It may have seemed like a terrific idea when you started but combining work and study is no easy task. Sure, it means that you don’t have to give up your day job while studying for further qualifications and although it might mean your schedule is hectic, it won’t be forever, right? Once you are in the thick of things, though, and drowning under the weight of your schedule, it can all get incredibly stressful. Here are seven tips on how to reduce stress when combining work and study.
Stick To a Schedule
If you plan and stick to a schedule, it can make things seem easier. This is because you have taken some time to organize your life and you don’t feel as if you are trying to do everything at once, which will make you feel stressed. Make sure your schedule is achievable, otherwise, you will not be able to stick to it and you will be back to square one with dented confidence.
Don’t forget to schedule some breaks, or you will feel stressed. It is not practical for you to rush home from work and log straight on to your computer, so don’t attempt to. Instead, make yourself something to eat and sit down for 30 minutes before you attempt to study.
While you are studying, you should take regular breaks to stop your brain from getting tired. If you try to work for too long without stopping, then you won’t be able to take in all the information you need to and studying will be a waste of time. Realistically, you should study for about 45 minutes every hour and use the remaining 15 minutes to get up and stretch your legs, make yourself a cup of coffee or do something else entirely.
Make sure you schedule longer breaks too. A night out with friends or a lunch date will help you to relax and take your mind off your busy schedule for a while. Give yourself a chance to recharge your batteries and you will find that you have renewed energy when you return to it.
Focus on Your Goals
It is easy to feel bogged down when you have a heavy schedule. You don’t have time to raise your head and look at the bigger picture but remembering what your goals are is an important way of keeping you focused and motivated. For example, if you are studying for your ABSN with Baylor University Online you should remind yourself that this will help you to qualify as a nurse and land your dream job once you have finished. This could lead to an income raise, a new career, or a whole new way of life. Make a list of your goals and keep them by your computer. That way you can remind yourself what all the hard work is for.
Meditation can help you to relax and stop feeling stressed. You do not have to spend a lot of time doing this, 10 minutes per day will make you feel better. This gives you a chance to clear your mind and it allows you to focus on the future rather than have a head that is swimming in thoughts that will make you feel stressed.
Ideally, you will find a space, light some candles, and sit cross-legged on a cushion. However, if you don’t have time for that you can meditate anywhere, such as on the bus or at your computer. As long as you take some time out for yourself and clear your mind it will help you to stop feeling stressed.
This one may sound strange but when you feel stressed you tend to breathe from the top of your lungs, and you do not give your body enough oxygen. Your body is then put under stress because it panics about its lack of oxygen, and this makes you feel worse. Try taking deep breaths and filling your lungs from the bottom upwards. You will be amazed at how much this will calm you down and relieve the stress.
If you find it hard to remember to breathe correctly when you feel stressed, then take some exercise. Aerobic exercise such as running or swimming is especially good, as it raises the heart rate, and you have to put enough oxygen into your body to keep going. This means that you are forced to breathe deeply without even noticing. It will also calm your thoughts down and reduce your stress levels as you are so busy trying to challenge yourself to finish the exercise that your brain doesn’t have the space for anything else. Exercise also releases endorphins, making you feel elated and rejuvenated.
Rest is vitally important if you have a busy schedule, but it is especially so if your schedule involves studying. It is important to make sure you get enough sleep, and it is estimated that each hour of sleep you have before midnight is worth two hours after midnight. This means that you should try to get an early night rather than having a lie-in.
Going to bed early is all very well and good but what if you can’t sleep and you lay awake for hours watching the clock? This often happens if you feel stressed, as your brain won’t relax enough to let you sleep. However, there are lots of things you can do to help.
Stop studying about an hour before you go to sleep and then do something else such as reading a book or take a bath. This gives your brain some much-needed resting time, which means that you will sleep better. The smell of lavender is also believed to promote a restful night, so put a couple of drops of it on your pillow before you go to sleep.
Follow these seven tips to help to reduce your stress when combining work and study and you will find that you are more relaxed and able to concentrate.
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