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Tips To Cope With Loneliness While Studying Online

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  • Tips To Cope With Loneliness While Studying Online

    With the coronavirus pandemic and most of the world on lockdown, there is a surge in popularity for online courses. Just like everything else, distance learning has its pros and cons. One of the disadvantages is the isolation, which may lead to lack of motivation to do the courses.

    I find these tips helpful on how to cope with loneliness while studying online:
    1. Connect with other online students - forums like these are truly helpful as it allows us to discuss and connect with others who are doing the same courses as us.
    2. Maintain a personal social life - it may not be possible now but stay in touch with friends and family, even if it's also online. It would be a nice break from all that studying we're doing.
    3. Take any opportunity to interact with the educator - our tutors are there to help us, let's not hesitate to reach out to them.
    4. Vary your study environment - I'm not saying you should go out but maybe, instead of sitting in front of your desk, try to study in your backyard?

  • #2
    I find it helpful to structure the day. Being stuck at home can make the day seem endless, but planning out activities and setting goals can help you stay motivated. I usually start with simple tasks and do big tasks in between. Understand that its important to be proactive, but be gentle with yourself. Break the day down to tiny pieces so you can feel more "in control'. Start each day with a plan and make sure you stick to it. You can also be creative in adding activities to your routines to boost your spirits.

    Comment


    • Kamille
      Kamille commented
      Editing a comment
      You're right. I realized how one word can change our perception of things.
      But being "stuck" at home can really be an issue for those who prefer the teeming bustle of activity within an office. I witnessed how challenging it was for my sister to transition to work-from-home set up because of the pandemic. It was a struggle to not have the option to go out in the busy city where some people feel more "alive". As for me, the idea that work is encroaching from the safe haven of my home is non-existent as I actively choose to work home-based rather than suffer through the trials of commuting.
      Scratch that. I am safe at home. Not stuck.

    • Bjun
      Bjun commented
      Editing a comment
      I can relate to feeling stuck at home but that was during the first days of working from home. Now, I've adjusted and I know some people have, too. My husband enjoys working from home too much now that he dreads the day he will be asked to report back at the office. hahahah

    • mjmnl
      mjmnl commented
      Editing a comment
      We really are safer at home but after some time (5 months and counting), I kinda feel stuck in my work area. I always loved working remotely. Given the situation that we are facing now, others are also forced to at least accept this setting until the experts find a cure. It was easy to go places to work before but now it is impossible. I won't budge though, I think it's a selfish move to go out just because I feel "bored". Keeping yourself at home is a small gesture to help our frontliners handle the increasing cases. They need our cooperation.

  • #3
    Combating loneliness when learning via distance learning could be achieved by:

    1. Getting study support regularly from tutors. Interaction with tutorial staff provides encouragement and guidance
    2. Engaging with other students on online forums such as this one
    3. Maintaining a personal social life. Once a week is a good work / life balance and personality type. I guess it depends on your commitments and stage in life but once a week
    4. Take a trip to your local library to expand your resources and make filed trips to museums or other parts of society that has relevance to your subject area

    Comment


    • #4
      This pandemic has really put a toll on everyone's lives around the globe. Good thing there are numerous ways to at least minimize the loneliness that we are feeling.

      Here are the tricks that worked for me:
      • Like what Kamille mentioned, I also like planning out my day. I include even the smallest things that I wanted to achieve.
      • Join forums such as this one where you can exchange ideas with other people.
      • Watch interesting videos about the subject that you are taking up. If you are fed up reading, there are a lot of materials available in the web.
      And to keep me sane, I do these:
      • Stay active. Even just walking around your home or out in the streets (if you're allowed to).
      • Talk with your family and friends as much as you need to. Tell them how you feel and exchange positive thoughts.
      • Pamper yourself at least once a week. For me, I take a long hot bath after each workweek and I indulge in my favourite foods.

      Comment


      • Kamille
        Kamille commented
        Editing a comment
        These are some really great tips! I specially like the idea of pampering yourself. I think its one of the best form of self-care. I like to pamper myself on weekends after a busy workweek. Its like a small holiday during this quarantine. I found this list on the first weeks of lockdown and I try to do one or two each week. Its also a great way for me to be motivated for the busy days ahead https://www.binghamton.edu/blog/inde...id19-outbreak/

    • #5
      I see lots of great inputs above regarding coping with the loneliness these days.

