The coronavirus pandemic and all of the measures that have been put in place to try to curb the rate of infection have had a huge impact on the lives of just about everybody around the world.
The situation in 2020 has changed the way many people work and has also changed the way people study, with more and more students who would normally be attending college instead of having to do their courses remotely.
But even for people who were already planning to get their qualifications by an online route, the pandemic has meant challenges.
With fewer other things to do and for many people, very limited social lives, it can be easy for online students to fall into unhealthy habits and end up stressed, uncomfortable, and suffering from negative health effects.
Nursing is a field where lots of people had already been qualifying using online study programs, and with the coronavirus outbreak, even more future nurses are taking this path.
There are lots of highly regarded nursing programs available that can be done online with reputable colleges like Carson-Newman, and a lot of people are taking advantage of having more free time during the pandemic to begin study programs.
If you are a nursing student or planning to start a nursing degree online in the new year, then here are some helpful tips for keeping yourself healthy while you study during this period:
#1. Ensure Your Workspace is Comfortable for Long Periods
The desk you work at needs to be designed for studying or working at for long periods if you plan to study full-time.
This means you need an adjustable chair with five wheels, and you also need a set up with your computer and keyboard that is designed to suit your height and needs – for instance, with the screen at the most comfortable height for you and rests for your wrists if you need them.
While you can always do a bit of casual study on the couch or in bed, for long study periods it is important for your health to have a proper workspace.
This can also help you get in the right frame of mind that when you are in your workspace you are ready to study, but when you are not you are taking a break away from it.
#2. Find Ways to Exercise Indoors
Exercise is always important, but where you want to avoid going out unless you have to, and things like gyms and leisure centers aren’t open in a lot of areas, you need to find ways to work out at home.
There are all sorts of types of exercise you can do at home even without any equipment, for instance, you can find lots of fun workout videos you can do for free on YouTube.
#3. Stick to a Schedule
When you don’t have much else to do in your days and evenings, it can be easy to lose track of time and end up studying at erratic times and having a poor sleep schedule.
While using the extra free time you may have from not having your usual things to do outside of the home to get more study done can be a good use of the time, you should still be planning for this time and sticking to a schedule, so you can stay in a healthy routine.
#4. Get Away from Your Computer During Breaks
Breaks are important for keeping you focused and productive, as well as for giving your eyes a rest and moving your body after long periods spent sitting down.
Don’t use your breaks from study to do things like check the news or browse social media on your computer.
It is far better to step away from your workspace and do something else, so when you return to looking at your screen you feel like you’ve had a proper break from it.
If you do want to check in on social media or read or watch something online during your breaks, at least go and do it on your phone or TV rather than staying in the same spot you have been sitting in to study, so there is a mental separation of the things you are doing.
#5. Talk to Other People!
It can be very easy to feel isolated when you aren’t able to go out and socialize, or even have friends over.
This can be one of the hardest things about lockdowns, quarantines, and social distancing for everybody, but when you are engrossed in studying something, it can be even more difficult to remember that you do need some social interaction to stay at your best mentally.
Try talking online to other nursing students and making some friends you can discuss your course with, as well as remembering to make time to chat online with or call your friends and family. Having a chat can be a great way to refresh yourself during a break from study.
#6. Eat Healthily
Stocking up on healthy snacks and sticking to eating good, nutritionally balanced meals at set times will not only help keep your body and brain nourished and at their best but will also help you stick to a routine during days of intense study.
#7. Minimize Trips Outside
It goes without saying that you need to protect yourself from the pandemic, and because you are spending most of your time studying, you shouldn’t need to make trips out very often.
Planning ahead and buying essentials in bulk or online can minimize the need to go to the store, for instance. But, when you do need to go out, make sure you wear a mask and wash your hands.
#8. Don’t Overdo It
With all of the extra time you may have at the moment, it can be easy to think you can do more than it would be wise to do.
Use your time productively, but don’t set unrealistic goals that would need you to push yourself in unhealthy ways, and don’t expect that you will be able to study with focus for every minute of the day!
These are just a few ways that you can take care of your physical and mental health and ensure you can be at your most productive while studying online during the pandemic.