Tag Archives: stress

De-stress as you move into Advising Week

Winding down from one semester, and planning for your next can be a significant adjustment. With the demand of approaching deadlines, it is easy to get overwhelmed in the blink of an eye. As you move into Advising Week, we want to provide you with some resources to help you unwind, and refocus on preparing for your next step.

Yoga has more benefits than I can list but the ones I want you to take advantage of right now is it’s capacity to reduce anxiety and stress. Taking time to stretch and twist the body, releases chemicals that our bodies naturally produce when stressed. Beyond the physical movements, yoga has a meditative component that ignites your inner strength in a way that will empower you to tackle any obstacle, help you maintain peace when feeling harried, and turn down the volume of the loud voice of self-doubt. iStock_000052315416_LargeIncorporating yoga into your daily practice has been made easy with the use of technology. Here are some free apps you can download today that can jump-start your yoga practice! There is no greater obstacle to overcome than your own mind, feed it with positivity and it will help you accomplish great things! Namaste.

YogaQuote: Gives you daily inspirational yoga quotes and mantras.

Daily Yoga: Gives you live training with  videos and a professionally made yoga program for you to follow without needing to go to a gym. This app even has yoga to help you de-stress at your desk (great to do right before writing a paper)!

As you move into Advising Week, continue to follow ELife for tips on:

  • Familiarizing yourself with resources to help you with your academic planning.
  • Focusing on your career planning.
  • Checking to make sure you are on the right path to achieve your goals.
  • Gaining skills outside the classroom.
  • Taking some time for reflection.

This post was written by NOVA Online Success Coach, Jennifer. Have a question, but not sure who to ask? Start with a Success Coach! They can be reached at elisuccess@nvcc.edu or call 703.323.3347.

Take advantage of Advising Week events on campus or virtually as you plan your schedule and register for courses. Reach out to the Student Services offices or Virtual Advisors with any questions you have as you are planning your courses.

Conquering Math Stress

For a lot of us, math can be a cause of anxiety! You can easily lose perspective if you don’t stay on top of assignments and exam preparation.

Below are some tips for coping with the math funk – the period of time where you may be growing discouraged by the increasing difficulty that your math course is presenting, when you are beating your head against the wall memorizing theorems and tying it to the larger purpose of getting a good grade, all the while, trying not to drown in the complex terminology and detailed strategies of working the problems.math stress

  • Remember and reinforce the “whys” behind the reasoning for your math courses: Do you need these courses to graduate, for your degree plan, for a prerequisite? If you need them for your degree plan, the bigger picture may transform from I need to get a good grade in this course to I need to be able to apply these skills and generalize them to scenarios in my work environment. If you merely need them as a general education requirement or prerequisite, remind yourself that you need to master this course in order to excel to a more interesting class for which you have prerequisites.
  • Do not fall into the math quicksand – I call this the period of time that you forget much of the information you have learned either for a test or in preparation for future math lessons, the result being that when you approach the next lesson, the cumulative learning that took place beforehand is all but lost. Hence, you may find yourself quickly trying to re-memorize the previous theories all over again in an effort to rapidly catch up to the current one or the fast approaching cumulative exam.
  • Avoid blaming external factors for math not being fun – Let’s face it; math may not be the most “entertaining” and engaging material for some folks. However, rather than blame your lack of interest on the dryness of the material, find unique ways to apply the concepts to your life. Word problems are a great example; the ones that involve calculating percentages, totals and sale prices can go a long way in planning how to budget your next trip to the grocery store! When I think of memorizing something as simple as multiplication tables, it may enhance my memory of future numbers like phone numbers or my driver’s license number, if I left it at home – yikes!
  • Plan accordingly and practice effective time management – Remember to access your calendar or planner daily, weekly and monthly to plan out your assignments and even carve out some time to review notes and prepare for the next assignment or lesson. Even insert time for diversions like studying a different subject or going for a walk when you start to feel yourself burning out.
  • Find the humor in math – Believe it or not, math can be funny sometimes. When you are practicing that problem for what seems like an eternity; then, you get feedback or discover how the correct answer came to be. Substitute the feeling of frustration with one of “that textbook showed me” – and learn to laugh at your mistakes. Any epiphanies that you discover along the way can serve as lighthearted moments – where the “how did they get that answer? – can be humorous in and of itself before your resume the “serious” task of trying to re-work the problem to get to the correct answer.

All in all, don’t give up. When you find yourself losing momentum, take a break or divert your mind to another subject area. One suggestion for combating frustration is to keep a journal close by to jot down the following: what kind of problem it was, why you got it wrong, how did you feel at the time and what strategy are you taking to empower yourself so you bounce back. Then, evaluate how this strategy helped. This might even involve taking a break first and returning to the problem, noting how the brief interlude might have changed your perspective.

