opportunities to help maintain their quest for knowledge and lifestyle balance. Through the College for Kids youth summer program and by partnering with area organizations and local experts, St. Louis Community College Continuing Education is an outstanding resource in the region to encourage and support youth and adults to find something new to pique their interest.