Learning online: how to stay mentally healthy in a new reality
The spread of the coronavirus in 2020 has changed the way people do several things. The way people communicate, work, and learn has been affected by the pandemic.
With everyone practicing social distancing, it is no surprise that online learning is taking a frontier this year. The idea is to ensure that education is uninterrupted–as much as possible–despite the pandemic. Hence, schools are continuing to teach by introducing online learning.
While there are several benefits of online learning, there are also some side effects. Isolation for lengthy periods during a pandemic could increase stress, promote fear and anxiety. It could also create strong and overwhelming emotions. All of these could cause several mental health illnesses.
So, although you might be learning online this period, you must take care of your mental health. This article covers several ways you can take care of your mental health while you study online.
How to stay mentally healthy while online learning
1) Follow a regular learning schedule
It is essential to live a balanced life, and you cannot do that if you can’t separate your schoolwork from your home life. Separating school life and home life might have been easy for you when you didn’t have to take online lectures. But it will be more difficult now as you study online.
An unbalanced life could affect your mental health and lead to mental health illnesses like anxiety and depression.
So, creating and following a regular learning schedule comes in handy.
Make sure you are sticking to the schedule you set. This will make balancing your stressors of online classes with other parts of your life easier.
2) Virtually connect with your school mates
Let’s take a guess; the reason you used to look forward to going to school every day wasn’t just about your classes. It was about the friends you were hoping to see and the communication you wanted to have. Are we right?
It can be challenging interacting with your friends when you are all learning from your respective houses, but there is a way around it.
Virtually connect with your friends and classmates in general, the same way you do on your online lectures. Use video chat tools, online school forums, and even your school Facebook pages to interact with other students.
Communication will go a long way in ensuring that you stay mentally healthy.
3) Don’t do any schoolwork before bed.
One key difference between having your classes online and in school is that you spend more time staring at a computer screen. Your classes, assignments, interaction with teachers, and even connecting with your classmates happen online, so staring at a computer screen is inevitable.
However, blue light from your computer can affect your system. It can also negatively affects your circadian rhythm if you stare at your system before bed.
If your circadian rhythm is affected, you might not get enough sleep, which can, in turn, affect your mental health.
So, ensure that you aren’t using your computer (or any blue light-emitting devices) before bed.
4) Utilize educational psychology services
Another way to protect your mental health during these COVID times is to use educational psychology services. If you were on campus and experienced any mental health symptoms, you could easily run to a staff to talk about it.
But, as schools are not physically open, this could not be easy.
Luckily, just like there are online platforms like Pick The Writer or Writing Judge to hire professional writers, the same goes for this. There are a ton of educational psychology services. You can go on these platforms to get help online, over the phone.
So, if you feel like your mental health is being threatened, find out if your school has an educational psychology service, or access the numerous free options available online
5) Take time off to practice self-care
Self-care is an essential component for maintaining mental health. Even before the pandemic resulted in social distancing, people viewed self-care as an important regimen for caring for their mental health.
While you study online, take out time to practice self-care.
Building a self-care routine could start from eating right, exercising, maintaining good hygiene, or dressing up daily like you would do to go to school.
Practicing self-care while you study online will help you stay mentally healthy.
6) Manage stressors on time
Another way to keep your mental health intact during the problem solving process of online schooling is to manage your stressors.
Stressors are anything that could cause you stress. With your online classes’ commencement, there are bound to be more than a few stressors around you. Here are a few tips for managing these stressors and preserving your mental health;
- When you feel overwhelmed or stressed out, identify what is causing you stress as best as possible.
- Take a moment to breathe deeply and pace your breathing. This will help you calm down.
- Next, break down your stressors into little bits. By doing this, the problem solving process becomes easier.
- Start by tackling each bit of the broken down problem one by one.
- If you need help, lean on your support system to help you deal with stressors. This can involve depending on family and friends, or using the educational psychology services we mentioned earlier.
The coronavirus has created this worldwide pandemic that puts your health at risk. So, it is essential to do what you can to stay safe during this period, even if that means learning from home.
But, taking care of your mental health as you study online is also crucial. By using some of the tips shared in this article, you can ensure your mental health is not affected by the pandemic
Remember, this is the new normal, and how you adjust to it will determine how successful you are in staying mentally healthy. Be patient with yourself, and prioritize your mental health above all, even as you focus on your studies.
Dominic Beaulieu is a gaming enthusiast turned tech writer who covers an impressive variety of topics like design, development process, game marketing, and helps developers with spreading the word about their creations. He is a fluent French speaker, who also has mastered Dutch, Norwegian, and Swedish. He has an experience in software translation, tech counselling, project management and digital marketing tailored for startups.