      A few things I can add:

      1. Lower the bar of what qualifies as "success" for your day or task. Humans generally set expectations that are too high, it adds frustration. This means, take pride in going slowly and surely, and welcoming failure without imposing an impossible benchmark for success.
      2. I would generally just play online games that aren't so intensive and it's also the environment where I meet a lot of interesting people. Hobbies groups, learning groups, or discussions group in social media or Reddit are also good places to start.
      3. Get into Stoicism. Here's a link regarding this philosophy: https://youtu.be/qRM5VRIO_TU. Pewdiepie, the most famous youtuber, also has a video about it. It has some answers regarding loneliness that is much needed especially in the age of social media.

      Comment


      • Indelible_Mark
        Indelible_Mark commented
        Editing a comment
        'Lower the bar' ?! Seriously jcoppi29? and then go into 'Stoicism' which is 'Do not feel..feelings lead to failure' --Isn't that what psychiatrists will call 'avoidance'? How does that resolve the loneliness? Erase it like it does not exist? Likely leads to implosion if you ask me..literally bursting from within the head!

        Creating a better vision of yourself is what I always recommend (and yeah we might be meaning to say the same thing except for the Stoicism). If that is something you have not done BEFORE you started taking a course..it is not too late! This vision or dream or goal (not destiny which implies 'no control OR choice') is in your head. Draw it. Paint it. List it all down in extreme detail. The full idea that you focus on, daily, and hard, becomes your reality.

        You would not want to lower the bar on that.

      • GladysMae
        GladysMae commented
        Editing a comment
        I believe what "lower the bar" meant was to be kind to yourself. There are standards created by society, amplified my mass media (including social media), that are really quite impossible to achieve. It's a polished "tip of the iceberg." While you may try to achieve these polished benchmarks, you are most likely to fail, thus adding to the frustration. And also, not everyone is built the same. What may be easy to you, may not be easy to me. How you react will be different from how I react.

        If you can only survive under loneliness in general, be kind to yourself. If you can thrive under it, give yourself a pat on the back and be kind to others who can't.

      • jcoppi29
        jcoppi29 commented
        Editing a comment
        @Indelible_Mark

        It seems you've strawmanned my point, implying that you're mispresenting it to phrase it in a way that makes it shaky. Here are some clarifications.

        1. I'm not saying lower the bar to the point of no measurement. I'm saying keep it realistic, not some sort of bar that is just a slave or attachment to the human ego. In the first place, the reason Buddha did say "Life is Suffering" is mainly because Desire causes suffering, that, pertaining to the desire of control. The more the human ego desires control, including those that it can't, the more life becomes painful.

        Lowering the bar means lessening the hold on things that are beyond control to focus all energies to the task at hand. It also includes not overrshooting oneself in a task by setting impossible bases for what counts as success.

        In case you're not convinced, try setting unrealistic goals for patients in therapy, and the psychiatrist will likely voice contraindication because they're supposed to be coping by the hour, or by the day, one measure of time at a time -- not something grandiose like finishing a long deadline in a week. The higher the expectation, the worse the crash gets.

        2. Then I link it to modern stoicism, that, if you understand it better, doesn't go with total apathy nor the lack of feeling. In the contrary, it teaches along the lines of effectiveness over impulsiveness, respond instead of reacting. It teaches self-control, impulse control, and a grounded idea of what one is capable of instead of glamorizing oneself with a sugarcoated and unrealistic sense of oneself and one's limits.

        In summary, i didnt go with the total avoidance, i went with avoidance if it's beyond control, exert efficiency with what's within control. The above items are practiced and taught to patients both via CBT, DBT and Gestaltian therapy.

        Now that I've clarified these, I'd like to see how your point applies now.

        The thing I'm refuting would be delusional positivity, to the point that everything's totally totally fine, and when reality finally bites, that's a heavy snap most people don't recover from. It happens. If the bar is set too high too long, people that feel they're failures won't credit themselves any more than they actually need for even just waking up and still fighting on.

