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Wellness > Mental Health

Simple Ways to De-stress While Taking Online Classes

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SAU chapter.

With the current state of our nation and the nature of how our college careers are going, the majority of our courses have been moved from in-person classes to online. With this strange transition, it is likely that we feel overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, and many other mixed emotions about the changes we are experiencing. I’ve learned over the last few weeks, as well as being forced to finish the spring semester online, I need to allow myself some time and energy to focus on things other than school.

Have a sanctioned space to do schoolwork

If you create a designated area to tend to online courses and work on homework, you are separating yourself from this environment at other times throughout the day. For example, living at home has allowed me to create an area where I have a desk I use to read and do assignments, and a bookshelf to keep my schoolwork separate from my personal time. I will only sit at my desk when I’m working on class work, and try not to be in that area if I’m just browsing on my laptop or wanting to watch a movie. Being stuck in one area constantly is definitely going to cause some stress and anxiety if you are surrounded by the same four walls and not getting any other environmental exposure.

woman in front of a computer
Photo by RF._.studio from Pexels

Make time in your day to get fresh air

Whether it be going for a walk in the park, a jog around the neighborhood, or even just sitting out in the grass somewhere, being able to get out and separate yourself from the setting you are so used to being in for hours a day will allow you and your mind to clear your thoughts and just take in the beauty of nature. Going for a drive down by the river, across the bridge to Illinois, or making a little road trip to Le Claire for some coffee, sweets, and lunch could be just enough of a break that your brain needs.


Find an interest or hobby and make time for it

Being involved in something you’re passionate about is hard to find, especially when you’re a full-time college student and you think you barely have enough time to breathe. Whether it be something like painting or crafting, cooking or baking, or even a recreational sport to join, finding something that allows you to partake in an activity that brings you joy and even a sense of relaxation is important in keeping yourself sane through the stress that college brings.

woman painting with watercolors
Photo by Sincerely Media from Unsplash

Make time for friends and family

Although there are social distancing guidelines we have to follow right now, there’s plenty of ways to get face-to-face time in with your loved ones. FaceTime and Zoom are the most convenient ways, though you’re not with them in person. These two platforms work great, especially to keep in contact with friends and family that don’t live near you. Another way to get that in-person interaction with friends is to sit outside in your yard or at a park, obviously practicing the six feet apart distancing rules. You could have a distanced picnic, play some card games, and just hang out and talk! Spending time with your loved ones really helps to at least temporarily relieve stress and anxiety off your plate.

woman on a conference call with 3 others
Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Get yourself into a routine

Though it is difficult to find a schedule to follow when things are all over the place, getting into a routine and following through with it will help you day to day. Using a planner is also especially helpful to stay organized and on top of assignments and projects. Checklists can work, too, because who doesn’t love the satisfaction of being able to cross something off your to-do list? Find something that works for you and stick with it as this can also help to alleviate stress of due dates.

minimalist office space with a full agenda
Photo by STIL from Unsplash

And most importantly…

Take care of yourself

This may seem like a given, but sometimes it is easier said than done. Everyone has a different take on the term self-care; to some it may mean a face mask and a bath, to some it could mean a long run, and others could consider sleeping taking care of themselves. Whatever your definition is, make sure you are making time to care for yourself mentally and physically, however it is you need to recharge yourself during these stressful times.

Coffee cup near bathtub
Photo by Maddi Bazzocco from Unsplash

SAU '21 // early childhood education major there's never a wrong time to have an iced coffee "Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine" -Anthony J. D'Angelo insta: @maddie_wild