Online degrees have been around for years, but it is only recently and in large part due to global lockdowns that the tools and approach towards online education has improved to the point that is now becoming a first-choice option, rather than something seen as a last-resort.
Online degrees are particularly popular amongst those who are looking to further their professional qualifications or those who are earning a second degree in order to make a big career change. The remote, distanced degree is ideal for those who already have an established life with a home and routine that works for them. You can much more easily adapt your life around an online degree, simply because you won’t need to relocate in order to further your dreams.
Just because you are at home and, theoretically, more comfortable than you would be if you had to relocate, however, does not mean that earning an online degree is always easy. It can be the best way to train and improve your skillset, but just because it is the best option for you does not mean that you won’t feel overwhelmed or stressed.
Intensive degrees require a lot of dedication and focus, and can cause students a great deal of stress unless they work to fortify themselves and use this guide to help them care for their health while they complete an intensive online degree.
What Is The Difference Between An Intensive And Part-Time Online Degree
Intensive degrees are intended to be taken on full-time, and therefore there will be tighter deadlines and more emphasis on keeping to a schedule at home. Part-time degrees on the other hand are designed to work around someone working full-time.
There are big benefits for both options. If you wanted to start a second career in nursing, for example, you can train and get certified in around one year with a top accelerated BSN online program. This does require you to have the necessary prerequisites to transfer towards your BSN from another degree, yes, but it is also the intensity of the program that makes it possible to take a degree that usually takes around four years down to one.
Part-time degrees on the other hand take much longer to complete, with the trade-off being that you can continue to work to support yourself while you study.
The option that is right for you depends on your financial situation and also the levels of support you can expect from your friends and family.
How To Care For Your Health When Completing An Intensive Online Degree
A healthy body is one that has the fortitude and energy to keep up with the demands you are making of it. Whether that means sitting still and being able to understand and absorb what you are learning, or if it is simply being on time and consistent with the routine that you have set up for yourself.
Consistency and health can help give you the building blocks for your success. To help you get started caring for yourself while you complete an online degree, you will want to use these top tips:
1. Break Up Your Study Routine Into Manageable Chunks
A full degree feels massive when you stare at it from the start. This applies even for those who were able to accelerate their degree by transferring previously earned credits. You know what you are about to get into and it can be very daunting.
When faced with something daunting many people inadvertently try to avoid it. This can happen right at the start, or it can happen at any point during your degree. The solution, however, is simple: break up your tasks.
Rather than tell yourself that you have all day to do this much work, break it down further. In the morning make it your only goal to listen to the lecture. During your lunch period you can then commit to reading a chapter or perhaps even just 10 pages of a chapter.
How you break up your day depends on what requirements, classes and activities you are assigned, but the basic premise remains the same. By breaking up your day into smaller tasks that seem less daunting than sitting down from start to finish until you are done with the day’s tasks, you can stay motivated and reduce your stress.
2. How To Relax And Reset On Your Breaks
Between tasks you will want to take a break. To get the most out of your breaks and to keep your motivation high you will want to get away from your desk, and practice mindful living activities. This could include going for a walk, doing a session of yoga, making a healthy meal for yourself, or even doing something personal like painting or playing music. The goal is to disengage your brain from what you were learning so that you can destress properly. You will find doing this, rather than sitting and scrolling through your phone, will have a profound effect on your ability to manage stress and stay motivated.
3. Foods To Eat To Improve Your Energy And Health
There are foods that are hard for the body to process and foods that offer little to no benefit beyond a sugar rush. If you want to reduce stress and improve your ability to learn and actually absorb the content of your degree, then you will need to work on improving the nutrition in your diet.
Focus on foods high in vitamins and nutrients, particularly foods that offer a slow-release of energy so that you can stay more consistent throughout your day.
4. Sleep Tips For More Consistent Restful Nights
If there is one thing that makes a huge difference in your day it is the quality of your sleep. A few tips to sleep better include:
- Upgrade your bed (mattress, sheets and pillow) for a more comfortable sleep.
- Minimize distractions during the night (get blackout curtains or even a sleep mask).
- Go to sleep at the same time every night and wake up at the same time.
- Stay away from stressors and blue-white light objects like your phone before bed.