How To Navigate Stress While Finishing Your Self-Paced Courses

Life can get pretty hectic, so if you’re an adult who is experiencing any combination of working, raising a family, learning through a self-paced online course, and/or trying to keep your head above water, then your life is about as hectic as it gets. When the stress is piling up, you’ll want to take a look at how to manage your expectations and your schedule before you decide to forget everything and disappear to a deserted island somewhere. 

As a provider of online, self-paced certificate programs for adults, we at Washington Tech have seen the positive impact our programs can have on our students’ lives, and we’ve coached more than a few students through those stressful patches. Here are a few lessons we can pass along to you:

Recognize Your Season

Right now is a busy time for you. It might not be the time when it’s possible for you to help everyone who needs it every time they ask. It might not be the time when you get to lie around on a beach watching the waves. It also might not be the time when you get to take it easy and set a slow pace for yourself.  But that doesn’t mean that time isn’t coming your way and isn’t possible! It’s just not right now. 

And that’s okay. Everyone goes through different seasons in their lives: some busy, some slow, some social, some solitary. If the season you’re in is happening for a purpose that will find you further along a positive path in your growth and will lead you closer to your goals, then recognizing that this busy season is temporary will help you a lot!

Thinking about other difficult seasons of your life and how you moved through them can help you get a grip of what emotions are based in reality versus what is based in fear. Fear and frustration will bully you until you give up to them. If you’ve had the resilience to get past other tough times, then making it through a self-paced online certificate program is doable, too!

Set Appropriate Boundaries

One way to be sure you make it to your goals is to set appropriate boundaries. Like we mentioned before, now might not be the time in your life when you bring the most complicated dish to the barbecue, wrap holiday and birthday gifts in elaborately designed paper and ribbons, or have an empty loose sock basket. If you’re trying to make sure that the stress of keeping up with your self-paced coursework doesn’t overwhelm you, sometimes you’ve got to let other things go and let people know where your limits are.

If you live with roommates or family members, having a frank conversation with them about what you can handle and what you might need help with will help you feel supported and give your friends and family members a chance to show that they are supportive of you. If you’ve got children, explaining to them why you need not to be disturbed and what that looks like will help them respect your boundaries. Staying firm in those boundaries and being realistic with yourself about what you can and cannot accomplish will go far to help your mental health stay buoyant.

When it comes to holidays when you’re trying to take care of your responsibilities and finish your self-paced coursework, it’s okay to set boundaries there, too. Other people can pick up the baton and make the holidays special while you play more of a supporting role. Your time and attention on special days are more important than any decorations, ten-course meal, or extravagantly planned party. By letting the important people in your life know what you can and cannot realistically accomplish, you’re being an advocate for yourself and your mental health and you’re making sure your future is bright, too!

Create Realistic Goals

Realistic goals: that’s a tough one! Sometimes, small tasks can feel like mountainous endeavors, while other times, big tasks can appear sneakily simple until they reveal the depths of their roots below. Setting realistic goals for yourself is a healthy way to bring balance to your life and achieve your dreams. Dreams are just goals that haven’t been planned out and acted on. So if you want to enroll in and complete some extra education that will help you create a brighter future, then making a plan is the place to start, even if you’re already in the thick of it and feeling stressed.

Sit down with a calendar and a clear mind and get it figured out. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, clear your mind, and when you’re feeling calmer, take a look at how you can take the jigsaw pieces of your life and make them make sense. What is a realistic amount of course work for you to get done each day? Where will you do this work? When will you do it? What will you do if you lose a day? Are there any days when you can work most of the day to rip through a large chunk of content? Can you find someplace to study where you’ll be completely free of distractions? Can your loved ones help you study or help you stay organized? These are all things to consider as you sit down to make a reasonable schedule and plan for how you will finish your academic program.

And through it all, keep reminding yourself that this is one season of your life, and by accomplishing this goal, your next season will be better!

Washington Technical Institute

If you’re ready to enroll and work toward the personal and professional benefit of a new career, Washington Technical Institute’s fully online certificates can be completed in a matter of months, with daily or bi-weekly start dates. Such flexible start dates make these programs unique and much more accessible for our students. Most of our certificates can be earned as a self-paced program, meaning that you can work at your own pace to complete your work, even finishing early if you have the time and motivation to do so. An additional benefit of WTI’s programs is that we offer affordable pricing and monthly payments to help our students leave school without debt. 

Although our goal is to help our students graduate their programs with little to no debt, we also recognize that some students might need to utilize a loan for their educational investment. We are excited to announce our partnerships with Climb Credit or Ascent, student lending companies focused on financing career-building programs. 

If you’re ready to enroll and start working on a plan for the personal and professional benefit of professional development, you can register for your program online through our website. Still have questions about our programs? Feel free to call us at 800-371-5581 or text us at 952-465-3702. Our admissions specialists will be happy answer whatever questions you have.

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Washington Technical Institute is Regionally accredited by the Middle States Association CESS, and licensed by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education as an institution of higher learning