How To Manage Stress When Studying Online
Published on: June 11, 2022
There's no disputing that studying can be stressful, and doing so online is no exception. Not only can your studies play an important role in your future, but also comes with a significant investment in terms of time and finances. It also doesn't help that the world, in general, is a lot more stressful these days, which can cause further worries and anxiety on top of your studies. The difference when studying online is that it is easy to feel alone, especially when struggling with difficult subjects or exams. However, this does not have to be the case and can be overcome via the following methods.
Some stress and anxiety are normal for students as there are a lot of educational, economic, and environmental stressors that can affect their well-being. However, students can use these methods to mitigate some of the effects of stress.
1. Remember To Breathe
When encountering a stressful situation while studying, getting caught up in a negative spiral is easy. Instead of immediately trying to deal with the situation, take a step back from your computer and take a few deep breaths. This can help you regain focus and think more clearly about the problem instead of reacting impulsively.
2. Listen To Music
If you find your pulse racing and thoughts getting cluttered due to stress, try and put on some relaxing music. Studies have proven that music can positively impact the mood and psychological well-being of listeners (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4369551/). In addition to creating an upbeat mood, music can also help you focus while studying and boost your motivation. The type of music can influence your ability to understand and absorb study material, so avoid anything too fast-paced or with lyrics.
3. Break Things Down
When looked at as a whole, your studies can be overwhelming and cause a lot of stress. Instead of trying to take everything in at once, it is better to break your work down into manageable steps. Create a list of steps for each assignment and how much time you'll need to accomplish them. Doing so will allow you to see where you need to focus, and knowing how much time you'll need makes everything less daunting.
4. Take Regular Breaks
When studying online, you typically have the luxury of taking things at your own pace, but this also means nothing prevents you from pushing yourself too hard. As tempting as it might be to cram as much as possible into your day, it can lead to burnout in the long run if you are not careful. Taking regular breaks can help you stay motivated, and doing something relaxing can give you an extra boost if you are stressed out.
5. Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle
Staying healthy can boost your physical and mental resilience to cope with stress. Ensure that you get enough sleep, the proper nutrition, and sufficient exercise while avoiding too many stimulants such as caffeine and energy drinks. If you need to drink something warm and comforting, try a herbal tea instead.
Some stress is normal when facing upcoming tests or exams and can even motivate you to work a little harder towards your goals. However, too much tension and worry can interfere with your ability to deliver your best during exams. If you experience physical, behavioral, or emotional symptoms of exam stress, you can counter them with the following methods.
1. Maintain A Positive Mindset
A positive mindset can be a great asset, but it doesn't mean only seeing the world through rose-tinted glasses. Instead of focusing on the possible negative outcomes, try and focus on the favorable outcome of writing your test. Reframing your outlook to be positive instead of negative can take time but can help build your resiliency against stress.
2. Do Not Procrastinate
It is common to procrastinate when dealing with something that causes stress and anxiety, but the longer you put it off, the worse it becomes. If you feel like you are not fully prepared for your exam, make sure to revise the work and identify what you need to focus on. The sooner you get started, the more time you will have before taking your exam.
3. Familiarize Yourself With The Exam Procedure
Not knowing what to expect can contribute to your stress, so make sure you are familiar with the procedure when it comes to exams. If you have to take the exam at a test center, make sure that you know exactly where it is and how to get there on time. If you have to complete the exam online, learn how to log in, complete, and submit the test.
4. Reduce The Clutter Around You
When preparing for your exam, it is crucial that you can focus on your work instead of getting distracted by your surroundings. Having physical clutter around you can be bad for your concentration and cause stress if you cannot focus. Ideally, you need a dedicated study space while preparing for exams and ensuring that anything that isn't vital is packed away out of sight.
5. Study Smarter, Not Harder
Not using the proper studying style can be very stressful as you will not be able to recall everything you need to know for the exams. Poor studying styles include trying to memorize the entire handbook, binge studying, or spending all night studying before the exam. Reading through your work without understanding what you are reading is also not very effective. Instead, make sure that you take proper notes and understand the topics you are writing about.
There's no getting away from some stress and anxiety when studying, but it does not have to impact your health and mental well-being. Use the methods above as a starting point and make sure that it is always a priority to identify what is causing your stress and what type of intervention will be the most useful in addressing it.