mental health

Making The Most Out Of Online College Classes

If this is your first or second college semester of online classes, you understand how difficult some days can be.

Taking classes online requires determination, motivation and patience.  

Some days or some classes may be easier than others – however, these tips and tricks can help you stay motivated throughout the semester. 

If You Have Questions – Ask Them 

None of us are mind readers – yes professors included.

If you ever have any questions or want to confirm details, don’t be shy to reach out to your professor. 

It’s so easy to put off smaller questions until tomorrow. 

But if you keep putting off questions tomorrow, tomorrow never comes. 

And before you know it, your one small question has transformed into ten big questions. 

Avoid Last Minute Submissions When Possible

Now, some people do perform their best under pressure which is not a bad thing. 

If that is your preferred style and it works for you, then you should listen to your body.

However, regularly submitting projects last minute can bring on anxiety and there is a larger room for error.

For example, you may have thought you had all the materials you needed to complete a project – but halfway through you realize you’re missing one important piece of information.

That happens more often, you’d think, and usually is an easy fix – that is when the deadline isn’t tomorrow!

Aiming to submit projects at least one day in advance can take a huge weight off your shoulders. And in case something does happen, you can take your time to find a solution. 

Be Prepared For Tech Issues

Technology problems happen to all of us – especially when video is involved.

We’ve all had video chats where one minute everything is fine, and the next our video and/or audio just stops working.

Of course, there isn’t much we can do to prevent tech difficulties, but we can be prepared and have a backup plan.

Know When It’s Time To Walk Away From The Screen 

Life is all about balance. Sitting in front of a screen for hours on end can be very exhausting. 

Exactly, why it’s so important to break up the day with tech-free activities.

You can read a book, go on a walk or clean up around the house.

If you catch yourself getting restless or irritable, it may be time to walk away from the screen.

Scheduling regular screen-free time can help you recharge your batteries, so you can join classes with a fresh mind.

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Tackling and Overcoming Work From Home Hiccups

Little hiccups throughout the workday are inevitable. It’s all about how to handle them.

Lack of Energy 

Sitting in front of the computer for hours on end can take a toll on our energy and bring on fatigue. 

We get it – when you’re in the zone, time can fly by. One minute it is noon, and the next, it’s almost dinner time! 

That isn’t always a bad thing. 

You have to remember to set aside some time to walk away from the screen and move your body. 

Practicing gentle stretches or walking around the block a couple of times a day can increase energy levels and prevent fatigue. 

Internet Difficulties

Internet difficulties happen all the time, and unfortunately, there isn’t much we can do to prevent them. 

Even though glitchy WiFi can be very frustrating, it doesn’t have to impact your mood. 

The very first thing you can do is call your team and let them know what’s happening, so they aren’t wondering where you are.

While you wait for things to get back on track, you can spend some time working on projects that don’t require the Internet, such as editing Word documents.

Remember, you have experienced technical difficulties in the past, and chances are you will again. 

Try and be patient; you’ll be back on track before you know it. 

Distractions

No matter where or when you work, little distractions will always pop up.

Not all of them can be prevented – but a handful of them certainly can.

Muting social media notifications, only checking email twice a day or purchasing noise-cancelling headphones can help limit distractions and keep you in the zone.

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More Ways to Celebrate Black History Month

At a time in our society marked by increased awareness of racial inequities, it feels even more important to recognize Black History Month as well as take steps to educate ourselves and work to help bring about change in any way that we can. 

We want to work to support and be inclusive of all people of color and other oppressed groups as well and continue to work towards overall diversity and inclusion.

Here are some ideas for this month and for every month of the year:

Support Black Owned Businesses In Your Community

Participate In Online Educational Programs or Visit a Civil Rights Museum

There is no such thing as too much education. There are several educational articles out there, you can read at your own pace.

Or, you can watch museums in Virtual Tours online.

Engage In Healthy Conversations On Social Media

Social media is an excellent place to engage in conversation with friends, family and those you may not have met in person.

Donate To Organizations That Support And Take Action Towards Racial Equity

There are several organizations out there that support racial equity.

We all have the power to make a difference. Every single dollar donated adds up.

Here are a few organizations we recommend looking into:

NAACP: Is at the forefront of the movement to build political power and ensure the wellbeing of Black communities.

Black Women’s Health Imperative: The mission of the Black Women’s Health Imperative is “to lead the effort to solve the most pressing health issues that affect Black women and girls in the U.S.

Center for Black Equity: Supports Black LGBTQ+ individuals by building a network of community-based organizations that promote health and, economic empowerment, and equal rights while promoting individual and responsibility.

Books

In addition to reading articles online, there are several books out there, we recommend looking into.

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander.

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander–You will learn how the war on drugs followed a pattern of implementation consistent with slavery and Jim Crow, how financial incentives and legal protection allow selective targeting of black males for drug crimes, and why it’s so difficult for drug convicts to reintegrate into society.

I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown.

You can listen to her on Brene Brown’s podcast and then read the book, which is an eye-opening account of the ongoing journey to find self-worth within a culture that claims to value diversity, but often falls short.

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi.

This book discusses concepts of racism and Kendi’s proposals for anti-racist individual actions and systemic changes. (You can also listen to him on Brene Brown’s podcast )

Listen to Podcasts

We all have our own personal preference for absorbing information. If you prefer podcasts over a paperback book, here are a few we recommend looking into:

Code Switch: This podcast is all about race and identity in America.

1619 (NY Times): This is an audio series about how has transformed America through the oldest form of storytelling. 

Nice White Parents: This is a 5 part series all about building a better school system and what gets in the way. 

