5 Recommendations to Avoid Online School Burnout
The necessary transition from in-person classes to online classes to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus in early 2020 came with a unique set of challenges for students. Apart from having to adjust to then-unfamiliar digital learning platforms like Google Classroom and Zoom, students also had to get accustomed to limited social interaction as usual in-class activities had to be set aside or moved online.
As the pandemic continued, online classes eventually became the norm until vaccination efforts succeeded throughout the country. By Fall 2021, educational institutions finally have been given the go-signal to re-launch in-person classes or at least offer the hybrid option, a combination of both in-person and online classes.
Due to increased e-learning during this time, however, it’s become common for some students to experience online learning burnout. A study, with 80,000 participants from across the globe, revealed that school disruptions caused by the pandemic have caused 1 out of 5 youth anxiety. As the COVID-19 crisis goes on, the analysis led by professor of clinical psychology Sheri Madigan of the University of Calgary hopes to continue and examine ways to address the issue.
If you’re dealing with anxiety due to on-and-off school closures and social lockdowns, read on for suggestions on how to cope.
- Adopt healthy eating habits.
Mental stress already takes its toll on one’s physical health. So it’s important to make an effort to achieve optimum physical health during this time, starting with a nutritious diet. To gain the much-needed energy for your online classes, avoid fast food staples like burgers, milkshakes, and fries and opt instead for snacks that promote your wellbeing like fruits (especially berries), unsalted nuts, whole grain crackers and cereals, and veggies with low-fat dip options.
You don’t have to have an elaborate gym set-up at home to get physically fit. All you need is a brisk walk in the nearby park for at least 30 minutes and you’ll get a healthy dose of exercise. At wintertime, this is especially important since we have a limited amount of daylight. Once the sun’s out, take advantage and go for a walk and you’ll benefit from getting your Vitamin D as well. If you want to take it up a notch, you can also do online physical fitness classes. Due to lockdown rules, you have a load of options for trainers that offer classes online.
- Maintain a connection with friends and classmates.
There might be a limit on social gatherings, but this doesn’t mean that you have to shut yourself completely to social interaction. Video conferences are a great way for you to establish a connection with your friends and classmates and have conversations with them as you would in a face-to-face setting. It may take a while to get used to at first, but once you’ve become comfortable with it, you’ll feel like you’re all chatting in an actual classroom. Incorporating e-games like Drawasaurus (online Pictionary) or Hangman into the video conferences is also an enjoyable way to interact with each other.
- Give yourself ample breaks.
When you have back-to-back online classes and multiple projects on your plate, it’s challenging to take a breather – but doing so in this situation is all the more important. When you’re overwhelmed with all the tasks on your to do list, remember to set aside time to take a break. Do something that you enjoy that can help alleviate the stress: listening to you favourite music, watching a funny YouTube clip, doodling on your sketchbook, or calling a close friend. These are all helpful activities that allow you to block out all the work and focus on yourself, even for a bit of time.
- Talk about what you’re feeling with others.
Confiding to family members and close friends about what you’re going through is an effective way to get the weight off your shoulder. COVID-19 has affected everyone, though in different ways, and sharing what you’re experiencing will make you realize that you’re not alone and that you can work together to help each other through this crisis. It’s certainly more productive than burying yourself in school work 24/7 or streaming your favourite shows nonstop.
The virus has put a strain on our learning options and social activities, no doubt, but there are ways to manage through these hurdles. Give the suggestions above a shot and here’s hoping your feelings of online classes burnout will be a thing of the past.
Alibudbud, Rowalt. “On online learning and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic: Perspectives from the Philippines.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8457633/
Fares, Jawad, Mohamad Y. Fares and Nour Mheidly. “Coping With Stress and Burnout Associated With Telecommunication and Online Learning.” Frontiers in Public Health. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpubh.2020.574969/full
Molano, Sarah. “Youth depression and anxiety doubled during the pandemic, new analysis finds.” CNN. https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/10/health/covid-child-teen-depression-anxiety-wellness/index.html
Neustaeter, Brooklyn. “How to prioritize your child’s mental health amid a delayed return to school.” CTV News. https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/how-to-prioritize-your-child-s-mental-health-amid-a-delayed-return-to-school-1.5726677
Parry, Wynne. “Pandemic stress: the toll it’s taking on students.” C&EN. https://cen.acs.org/education/undergraduate-education/Pandemic-stress-toll-s-taking/99/i2