All staff at Camden Haven High School are available to help students who may be struggling. Students have many options for support during school, they can visit the school counsellor, talk to a trusted teacher, speak to the first aid officer, visit the OASIS Centre, or go to their GP or an external psychologist. The following may be useful for students.
One helpful website is the Reach Out Schools site.
The following is from the Better Health Website:
- Take care of yourself. Don’t underestimate the importance of eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep. These three form a great base from which you can optimise your study ability.
- Every day, do at least one activity that you find relaxing – for example, aromatherapy, going for a walk, listening to music, gardening, reading for enjoyment, keeping a personal journal or diary, playing with your pets.
- Discuss your problems. Talking to someone else often puts problems into perspective. Talk to other students, friends, family members or a counsellor. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need to – studies show that the most successful students are ones who seek help when they need it.
- Work out which issues are causing you stress and try to address them. For example, if you are having problems with a particular subject or assignment, talk to your lecturer, teacher or other students about it. If, despite your best efforts, you feel you are slipping behind, you could consider contacting student learning support at your tertiary institution or arrange for private tutoring.
- Have a plan to manage the extra stress around assessment and exam times. A good long-term strategy to deal with exam stress is to manage stress throughout the academic year.
- Learn a relaxation technique such as breathing exercises, muscle relaxation, yoga or meditation, and set aside at least 20 minutes each day to practise it. If 20 minutes is too long, put aside two minutes. You can find two minutes a day to relax. You may have to experiment with a few different techniques before you find the one that works best for you.
- Learn about mindfulness. When we are stressed, our thinking is often on ‘automatic pilot’ and contains harsh criticisms and worries. Mindfulness practice teaches us how to shift our attention to the here and now, and adopt an open and non-judgmental attitude to ourselves, which fosters self-acceptance.
- Keep up regular exercise such as walking, swimming, jogging or gym work – perhaps using it as a break from study. Benefits of regular exercise include improved energy and sleep, which are vital in helping to stay on top of stress.
- Focus on your strengths. You could keep a list of things that you are good at, your achievements and successes, and refer back to it to give your self-esteem a boost.
- Keep your life in balance – it’s an important key to managing stress. Burnout can be caused by focusing on one aspect of life to the exclusion of all others. Schedule fun and enjoyment into every week, and allow time for family and friends along with your study. Put this into your study timetable.
- Make time management and getting organised important to you. Remember that you are less likely to worry if you have planned ahead to make the most of your time.
Distance learning and stress
Undertaking online or flexible delivery courses can have many advantages for students. However, distance students and online students encounter different challenges to on-campus students.
Common causes of stress can include:
- pressures of juggling work, family life and study
- lack of face-to-face feedback from lecturers and tutors
- social isolation from other students, which can make harder to support one another
- reduced access to student support services and study materials.
Tips for distance learning and managing stress
Your tertiary institution will have services available for online and flexible delivery students. You may be able to arrange a telephone appointment or make contact through email. Find out about these services from your student diary or tertiary institution website, and use them.
It may also help if you:
- Keep in contact with lecturers and teachers via phone, email and computer conference.
- Talk to your lecturers about your concerns and issues related to off-campus study.
- Keep in touch with other distance students via phone, email, or internet-based communications like video chat.