“The ultimate measure of a person is not where one stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where one stands in times of challenge and controversy.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

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This One Tip Can Help Prevent Burnout

Even though burnout is preventable, it can sneak up on us when we least expect it.

Getting enough sleep and taking regular breaks is one of the most popular ways to prevent it. 

However, there is another method that is less talked about. 

It all comes down to adding structure to your day. 

Get Creative

Even if every day for you is incredibly different, you can still add structure to it. You’ll just have to get a little creative. 

Constantly moving on from task to task without some sort of a plan can be confusing and overwhelming. 

Every Decision Adds Up

First thing in the morning or before you go to sleep, spend a few minutes visualizing your ideal day in your mind.

What would you prepare for breakfast? How many meetings will you have, and when will they happen?

Again, this doesn’t have to be a set-in-stone system. 

But having somewhat of a rough idea can eliminate the need to make so many decisions under stress.

Studies show that the average adult makes around 35,000 choices per day! That is a huge number.

Small decisions such as what cereal you’d like for breakfast or what to wear to your Zoom meeting may seem pretty simple. But when you’re so exhausted or drained, every decision can be tough.

Planning out your day before decision fatigue hits in can help make your day run smoothly.

Time Flies

Have you ever had one of those days where one minute it was 10 AM and the next it was 3 PM?

Those days can be quite interesting. Time flies when you’re having fun or extremely busy. 

When we’re that busy, sometimes we can forget to check in with ourselves and see how we’re feeling.

We could be feeling stressed and not even realize it. Make an effort to check in with yourself a few times a day and ask yourself how you feel at that moment.

If you feel energized and productive, that’s amazing; keep going. 

But if you notice yourself feeling a little tired or stressed, it may be time to call it a day or take a much-needed break.

Catching these feelings early on can help prevent them from escalating to burnout.

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Coping with Loneliness During The Holidays

The holidays are all about spending time with loved ones and making memories. 

As you know, this holiday season will be far different than most. 

Even though social distancing is keeping us safe, it can be a little lonely at times. 

You may not be able to erase your feelings of loneliness, but there are plenty of things you can do to make yourself feel better.

Be Good to Yourself:

We’ve talked about this on the blog a few times in the past. But we are going to repeat it since it is so true!

Whether you’re having a good or bad day, it’s so important to be your own best friend. 

You’ve got to listen to your body and give it what it needs. Doing something special just for you is a form of self-care. 

You Are Not Alone:

Feelings are not facts. Just because you may be feeling alone doesn’t mean you are alone.

Even though loneliness can be an uncomfortable feeling, it is nothing to be ashamed of. 

Don’t be afraid to open up to someone in your life and let them know how you feel.

You never know – they may be feeling the same way and can offer some words of encouragement.

Rethink Your Expectations:

So many of us are guilty of setting high expectations for the holidays and want everything to be perfect. 

A holiday does not have to be perfect in order to be special.

A virtual dinner with friends and family can be just as much fun as an in-person event.

 It all depends on how you look at it. 

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So Many Tasks, So Little Time

Do you ever feel like there aren’t enough hours in a day?

Do you ever feel like no matter how hard you work, your to-do list never seems to get finished?

You are not in that boat alone.

Here’s what to do.

Change The Stories You Tell Yourself

The next time you catch yourself, thinking “I have so much to do…”

Hit the pause button, and change the story you tell yourself.

Instead, try something more like this…

“I have a lot to get done today. I have had busy days in the past, and I will have more busy days in the future. I know I have what it takes, and I will succeed.”

Prioritize

We all have 168 hours a week to sleep, work, spend time with family and relax.

If you feel like your lists never get complete, you may be taking on too much.

You have to recognize what tasks can be delegated and which tasks need not be done at all.

Write It Out

You know that feeling when you have a task hanging over your head?

Yes, that is not a fun feeling. It makes it much harder to actually get things done because we’re so worried about what we may or may not forget.

No need to worry – there is an easy fix.

Whenever you’re feeling anxious by all your to-dos, pull out a piece of paper and jot down everything you’d like to get done that day.

There does not need to be any real order or structure. Your thoughts don’t even have to be written in full sentences. 

You are basically just getting all of your thoughts out of your head, and onto paper.

Once you’ve finished your rough notes, you can re-arrange them in order of priority. 

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What Happens When You Stop Procrastinating

Even when you love what you do, there will always be those tasks you just don’t feel like doing. 

Wanting to stop procrastinating is one thing. Actually, going through with it is something else. 

Today we will be chatting all about what happens when you stop procrastinating.

You Are Less Likely to Forget Important Tasks:

How many times have you told yourself you’ll respond to that email tomorrow or follow up with that lead tomorrow?

The thing is, when you keep pushing off tasks until tomorrow, tomorrow never comes.

We’re all human, and we forget things all the time. However, the more tasks we put off, the more likely we are to forget about them – until it’s too late.

Generally speaking, if something takes less than 5 minutes to complete, you should do it right away. Every task completed will give you one less thing to worry about. 

You Won’t Miss Deadlines:

So many of us can fall into the habit of putting off non-time-sensitive tasks.

The thing is, when you put off a non-time-sensitive task long enough, it’s only a matter of time until it becomes time-sensitive.

Time really does fly, and deadlines have a funny way of sneaking up on us.

Just because that paper isn’t due until the 10th, doesn’t mean you should put it off until the 8th. There will always be last-minute tasks that throw us off guard. Exactly why it never hurts to get things done early. 

There’s Nothing Better Than a Completed To-Do-List:

There is nothing better than crossing every single item off your to-do list at the end of a long day.

It gives you such a strong feeling of accomplishment. If you finish your day-to-day tasks earlier than you expected, you can even get a head start on the following day’s list. Learn More

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