        Tell me, how would you tell someone hell-bent on self-destruction how to measure their hierarchies of success?

    • #6
      Identify what you are feeling. Are you really lonely? Or are you just not used to being alone? Or is it something else?

      If you have identified you are indeed lonely, accept that you are lonely. Do not deny yourself that. What you are feeling is valid.

      Identifying and accepting your loneliness will help you in charting your course of action. It will help you in coping with this pandemic.

      Comment


      • Kamille
        Kamille commented
        Editing a comment
        I find this really helpful. I am reminded that it's okay to be lonely. We are living in the time that the world is "unsafe". It's better to recognize your feelings rather than suppress or rationalize it away. It will also help to let the people around you understand what you are feeling, so they can help you cope.

        Pat yourself on the back for every time you do any of the tips mentioned here. Celebrate small victories and let it embolden you to overcoming more episodes.
        Be gentle with yourself. We are all but humans after all.
        Last edited by Kamille; 05-15-2020, 11:30 AM.

      • GladysMae
        GladysMae commented
        Editing a comment
        I am happy you found it helpful, Kamille. I enjoy reading your posts, too. They are very insightful.

    • #7
      Distance learning can be challenging sometimes due to the fact that you do not go to a physical classroom so social interaction is not present. However, others appreciate online learning more due to the same reason: no social interaction.

      If you find yourself demotivated because you feel lonely, it is a great time to connect to people. Join student portals and engage in forums such as this one and exchange ideas with other students. Being able to interact with someone, even online, gives you a sense of "contact with someone" that (hopefully) helps alleviate your feeling of loneliness.

      I hope this article I found online helps.
      It is important for online students to establish social connections, because isolation and loneliness can have a negative effect on their health.

      Comment


      • Gerhard
        Gerhard commented
        Editing a comment
        The link you shared was pretty helpful. I know how lonely it can be studying alone when most of us are used to studying in a noisy and lively classroom setting. But because of changes in the way studying is done or taught during these times most especially, social distancing is something that is a life and death choice already!

      • mjmnl
        mjmnl commented
        Editing a comment
        That was such a helpful article! Thank you. We can do everything now through online platforms and socializing is always attainable because of the technology advancements. Being stuck at home is very different from our usual routine before the pandemic but we were left with no choice but to enjoy this experience. Thank goodness for forums like this, we get to exchange ideas with other students without causing harm to anyone. Also, with the link you shared, Varying Your Study Environment doesn't mean we have to go out (which is probably an impossible and unsafe choice right now), we can always find different spots in our house and check which location we're most productive.

    • #8
      It just hit me. We are not stuck in the late 80's or late 90's anymore to worry about being lonely or feeling alone. We've actually shrunk the world to fit in our hands. When bored, everything is within your fingertips or just Netflix and Chill.

      Comment


      • jcoppi29
        jcoppi29 commented
        Editing a comment
        I'd agree that the scope of one's access of information, news, trends, shows and more have exponentially grown -- meaning that the world is quite instantaneously accessible. The downside of it, though, is the excess of information that is available because there still isn't a documented standard of what is just right or too much information.

        It's quite linked to why social media usage, especially exposure during the developmental years, is highly correlated with mental illnesses. There is an exponential spike in terms of quantity of relationships, connections, information and more that quality cannot catch up.

        And generally, a rule of thumb for well-being is knowing your scope of control in human terms. Social media and internet culture generally go against these by making it an addictive platform to feed us information of things we cannot control from other sides of the globe.

        When we do try to control what's actually beyond us (because we're exposed to these online and hourly), we'd forget to attend to the things that are actually in our control. Some have adapted to this phenomenon, though, most, especially the youth that grew with it, are heavily struggling -- as the numbers of mental illness the last 10 years suggest.

      • kdy
        kdy commented
        Editing a comment
        I don't think watching netflix can eradicate loneliness. It can be used to pass time, but it cannot replace human connection, and it cannot bring meaning or purpose to life. Binge watching may even be a sign of depression in itself.

        I think that getting together online with people who have similar interests and trying to learn a new skill together may help.

