Getting an advanced online degree is definitely no easy task, especially if you are continuing to work full-time and juggling your other commitments with studying at the same time. While online degree programs offer more flexibility to put together a schedule that works for you, and allow you to study from home and manage your own time, they can definitely increase your workload and have an impact on your health and wellbeing. Looking after your overall health is important when studying; not only will it ensure that you are able to focus and have plenty of energy to get your work done, but it can also impact your performance and grades.
Here are some factors to consider for keeping yourself healthy and well while getting an advanced degree.
Choose the Right Program
First of all, it’s important to make sure that the program that you choose is not only aligned with your future career goals but is able to fit nicely into your lifestyle. There are various types of online degree programs to choose from, such as this DNP FNP from Baylor University, so consider which one is going to be the best fit for you. If you want to be able to spend some time on-campus and get in-person support from your tutors, a blended online degree, where some is held online and some in class, might be the best option for you. On the other hand, if you want complete freedom, choose an online degree where there are no set class times and the work is uploaded online for you to access at a time that works best for you.
Fuel Your Body
If you are planning to juggle working full-time and studying full-time, you need to make sure that your body and mind is getting the right type and amount of fuel to do it well. When you’ve got a very heavy workload, it can be difficult to find the time to prepare healthy and nutritious meals for yourself; however, relying on processed and convenience foods can soon leave you feeling tired, slow, and burned out as your body will not be getting the nutrients that it needs to handle your workload. There are several things that you can do to make it easier to ensure that you’re getting all the right nutrients while working and studying hard. Batch-cooking and freezing healthy meals for the week ahead is a great idea, or you could consider getting a subscription box of meal ingredients ready for you to simply cook.
Dehydration can leave you losing your focus, feeling tired, and even lead to nasty physical symptoms like headaches and dry, irritated skin. Staying hydrated throughout the day can do wonders for your body and mind and will help keep your energy levels up and keep you focused on the work. Taking proactive steps to stay hydrated while you are working or studying by keeping a reusable water bottle at the side of your desk or preparing some water infused with your favorite fruits each night for the next morning is a small change that can make a huge amount of difference.
Get Enough Sleep
It can be all too tempting to stay up late into the night to study, but the fact is that this could end up doing more harm than good to your health and wellbeing in the long-run. It’s always better to make sure that you are getting between seven and nine hours of sleep each night, and wake up early in the morning to complete your work instead of staying up very late. Ideally, you should try to give yourself at least a couple of hours each night before bed to wind down and relax, since studying right up until the moment you get in bed will not help you sleep. This is especially true if you’re using a laptop or tablet to study since the blue light affects your body’s melatonin production and can keep you awake, even if you feel tired.
Get Regular Physical Activity
If you’re spending a lot of time sat down in work and sat down at your desk studying, then it’s important to make sure that you schedule in some time for regular exercise. To get the benefits of exercising regularly, you don’t have to spend hours at a time in the gym; even moving for thirty minutes per day can make a huge difference in how you feel. Going for a brisk walk, run, or cycle ride every morning is a great way to start the day and set you up for a day filled with energy and focus.
Avoid Sitting for Long Periods
When you begin studying for an online advanced degree, you might find that you are spending more time sitting down than before. If you’re studying at a desk, it’s important to understand the impact that sitting for long periods can have on your health, including increasing your risk of high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke. Even if you exercise regularly, it’s important to make sure that you don’t stay sat down for hours at a time. Every hour, getting up to stretch your legs and grab more water or a healthy snack can make a huge difference.
Check Your Environment
The environment that you study in can directly impact your health, especially if it’s cluttered and stressful to be in. It’s a good idea to set aside an area of your home that is quiet, comfortable, and free from distractions where you can study and focus. Whether that involves putting together an organized system with everything that you need, decorating in your favorite colors, or playing your favorite music, a study environment that keeps you calm, in control, and focused can boost your health and wellbeing more than you might realize.
Whatever your career goals are, an advanced online degree can help you reach them. But, studying online while working is not easy, and it’s important to make sure that your health and wellbeing is not neglected as you work on achieving your goals.