Distance learning is still a novelty, and as we cope with the second wave of COVID-19, the feeling of isolation and pressure just keeps rising.
People are social beings, and that lack of close interaction in learning is what we all miss. When you bring together the challenges of distance learning, solitude, and adjusting to life during the pandemic, stress is inevitable.
As days pass, we are still chained to our screen without knowing when we are going to go back to normal. While we can’t control this situation (which can only further increase the stress), we can work on our well-being.
Now more than ever, staying calm and well is important.
Working on relieving the stress of distance learning can make the whole process much easier and more effective. Most importantly, it is essential if you don’t want the stress to affect your and your children’s health.
With that being said, here are a few tips for taking the stress out of distance learning.
1. Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself
Children have to cope with a new learning environment. Parents need to cope with their new role as a learning assistant. While you keep hearing how you should act as an additional teacher, how your child can be a better remote student, the most important advice is this: Don’t be too hard on yourself.
Distance learning is new. We haven’t been exposed to it for ages, but months. You are not a teacher, and your child misses their classmates. And that is okay.
The moment you accept that both you and your child don’t need to act perfectly in this situation, the stress will lessen.
Instead of numerous priorities like keeping in order your child’s obligations, juggling work and home responsibilities, helping your child boost their learning skills, focus on two crucial things:
- The mental well-being of your family
- The motivation for learning and fulfilling the school tasks
When both your child and you are well and motivated, everything else will fall in its place.
2. Create a Routine
In this chaos of unpredictability, a routine can provide some stability.
“When people don’t have a routine or structure to their day, it can cause increased stress and anxiety, as well as overwhelming feelings, lack of concentration, and focus,” explained Rachel Goldman, a psychologist and clinical assistant professor at the NYU School of Medicine.
Lack of routine can result in the following:
- poor sleeping schedule
- lack of time for physical activity
- irregular eating habits
- ineffective use of time
- the constant worry of “when will I get it all done”
All of this adds to your stress levels.
Structure a routine for both you and your child. Take the learning schedule as the skeleton and build your child’s routine around it. Once you figure out your child’s schedule, you can create yours as well.
Include in the routine the following:
- Enough time for sleeping
- Creative time
- Family time
- Homework time
In addition, you should make sure that you incorporate social gatherings. You can visit your family once a week, arrange playdates, and invite friends. Staying social is a great stress-management technique.
3. Ask for Help
You are not in this alone. Teachers and school advisors can help you with distance learning. Whether you are struggling to keep your child concentrated or you don’t know how to explain an assignment, turn to the education experts.
Teachers have the experience, and they know how to deal with different learning challenges. They can give you proven advice. Or, they can direct you to an additional learning resource such as a free essay sample database that you can discover here. No matter what your child is having trouble with, the teacher can help you find the solution.
Even if your child is struggling with learning motivation, the teacher can know what to do. Remember that you are not an educator, and you don’t have to do everything on your own.
4. Spend Time Outside
Nature has its ways of bringing peace and calm to our minds. Research shows that spending more time in nature results in people having less cortisol (the stress hormone) in their bodies and better overall health.
Without running around the schoolyard with their peers, children lack time outside. That needs to be compensated.
Make sure that both you and your children spend time outside. It will benefit you both.
Try to engage in some physical activity every day. Even if you only have a 10-minute break, you can play some tag in the backyard or take a quick walk.
Physical activity has direct stress-decreasing benefits. It boosts your endorphin level, a feel-good neurotransmitter, and leaves you happier and less stressed.
Therefore, give your family some time outside whenever you have a chance. Going outside at least once a day can do wonders for your mental and physical health.
5. Take Screen Breaks
The increased exposure to smart devices has been reported to increase stress and burnout levels. Since smart devices are essential for distance learning, you need to balance out your screen time.
Ophthalmologists recommend taking breaks from screen reading every 20 minutes. They also recommend adjusting room lighting to avoid glare and reflections.
During break time, find a way for you and your child to relax without the screens. Typically, people reach for their phones after a learning lesson. But if you don’t have any work-related obligations, give up the phone time for a different activity that doesn’t demand staring at a screen.
Encourage your child to spend the break outside. They can also engage in creative activities such as drawing, playing, or you can simply have a family chat.
Don’t Let the Stress Win
Battling with stress is hard. But it is not impossible. Simple steps such as these can help you decrease the stress levels. What’s more, they can help both you and your child to be happier and healthier.
If something is worth your while, that is your family’s well-being. Taking the stress out of distance learning can make this whole process less troublesome for everyone. You can’t prevent unpredictable events, but you can learn how to cope with the stress that comes with them.
BIO: Marques Coleman is a professional writer. In addition to being a freelance writer, he desired to help others improve their writing skills. This led him to a writing tutor career. Through online lessons, Marques provides guidance to anyone who wants to work on their writing. When he is not working, Marques dedicates all his free time to traveling and exploring new destinations.