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Sources of Stress for the Online Student
While taking courses online for school, most people will discover a number of new areas of stress in their lives. These things can be small stressful triggers or turn out to be large concerns, depending on the individual person involved. Try not to be caught unaware of the different stressor types that students find themselves in while going to school online. Here is a list of the most common student stressors today.
Overwhelmed – Take time out of your day to complete school work. Do this each and every day. Try to schedule a time that you make yourself check into your classroom, do your homework, or other school related activity that needs to be accomplished. Making time for school will help you feel in control and less overwhelmed. Life gets in the way, be ready.
Everyday Activities - Let’s face it, there is nothing you can do about the phone ringing, the doorbell’s “ding dong”, or the baby crying. Someone is always going to need you at different points in your day. However, would you continue to answer the phone while in class? Then look and see who the number is and -- if it is not important -- let the machine take a message; you can call back later after the scheduled “school time.” If you are not expecting someone at the door, then leave it. You have work to do and just because you choose to do it at home online doesn’t mean you are going to be interrupted every 10-20 minutes.
Being in an Online Environment – Different environments mean multiple ways of communication styles. Being in an online classroom encompasses not only verbal communication but the non-verbal kind as well. Make sure to read the Bright Hub article "Improving Communication in an Online Course: Verbal and Nonverbal Communication" to learn how to effectively communicate in the online classroom.
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Stress and Health
Letting any type of stress affect you for long periods of time -- or having extreme stress -- will wear on a person’s body, health, work, friends, and personal relationships. Most people have stress as a part of their daily lives and learn how to cope and deal with it comfortably. However, when another large stressor, such as online classes, is thrown into the mix, an individual can begin to lose control quickly.
A person can feel many different physical symptoms from stress: headaches, constant fatigue, stomach ache, tension, loss of appetite, dizziness, lack of sexual drive and anger which can sometimes seem intense. A great deal of people who are stressed out turn to comfort foods, such as chocolate, and oftentimes feel like crying or cannot help but cry.
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Stress Management Tips: Handling Your Classroom and Personal Stress
Not many people who experience large amounts of daily stress seek help to resolve their issues. However, not everyone needs to seek help outside the home. There are things you can do for yourself to better the stressful situation.
- Find Support – There are other people besides you, who need help dealing with stress at school. Other students or classmates are having trouble with stress or found ways to cope. Either way, you want to find people who either need help themselves or want to help.
- Stay Healthy – Take care of your body by eating healthy, sleeping normal hours, drinking water, and exercising on a regular basis.
- Understand the Stress – How do you as an individual handle or deal with stress? How do different stressors affect you? Understand yourself.
- Identify the Stress – You understand how your body and mind deal with stress, but where does it come from in the first place? Identify the stressors that are in your life.
- Stress Signals – You will find yourself or your body reacting to stress before you realize you’re stressed out. Muscles will tense, your grip might become tighter, you start typing faster, or any of the multitudes of things might happen. Know what stress signals your body sends out and learn how to read them.
- Healthy Managing Techniques – Deal with your stress on a healthy level and talk to friends and family, meditate, or go for a jog. Do whatever you need to in order for the stress to be minimized. Try getting a professional massage to help with tense muscles.
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Staying Focused is Easier than First Imagined
Staying focused while taking online classes can be a challenge in itself. "Keeping Your Motivation While Attending Online Courses: Student Motivation Tips" is a Bright Hub article that will help you keep that edge needed to be focused during class. Motivation is a great tool and more students should learn how to utilize it.
There are different foods that will also help you stay focused during online classes.
- Folic Acid and Vitamin B12 – These will help with central nervous system disorders, dementias, and mood disorders across different cultures. Foods that contain these ingredients are black bean burritos with pork, chicken or beef, crab spinach salad and salmon grilled with steamed broccoli over the top.
- Vegetables and Fruits – Eat your fruits and veggies every day. The nutrients found in fruits and vegetables will contribute to your overall health and quality of life.
- Selenium – Eat foods that are rich in Selenium for another combatant to depression and to help stabilize moods. Help yourself feel better and eliminate bad moods. Beans, lean meats, nuts, low fat dairy, seeds, oysters, crab, and other seafood are all rich in selenium.
- Fish – Eat fish to help depression. Not only is fish rich in selenium, but it is also high in omega 3 fatty acids. Try these fish: tuna, salmon, herring, sardines and trout.
- Vitamin D – Soak up the sun’s rays, eat some food high in vitamin D, or take supplements to help stabilize your moods, PMS, mood disorders, or even a major depressive disorder. Eat fish that is high in fat, egg yolk, beef liver, and cheese.
- Chocolate – We all know that chocolate helps us feel better. Have a small amount of chocolate to help your sense of well being.
- Saturated Fat – Not only does saturated fat have an effect on depression it also causes different types of cancer and heart disease. Stay away from excessive amounts of saturated fat.
- Alcohol – Alcohol is a chemical depressant to the brain and affects nerve cells. While this drink might make someone feel "up" for a limited time, it is good to stay away from it.
- Caffeine – Like alcohol, caffeine will give the body a temporary boost and then let it spiral into fatigue. Caffeine can cause sleepless nights so stay away from it in the evening hours.