      • Lou
        Lou commented
        Editing a comment
        This is so true. We can almost do everything with just our hand-held phones. Human connection is becoming scarce nowadays. I wonder how the future generation will socialize with each other. Will there be a new meaning for the word "socialize" in the future?

    • #9
      We should always remember that it is okay not to be okay especially during these hard times. And that we cannot force ourselves to remove the anxiety all of a sudden. However, there are so many things that we can do to lessen the loneliness that we feel during this pandemic. Slowly, the activities that we enjoy doing physically can already be done in the comfort of our home. There are online classes for everything you can think of like art, writing, business management, beauty classes, etc. It's crazy but it's great that everything comes in handy for everyone at home.

      There are also tips mentioned in this article (https://www.verywellmind.com/how-to-...avirus-4799661) that could be helpful if you still find it hard to cope with the loneliness you feel.

      Comment


      • Kamille
        Kamille commented
        Editing a comment
        I appreciate this comment mjmnl. Thank you for reminding us that its okay to be lonely, and that its normal during these times. We shouldn't deprive ourselves to feel this emotions and its easier to reach out for support when we acknowledge these feelings.

        One tip I can add is checking our friends and families how they are holding up right now. Maybe they're also lonely and just need someone to chat with. Remember that we are all trying to survive this pandemic.

    • #10
      Of late, music is not working for me. I need my outdoor exercise. I need the fresh air. The wind hitting my face as I run. I need to hear the birds, the crickets and even the leaves around me as I navigate the forest trail. It recharges me.

      So now I am stuck with my music and some home work outs. I don't mind having less contact with people. I love it! But I want my contact back with nature.

      Comment


      • mjmnl
        mjmnl commented
        Editing a comment
        Woooow. Good for you and your family, Kamille! I could just imagine the beauty of nature that you described and it already made me miss travelling so much that I'm itching to book any flights that I can find for next year. I hope everything will be fine soon and eventually it will be safe for us to go and take a trip again. It's crazy how this virus has changed a lot in the tourism industry and increased unemployment in this sector. Ugh, can't wait for all of this to be over.

      • jcoppi29
        jcoppi29 commented
        Editing a comment
        I find that sometimes, if I listen to any of my favorite artists or songs too long, they lose their appeal. Human minds are sadly very flexible in a way that if its continuously exposed to something, the response trigger threshold a stimulus elicits (like a song, a movie, etc) gets higher and higher. Alcohol tolerance, coffee tolerance are quite chemical leaning but the same applies for other stimuli.

        The fix would be immersing oneself to other newer artists or types of songs, I think, until thresholds lower again and the magic some songs or music or movies have had on us would be back as it was.

      • Skye
        Skye commented
        Editing a comment
        jcoppi29, no new music or artist is catching my attention though. That's the thing. Music is no longer working for me. I need a new stimulus altogether.

    • #11
      1 in 4 students "feel like I don't have any friends." In collaboration with Beyond Blue, Student Edge and YouthInsight surveyed 430 young people aged 16 - 24 during COVID-19 isolation, and discovered an alarming stat: 25% feel friendless at the moment. With Australia far from out of the woods in regards to coronavirus, it's important we all keep supporting young people. That also means checking in on the young people in your life, and offering your love and friendship too.

      Comment


      • jcoppi29
        jcoppi29 commented
        Editing a comment
        This may be because their standards for defining "friendless" have very low thresholds thanks to social media. An additional reading that can be done with this would be the other correlational studies of social media usage and mental illness -- it includes the age group you've specified as well. Being exposed to social media during their developmental years may have imprinted unto them the idea that having friends means having a lot of friends or engagements in the platform, when, in truth, as the older generations mention, quality over quantity. It's okay to have a few close friends that a lot of shallow, cold acquaintances.

        These days, due to social media, most friendships are forcefully put into a quantitative lens, wherein, it's less about the quality of connections and more on the numbers, likes, shares, etc -- things that get addictive because it triggers dopamine. Now, because the dopamine has a high threshold before being triggered, less people feel its rewarding feeling and more pursue it as if it's a need, even if it becomes social media dependence.

        They do need our support, and one way we can support is by telling them that while social media exposes them to a wider population, at the end of the day, quality over quantity. It's okay to have a few close friends than 1k+ shallow connections.
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