Many students view math as overwhelming and scary—but it doesn’t have to be.  Learn how to study more efficiently for mathematics and apply relaxing techniques to reduce your anxieties by participating in the NOVA Online Student Success Coach’s Tackling Your Math Anxiety Recorded Workshop! You can also view on-demand workshops from Student Lingo.

This post has been modified from the squarecircleZ, math blog. For more information on this topic, visit this link. Contact the NOVA Online Success Coach Team at elisuccess@nvcc.edu or 703.764.5076 for resources and references to help you have a successful semester.

Happy studying!

 

De-stress as you move into Advising Week

Winding down from one semester, and planning for your next can be a significant adjustment. With the demand of approaching deadlines, it is easy to get overwhelmed in the blink of an eye. As you move into Advising Week, we want to provide you with some resources to help you unwind, and refocus on preparing for your next step.

Yoga has more benefits than I can list but the ones I want you to take advantage of right now is it’s capacity to reduce anxiety and stress. Taking time to stretch and twist the body, releases chemicals that our bodies naturally produce when stressed. Beyond the physical movements, yoga has a meditative component that ignites your inner strength in a way that will empower you to tackle any obstacle, help you maintain peace when feeling harried, and turn down the volume of the loud voice of self-doubt. iStock_000052315416_LargeIncorporating yoga into your daily practice has been made easy with the use of technology. Here are some free apps you can download today that can jump-start your yoga practice! There is no greater obstacle to overcome than your own mind, feed it with positivity and it will help you accomplish great things! Namaste.

YogaQuote: Gives you daily inspirational yoga quotes and mantras.

Daily Yoga: Gives you live training with  videos and a professionally made yoga program for you to follow without needing to go to a gym. This app even has yoga to help you de-stress at your desk (great to do right before writing a paper)!

As you move into Advising Week, continue to follow ELife for tips on:

  • Familiarizing yourself with resources to help you with your academic planning.
  • Focusing on your career planning.
  • Checking to make sure you are on the right path to achieve your goals.
  • Gaining skills outside the classroom.
  • Taking some time for reflection.

This post was written by NOVA Online Success Coach, Jennifer. Have a question, but not sure who to ask? Start with a Success Coach! They can be reached at elisuccess@nvcc.edu or call 703.323.3347.

Take advantage of Advising Week events on campus or virtually as you plan your schedule and register for courses. Reach out to the Student Services offices or Virtual Advisors with any questions you have as you are planning your courses.

Motivational Minute: Maintaining Peace Amongst Chaos

inner peace comic

We all have had those times when we go into an interaction with someone feeling positive but walk away from it feeling disturbed, bothered, frustrated, angry, drained (and many more unpleasant adjectives). Sometimes we need to remind ourselves not to let other people’s negativity rub off on us. Think about the ocean and its properties for a moment (stay with me here). The ocean maintains calm and stillness below the surface even if there is a hurricane above. The deeper within the ocean you go, the calmer the waters. We should try to embody those same properties within ourselves and exercise the ability to maintain inner peace regardless of external circumstance. Whenever there is dis-ease (that’s probably not really a word but you catch my drift) around you, connect with the stillness within and find it by retreating and exploring the depths inside yourself.  The peace you need to weather the storms of relentless instructors (whyyy), classmates that don’t pull their weight in group assignments (ggrrrr), and Blackboard malfunctions (aahhh) is just below your surface, just dive deeper and tap into it! Namaste!

Download the Omvana meditation app (it’s free for iPhones and iPads) and try Being the Ocean (it’s only .99!)

–Jennifer, NOVA Online Student Success Coach

Motivational Minute: The Many Faces of Stress

file cabinet

Ever find yourself flipping out over the smallest things and you have no idea why? It seems like all it takes is for the wind to blow in from the wrong direction and your brain explodes?! If this sounds like you, the jury has deliberated and has found you guilty of being stressed! Whenever there are circumstances that put a significant amount of stress on us, the tasks of everyday life become much more difficult to manage, we feel out of control, our tolerance takes a serious dive and, before we know it, we’re throwing tantrums over the most minute things.

Because so much of our lives are lived on the go, we can sometimes overlook just how much we are being impacted by our stress and miss the telltale signs all together. Our body is usually the first place signs of stress show up. Stress in the system can cause a slew of physical symptoms, i.e. restlessness, fatigue, digestive problems, headaches, etc.  Increasing awareness of the connection between mind and body can help ward off some of the negative physical effects of stress. Practicing activities such as, progressive relaxation, taking mental body scans, doing yoga, stretching, and meditation daily can dramatically decrease physical tension. Increasing awareness of how your body feels when you are in your natural, calm state will help you return to that state faster when you feel overwhelmed.  Incorporating these practices into your daily routine will also  help you identify and recognize any change in the body and mind that stress may induce with more ease and accuracy. Knowing yourself has more perks than you could imagine and it’s the first step in taking action to address the root of your stress. Namaste.

