Working from home can be hard and a stressful situation, with a range of problems arising at any given time of the day. It can be particularly stressful for those who are completing online courses in their spare time, whilst still trying to earn a living. To help online learners we have put together some simple tips to help you cope with stress when learning from home.
1. Create a working space
Your work environment is crucial and can be a breeding ground for stress. A messy environment can drive your nerves up the wall. Noise can also make you feel unsettled in your workspace if you have children or other family members living with you. Instead of paying attention to the task, you may get distracted by them even if you have tried to blur them out.
Make sure you have a space in your home designated for work only. Here are some tips to help you manage your workspace:
1. Try to work when your children or family are sleeping if you are easily distracted by them. If you choose to work in the night, make sure you rest well during the day.
2. Make the workspace work for you. It is important to recognise the environment you are most productive in. If you prefer a clean and tidy space, get rid of all the unnecessary clutter on the desk. If you prefer a vibrant and colourful space, paint the walls with your favourite colours or put up some of your favourite photos to help create a positive environment.
3. Keep the room cool, we recommend keeping a window open when the weather is humid. If the room becomes stuffy there is more chance of you becoming restless.
Also, always make sure there is a good internet connection where you are working if you are working online. You might need to upgrade your plan if there a lot of people in your home.
2. Time Management Skills
Time management skills are something we all wish we had. The truth is anyone can learn to be organised if they implement a few simple tricks. Try these:
1. Create a timetable that includes all your activities for the day. You can make it colourful if you prefer, any design that you like but make sure you can understand it.
2. Write down tasks you need to work on, and their deadlines on a sheet of paper and put it on the wall in your workspace. It will remind you of the tasks you have to finish.
3. Create deadlines for each task. You do not always have to meet them, remember that. If you are partaking one of our online courses, they are incredibly flexible, so if something comes up you can always pause your learning and come back to it at a later date.
3. Avoid procrastination
Procrastination is something we all do, but there are ways to minimize it. What you need to remember is that postponing a task you can complete today to tomorrow increases pressure on you, as it builds up the work you have to do the next day.
One of the best ways to overcome procrastination is to set out all your tasks for the next day, the night before. This may change and you may decide not to rely on the original deadlines for tasks. However, it is important to have an outline of what you what to achieve that day. Our online courses can be done in as little as a few months up to a few years, but you may set yourself a strict deadline to prevent you from continually putting things off.
4. Go easy on yourself
Do not be too hard on yourself even when you feel the pressure is increasing. This will only increase your worries and stress. Do not blame yourself for the things you did not do today, instead concentrate on the things you did do. Task usually always take longer than anticipated, so it is important to consider this when you are creating your schedule.
Positive thinking can help manage your stress. Negativity, however, will worsen the stressful situation you are in. It may seem difficult but try and go easy on yourself and try to have a positive mindset in every situation. Here is how to keep having positive thoughts:
1. Video call friends, family, or colleagues who make you happy.
2. Listen to your favourite songs as you work. Listening to music and singing along to your favourite songs is a great way to improve your mood and relax.
3. If you feel worried or stressed out about the things you have not finished, make a list of the ones you have and be proud because you accomplished these. Remember that online courses are flexible, so you will have time to complete all your goals.
5. Practice Mindfulness
Pressure causes stress. When we are stressed, our bodies tense up and it takes a lot of time to ease back to normal. Many experimental psychologists have explored this and have found that mindfulness meditation can lower your heart rate, diminish pain, and improve your concentration. It may seem unrealistic but practising mindfulness for 10 minutes per day can improve your lifestyle.
6. Have proper rest
Not getting a good night’s sleep can be detrimental to your health. Your mind and body need time to recover and recharge at the end of a long day, so you can wake up refreshed and focused the next day. On average, it is suggested you aim for around 8 hours of sleep a night. However, every person is different and it may take some time to figure out the optimal length of sleep for you.
Using a mobile app that tracks your sleep during the night can help with this. If you have been working all day, or on your computer learning all evening, take the time to switch off from your screen and do something relaxing before you get into bed. This will help you to get a better night’s rest. If you are overtired during the day, consider taking a short nap to help you recharge and destress.
Virtual studies can mount real pressure and cause a lot of stress, and other factors can make the situation worse. If you are completing your online course whilst still working, it can be hard to juggle every task without feeling stressed.
With UniCourse, you get the flexibility to complete your courses at your own pace, in your own time. We do not have assessments or tight deadlines, simply learn when you have the time and submit your coursework when you are ready. All our resources are available at any time throughout the day and night on our Moodle virtual learning platform, and our expert tutors are here to offer help and support 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. To find out more, or to discuss enrolling in one of our flexible distance learning courses, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
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