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Maintaining mental health as a distance learner


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While the flexibility of online learning is appealing, it comes with unique challenges that can impact your mental health. BSc Computer Science student Usman shares strategies to look after your wellbeing as a distance learner.

Student wellbeing

Distance learning offers several advantages, including flexibility in scheduling, a global student community and a personalised learning environment. These perks make it an attractive choice for many. However, online learning can be isolating, demanding in terms of self-motivation and challenging to balance with personal life commitments. Recognising these challenges is the first step towards managing them. In this blog, I explore strategies for maintaining good mental health as a distance learner.

Establish a study routine

To succeed in your online studies, establish a structured study routine. Create a dedicated study space, set a study schedule and use digital tools for organisation and time management. Planning out your routine helps you take control of your learning and gives you the headspace to tackle any challenges that might arise. Leverage University resources like the Online Library, faculty support and the Careers Service to enhance your learning experience and gain the support you need as a distance learner.

Connect with fellow students

Combat isolation by connecting with fellow students. Join online forums, participate in virtual study groups and engage in academic discussions on social media platforms. Stay connected with your University community by joining and attending online events and webinars to foster a sense of belonging within the digital campus.

Dealing with coursework and exam anxiety

Manage your coursework effectively by breaking down assignments into smaller tasks, practicing time management and seeking help from instructors and tutors when needed. Prepare for assessments by adopting effective study strategies and developing resilience to cope with setbacks. Good preparation will help reduce stress, so you feel more confident on the day of your assessments.

The importance of self-care

Prioritise self-care by maintaining physical health through regular exercise, a balanced diet and sufficient sleep. Incorporate mindfulness and meditation practices to reduce stress. Look out for signs of burnout specific to your online learning experience. Seek support from your tutors, peers or your doctor if needed and employ healthy coping mechanisms to manage stress.

Celebrating progress and setting goals

Acknowledge milestones and celebrate your achievements, both personal and academic. Recognise small victories along the way to boost self-confidence and motivation.

Planning for the future

Define your career aspirations, embrace lifelong learning opportunities and focus on personal growth as you progress through your study journey. Setting a clear goal for the future acts as a reminder for what you are working hard to achieve and can help you stay motivated through challenging times. 

Usman studies BSc Computer Science in Pakistan.