For many, secondary education is the key to personal satisfaction and professional success. The sense of accomplishment and skills earned from your online degree will certainly be worth the time and effort. Still, the stress of day-to-day life can make your end goal seem further away than you might like. If stress is getting the best of you, here are some tips to help reduce the anxiety of being an online student while keeping up with life's responsibilities.
Find an Outlet
Sometimes the stress of earning an online degree is unavoidable, and it's important to find an outlet to release your energy. Ask yourself the following question: What relaxes you? Reading? Crafts? Working out? Most people know their go-to activity to release tension; when you feel like you are in over your head, take a break and decompress. Go for a jog or read your favorite book. Twenty minutes of downtime will help you slow your thinking and make more stressful tasks easier to accomplish.
Cut the Fat
Whether you have extra commitments to family, friends, or work, sometimes pulling away from these obligations for the sake of your sanity (and your online degree) is the best idea. This means prioritizing, organizing your free time, and asking for help. Part of being successful at an online university is knowing how to manage your time, and when to let some things go. “Cut the fat” from your schedule to make room for more important things. If you find yourself in long commutes every day, consider changing your work hours (if possible) to beat the traffic. If you have older children, get them involved in the household activities. Ask them to put their dishes and laundry away, or help you tidy up an area of the house. You can find an extra half hour every day simply by compressing your at-home duties and getting others involved.
Don't Forget the Fun
Who says earning an online degree can't be fun? The experience is what you make of it, so think of new ways to incorporate the lighter side of your personality. If your family has a game night, get everyone involved. Make a matching game out of construction paper or have your family quiz you on terms and concepts. If the material is too complicated for kids, work solo and implement a reward system for yourself. Bottom line: motivate yourself to stay positive and keep learning. It will make a difference.