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How to Cope with the Stress of Studying

23rd September 20

Getting back into education can be an exciting opportunity to enhance your skills, open up new opportunities and improve your employment prospects.

Whatever your motivation or desired outcome, there are hundreds of courses to choose from.

You could enrol on courses such as GCSEs, A Levels, Access to Higher Education Diplomas and more. So, you’re bound to find a course that interests you and suits your needs.

Although learning should be a positive experience it’s not without its obstacles. It requires dedication and determination for adult learners to juggle studying and all their other commitments.

Adapting to a new routine may not be as seamless as first thought which can cause feelings of stress. Which is understandable when there’s already so much going on in our lives.

But rest assured there are ways to minimise its effects. You can structure your learning in a way to enjoy the experience. Learn more on how to manage stress, regain motivation and not feel overwhelmed.


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Planning your study sessions in advance can help alleviate feelings of uncertainty that can cause stress. By having structured your learning in anticipation you will feel more prepared to learn and therefore more in control of your learning.

You’ll need to be realistic with your scheduling and factor in other commitments. Be considerate to yourself when deciding when to plan a session, don’t plan to study in the middle of your holiday. It’s not going to happen, and you’ll only make yourself feel guilty.

You’ll be better off instead allowing yourself the time off to relax and carry on learning when you get back.

If you do have a deadline to adhere to then planning ahead will help you manage your workload and take that much needed break. You’ll know exactly how long you have and exactly how much you need to get through.

This will allow you to focus on your learning and know exactly how much time you have for each module. Obviously, some modules may be easier than others so use the plan as a guideline rather than absolute.

Circumstances change, and that’s ok, so allow yourself some breathing room to cope with any unforeseen issues.

A lot of the most successful online students plan their studies as it helps them focus. If you know you have a study session in the diary you’re far less likely to put it off or make alternate plans instead of studying.

It’s also important to breakdown your study sessions into more manageable chunks. It’s less intimidating that way. Instead of a huge session in one evening that could overwhelm you. 


Discovering a way to revise effectively can help boost your confidence when preparing for exams. 

There is a broad range of options when considering ways to revise. The best way is to trial them all and see what works for you. You’re in control of you’re learning so you’re able to decide what helps you and what doesn’t.

We advise a combination of the following techniques to help keep you engaged with your learning and help you retain information better. The more varied your learning experience the easier it will be to keep motivated.

Revision could include:

  • Flashcards
  • Pop quizzes
  • Mock exams
  • Supplementary reading
  • Videos
  • Post-it notes

Note-taking is also an important part of revision and structuring your notes appropriately can make a real difference. It isn’t about how neatly you write and more about the intention behind the notes.

If you’re colour coordinating your work to make it look pretty, then you’re considering the aesthetics more than the actual learning. However, if you’re a visual learner, colours and diagrams can help you retain the information so worth applying that into your notes.

There are various methods of note-taking that can effectively improve your learning experience. They can vary from as simple as listing keywords to more complex formatting with a variety of sections.

Research potential methods and experiment with styles until you find the right fit for you.

Tutor Support

An advantage of education, whether it’s through an online learning provider or physical college is the support system.

If you’re struggling with your learning journey, wherever that may be, it’s important to reach out. Don’t feel like you have to go through it alone, institutions have services set up to help you get through challenging times.

If you’re an online student, then email your tutor outlining your concerns. They’ll be able to offer advice and guide you through your learning until you’re back on track.

It’s also important to utilise the resources that are out there. The internet is a wonderful place, so make the most of it.

The NHS website has a page dedicated to coping with stress whilst studying which you can read here. Also, the mental health charity mind has an article detailing how to deal with the stress of exams here.

We have various blog articles on how to prepare for online study that could benefit you. Read more on this here.


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Selfcare can refer to a range of activities from a spa day to a walk through the park listening. But generally, it just means listening to your body and mind giving yourself some TLC.

In relation to studying there are many different ‘selfcare’ techniques that could potentially help.

If you’re struggling to focus on your work then give yourself a break. Breaks help the brain digest information and can help decrease stress and anxiety. Give yourself time away from your screen or note-book and go outside for some fresh air.

In your breaks, you could also practice mindfulness to help alleviate symptoms of stress and/or anxiety.  Read further on the benefits of mindfulness on the NHS website.

Mindfulness meditation involves sitting silently and focusing on being in the moment and your surroundings, feelings and/or emotions. For example, focusing solely on your breathing. Mindfulness meditation helps reduce stress by promoting tranquillity through a deep state of relaxation.

Daily exercise can also help lift low moods. As little as 15 to 20 minutes of exercise a day can increase dopamine levels. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is linked to happiness.

If you are still struggling to manage low moods, anxiety and stress then it’s important you seek professional help. Local mental health charities such as mind have centres across the UK and can help guide you through challenges with your mental health.

Start Your Learning Journey

Whatever reason you have for getting back into education learndirect can support you throughout your journey.

learndirect is one of the UK’s leading online learning providers. We offer a variety of courses to suit almost all needs with flexible payment options to help spread the cost.

Our courses are guided by experienced and qualified tutors to guide you throughout your learning. They’ll offer constructive feedback on your assignments as well as extra support when needed.

To learn about enrolling onto on an online course read our blog here.

If you’re ready to begin learning get in touch with a member of our sales team or enrol online today.

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