As the focus on mental health has increased tremendously in the past few years, the term “self-care” is frequently tossed around in everyday verbiage. For online students, self-care typically demands more than throwing on a face mask and drinking lots of water to feel renewed and rejuvenated. It requires intentionally and strategically developing a holistic plan for maintaining healthy habits and personal well-being. Check out our top 5 tips to consider the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed with meeting expectations and deadlines while earning your degree remotely.
1. Connect with yourself.
Evaluating your stress level requires you to look inward and recognize what’s making you feel anxious or burnt out. Uncovering the root of how you feel will allow you to take necessary steps to prioritize your objectives for the day and reframe your mindset. A good way to overcome stressful feelings is to work through your weaknesses methodically.
Reflect on questions like:
- Why did I set out to earn this degree in the first place?
- What are my strengths as a student and where are there opportunities to grow?
- Am I managing my time effectively?
- Are there things I can be doing outside of school to improve my performance in school?
The list goes on. Asking yourself these questions will help you identify stress-points you experience throughout the day and rework your personal thought-process.
Taking the opportunity to check in with yourself creates space for you to realign your goals, establish what is demanded of you in your educational and personal life, and recognize habits that contribute to your overall well-being.
2. Practice self-compassion.
Practicing self-compassion is a key element in personal flourishing. While earning a degree is an exciting and impactful path to reach your goals, it’s seldom free of obstacles and roadblocks. When faced with adversity, remember to treat yourself as you would your peers. Showing yourself care and grace when you don’t understand a concept, receive a bad grade on a test, or miss a deadline will allow you to improve your work ethic and grow into being a more well-rounded student.
Setting unreasonable expectations for yourself often leaves you unsatisfied and can result in negative self-worth. As many online students are balancing families, jobs and various personal obligations, it’s impossible to measure your experience to that of your peers. The lens we see ourselves in and how we practice self-talk fuels the beliefs and truths we have. Respond to yourself with kindness and remember that others have their own moments of doubt and challenges.
3. Practice vocational formation.
Often, individuals go through their days on autopilot, constantly inundated by noise, media and living life by a to-do list. Maintaining such a fast-past schedule leaves little to no time for staying mindful throughout your day. Practicing vocational formation creates space to live an integrated life where your passions, values and sense of self flow into each facet of your life – even your education.
By staying present, individuals are able to create connections and find the purpose in what they’re passionate about. The concepts you learn through your online courses are no longer consumed solely as a result of getting a good grade, but add value to their interactions with others, how they form their spiritual beliefs, and shape their worldviews. Practicing mindfulness throughout your online journey will allow you to live a more dynamic life and appreciate your studies from a holistic approach.
4. Maintain your work-life balance.
Learning remotely can seem like a luxury to some, but online education offers its own set of challenges. Making sure you create a work-life balance allows you to separate your schoolwork from your daily routine and compartmentalize your day to know when to log-on and when to log-off. Setting aside time for your priorities will avoid burnout and free up space for you to enjoy things outside of school when they’re happening, but also to stay committed to finishing your schoolwork on time.
To help maintain your work-life balance, consider the following suggestions:
- Make yourself a priority.
- Schedule time to hang out with friends and family.
- Indulge in a passion project.
- Travel to a new place.
Not only will finding this balance help you create work-life balance, but allows you to appreciate the time you do dedicate to your studies and make you a more engaged individual in the classroom.
5. Indulge in brain breaks.
Being the student you aspire to be doesn’t mean being online 24/7. Although online learning can give you the freedom to choose the hours you work on your assignments, this can often lead to poor planning and a lack of sleep. Make sure to take time away from your screen and give your brain a break.
Here are a few ideas to help you unwind mentally:
- Change up your scenery by going for a walk or run around your neighborhood.
- Listen to music or a podcast to stimulate your brain.
- Engage in your favorite hobby or sport.
No matter what it takes for you to restore your waves, make sure to prioritize it.
Interested in learning more about our fully online degree and certificate programs? Visit acu.edu/online or contact us at 855-219-7300.