Wednesday 24th June 2020
We are living in strange times right now – even as lockdown is being eased. The majority of the world’s population has been stuck at home for many weeks with many of us facing quarantine challenges daily. Vitaliy Lano of eLearning.com shares how online learning can help us stay mentally healthy.
Parents trying to juggle kids and working from home, couples having a hard time coping with “cabin fever” and students not being able to stay focused and avoid distractions during the learning process. On top of that, there is constant pressure to be more productive than you have ever been, to become a better version of yourself, and, of course, to grow your business.
Don’t get me wrong, I do think that doing any of those things is way better than staying in bed all day watching TV shows and eating pizza, but it is also perfectly normal to feel anxious, frustrated, and unproductive. You don’t have to live up to anyone’s expectations, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself and ignore the one caused by social media. Instead, try focusing on something that you really want. Maybe you have always dreamed of learning French? Or you want to expand your cooking skills? Or is it photography you are passionate about? Take a deep breath and honestly answer this question: “What would actually make me happy and help keep my mind healthy and active during this time?”
Online Learning Benefits
For me, it is learning new things. I’m not doing it because people expect me to come out of the self-isolation period like a new person. No, I’m doing it because I actually enjoy it. Moreover, online learning is one of the best tools that keep me mentally healthy right now as it takes my mind off any anxious thoughts. I also learn a lot, which is a great bonus. And, considering the amount of knowledge I’m gaining right now, maybe I will become a better me after quarantine ends.
Online education is not a new trend but it is becoming more popular as we speak. There are many reasons for that, affordability and flexibility being the main ones. Online education gives you the freedom to learn at your own pace, at any time and place. And as for the price, there are many online learning platforms, such as Skillshare and Udemy, that offer thousands of classes at no cost. Of course, you could also take classes on YouTube, but I prefer eLearning platforms as they offer high-quality courses, plus there are no ads and distractions there. Online learning platforms also provide a sense of community—you get to create class projects and participate in group discussions, which is especially important right now.
The amount of learning platforms is overwhelming, and once you pick one, stick to it. I prefer services that offer unlimited monthly plans, this way I get to take as many classes as I wish. I also enjoy shorter classes more, because even now, between my family and work, I don’t have much time to devote to learning.
Six tips to help you get the most out of your eLearning courses
- Once you chose a platform you like, browse around and see what classes you would like to take. Be realistic, you probably won’t be able to take 50 classes a month. Stick to the ones that you would enjoy the most.
- Make a schedule and add reminders to your calendar so that you won’t forget about classes. Remember, that you can take classes at any time. That is the beauty of online education.
- Active participation is the key to successful learning. So create projects for your classes, complete the assignments, get feedback from your peers, collaborate with other students, ask questions, and participate in conversations.
- Apply new skills that you have learned to real-life situations.
- Have fun. Enjoy the process. And always do it your way.
- If for any reason you are not enjoying the course, quit and take another one. But if you are just finding it hard to concentrate or you feel like you are being lazy, try to study for at least a few minutes a day, and see how you feel about the course in a few days.
If you are looking for ways to cope with boredom and avoid going stir-crazy, or just wondering what to do with your newly-found free time, I suggest you give online learning a try and see where it takes you. Who knows, maybe it will help you find inspiration and unlock your creativity, or even show you how to reach your career goals!
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This story comes to you as part of the RAF FF’s themed month of June for all things relating to employment and training. As well as our online reference section, you can keep yourself up to date with the information and advice – available by signing up to our (free) weekly eBulletin and/or quarterly Envoy magazine.