Going back to classes after a whole summer off is stressful enough, but going back to classes online can be even more stressful for many people. It’s harder to fall into a routine, time seems to fly by, workloads are bigger online than in in-person classes, and some people are stuck in their houses by themselves or just with their families. While all of these things can be stressful and overwhelming, everyone has to remember to take care of themselves. Here’s seven tips to remember while taking online classes.
- Eat Enough
Time seems to fly by taking classes online! Between a bunch of assignments, asynchronous lectures on top of synchronous lectures, reading, and jobs, there never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done. Stressing out over classes can make hunger seem insignificant, but it’s important to make sure you eat enough! Eating, especially breakfast, helps to improve short term memory and attention; both things you might want when working on school!
- Drink Water
Water is essential to brain functioning! In order to be able to focus on classes and think clearly, you want to make sure your brain’s water tank is full. The human brain is roughly 75% water, and when the brain is able to function with a full water tank, thinking becomes quicker and you become more focused. Creativity and clarity are also improved. Try reaching for a water bottle next time instead of that second cup of coffee.
- Take a Break from Working
It’s easy to work for hours on end when you have a fire lit under your ass for no reason, but that’s also an easy way to disregard your own mental and physical health. Remind yourself to take breaks, so you can slow down, relax, eat, and hydrate.
- Set Your Alarms
The last thing anybody wants to do is be late to a class, especially when you don’t even have to leave your bed to get there! With an intense workload, it seems common to fall asleep mid homework session; make sure to set your alarms before you start to feel sleepy, so you don’t have to add the stress of waking up late to your already stressful schedule.
- Create a Regular Sleep Schedule
Setting up a somewhat regular sleep schedule is so important! When you sleep, specialized cells in the brain eliminate toxins and clean out your brain, which helps you think more clearly and learn better. Having a good sleep schedule ensures that you’ll get the proper amount of sleep each night, allowing your body enough time to eliminate the toxins and recuperate.
- Interact with Real People
Social interaction is very important for the overall health of human beings. Interacting with other people in real life improves mood, improves self esteem, and fights depression. Social interaction also increases motivation, which helps light that fire under your ass to actually do all your schoolwork (because, let’s be honest, it can be a lot).
- Make Time to Relax
You have to remember to put yourself before your schoolwork. If you’re feeling stressed out or overwhelmed, take a step back from everything for a little while, even if it’s just for 20 or 30 minutes. Stress decreases the functioning of the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that does all the thinking and learning. At the same time, stress increases the functioning of the amygdala, the part of the brain that deals with emotions, specifically negative ones, like stress. Making time for yourself to relax will help you wind down, collect your thoughts, and have a more clear mind to work with.
School is super stressful, especially online. Taking care of yourself is important in your day to day functioning, even if you’re taking in person classes! Try to remind yourself of these seven simple tips on a daily basis. They’ll help to improve your mental, physical, and emotional health while also improving your ability to think, concentrate, remember, and learn.