Our learning environment has evolved so unexpectedly that we are still grappling in the dark to keep up as learners.
In the era of a knowledge-based economy with digitalisation and machine learning together with online learning as the new norm, how do we keep up with the stress of online learning? Stress can be a great driver but not the best motivator
As most full-time employees have to work from home for the foreseeable future as the pandemic lingers on, on-line learning model has become the standard for acquiring knowledge and skills at any level.
If we are to adapt to the new norm of online learning the very first question to ask ourselves is,
Why am I learning this course?
How will this knowledge benefit me as a person?
What will I be gaining in knowledge?
Candid Answers to these questions from within will motivate you to start and stay engaged throughout your learning journey.
Below are some quick and easy tips to implement for your online learning journey to be more engaging and effective.
- See Yourself on Screen, being open to being seen will make us feel more engaged, especially during online live classroom sessions
- Ask clarifying questions just like in a face to face learning session. Asking questions will make us feel involved while clearing any doubts that we might have on our mind.
- Get some morning sunlight shining on us. Exposure to sunlight is known to release a hormone called Serotonin. This hormone will help a person stay calm, focused and is a great mood booster. We need to be calm, focused and energetic to learn effectively
- Being less judgmental of ourself allows us to be relaxed and absorb and retain information and knowledge at a better pace as we have no stress of how others will perceive us.
Let us now look at learning breaks we should consider taking and learning providers should take into consideration when planning their virtual courses.
- Hydration breaks are a must during online learning. All we need to do is be conscious of having enough drinking water beside us while class is on at least every 10minutes, we should sip water and stay hydrated. Research suggests being hydrated keeps your memory sharp, mood stable and motivated to move forward. Sitting down in one place for a long time during online classes can cause muscle fatigue and dehydration that will make you feel lethargic.
- Bathroom breaks are a must. Using the bathroom for 5min at 30 minutes intervals, with all the fluids you taking in to stay hydrated, this is a must, to stay focused on what you are learning.
- Physical movement break while sessions are going on. We can always stand up from our seat, bend down to touch your toes, twist your waist, rotate your shoulders and neck in a gentle motion.
- Inhale and exhale consciously, every 30 minutes be mindful of your breath, this will help calm down your nerve endings. Also, release physical discomforts that are experienced by sitting in one place. Occasional deep breathing (belly breathing) works wonders for the stress build-up.
- Remove your gaze from the screen, have a pleasant and calming poster or picture on the wall beside your computer for you to relax your eyes as and when your eyes feel tired.
- Realize when you are mentally fatigued, this must be a conscious effort as you might not know why you feel an energy drain. Mental fatigue is triggered by prolonged cognitive stress. Your brain goes into overdrive. Signs of mental fatigue are: feeling exhausted, productivity drops, eye irritation with a drop in overall cognitive function, mental block, lack of motivation, stress eating or loss of appetite, irritable in nature will lead you to anxiety and being burned out.
- Earphones should be used with caution, prolonged use of earphones may cause problems in your hearing, to avoid this from happening make sure the volume is at the correct level. If you ever feel bothered, try using one side of the earphone alternating the left and right side if you must use continuously and daily for long periods of time.
- Energize, rub your palms briskly and place them on your eyelids for a quick energizer at any time you feel like you need a boost of energy.
Finally, remember practice makes it perfect. Do not get discouraged by occasional slip–ups. It will strengthen your resolve.
Enjoy your online learning journey!
This article was written for MIM Pulse by Tariqua Amina Jaffar an experienced Mindfulness Expert & Coach who leads International Business at the Malaysian Institute of Management.
Are you looking to create an engaging and effective learning experience for your organisation?
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