–Jennifer, NOVA Online Success Coach

Resources for Managing Stress:

Omvana is a free meditation app that has guided progressive relaxation sessions you can follow. This is a great activity if you’re having trouble sleeping as a result of stress.

If you would like to talk to someone about what’s going on with you, Call 2-1-1 or click here  to be linked to local and statewide health and human services. When calling, you can speak  with a trained professional for assistance with identifying sources of help. All referrals are confidential.

Check out Managing the Demands of School through Meditation

stress comic 2

Where Does the Time Go?

imagesDo you know where your time goes? It seems that the older you get, the more responsibilities are put on you. Take this brief quiz via Virginia Tech’s website to determine just how much time you have to dedicate to your studies. If the time left over is not equivalent to at least twice the number of credits you are enrolled in, you do not have enough time allotted for your studies.  But, there are things you can do; such as reducing the time spent on some activities/responsibilities, adjusting your work hours, or adjusting the number of credits you take in a semester.

When one can’t reduce their time on activities or responsibilities or work; that leaves the number of credits one should take in a semester. Many students I talk with want to be able to do it all – work full-time, go to college full-time, take care of their family, etc. Course load is often the only factor that can be manipulated; but students do not want to delay their educational goals. This is certainly admirable; but, if one does not have enough time to complete their course work accurately and on-time, and study effectively for exams; one’s grades will suffer and it can take longer to reach your goals. So, I encourage you to take the quiz and see where your time goes. Do you have enough time in the week to dedicate to your studies? Are you using the time efficiently? Or do you find you do not have enough time? What can you reduce or eliminate from your schedule to make more time? Watch the Time Management: Strategies for Success video by StudentLingo to obtain some great tips on managing your time effectively!

-Written by NOVA Online Counselor, Kim Burkle

Procrastination and Stress: How are they Related?

According to author Eric Jaffe, from the Association for Psychological Science, procrastinators have higher levels of stress and lower levels of well-being1.  Procrastination is defined as the voluntary delay of a task for which an individual knows they will suffer. While it is said that everyone “procrastinate[s], not everyone is a procrastinator.”1

Mounting assignments and exams to study for can cause the most ambitious student to become a procrastinator.  Students are a leading culprit of procrastination.  This can be contributed to the number of responsibilities on a college student’s plate – work responsibilities, family responsibilities, and personal responsibilities may all cause a college student to procrastinate on their school responsibilities.  Many times, procrastination is the “result of putting off their work to pursue more pleasurable activities”1.  If a person has a “poor concept of time”, this is sure to exacerbate ones willingness to procrastinate1.

Jaffe further indicates procrastinators earn lower grades than other students and procrastinators report higher cumulative amounts of stress and illness1. As one may imagine, the work produced and the well-being of procrastinators is known to suffer due to their intentional delay. Individuals who procrastinate have heightened levels of anxiety1. WebMD states that some stress can be good because it can keep us alert and motivated2. But too much stress can make us sick. A person “constantly under stress can have physical symptoms, such as headaches, an upset stomach, high blood pressure, chest pain, and problems with sex and sleep”2. “Stress is also known to lead to emotional problems, depression, panic attacks, or other forms of anxiety and worry.”2

So, how do you avoid procrastinating?  See a list of suggested tips below:

  1. Plan your time. Use a day planner or an electronic calendar to schedule time to complete tasks you know you are likely to put off.
  2. Set a daily or weekly goal or to-do list for yourself. Make it your goal to complete these items by the end of the day or week.
  3. Reward yourself. If you complete a task early, treat yourself to a special sweet treat or outing.
  4. Stressed? You will not be able to think clearly if you are stresses about other things. Dr. Gamal Aboshadi, teaches PED 116 at NOVA Online and at the Annandale Campus. Take a moment to review a short video he created on stress relief/breathing techniques.
  5. Take the Overcoming Procrastination: Causes And Cures quiz on Student Lingo to see if you are a procrastinator.

Do you need help managing your stress and staying organized? Reach out to your NOVA Online Success Coach at elisuccess@nvcc.edu or 703.764.5076. Your Success Coach can help you map out your semester and provide tips to help you have a successful semester.


1. Jaffe, E. (2013, April 13). Why Wait? The Science Behind Procrastination. Retrieved February 10, 2015, from http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/publications/observer/2013/april-13/why-wait-the-science-behind-procrastination.html

2. Goldberg, J. (2014, October 13). How Stress Affects Your Health. Retrieved February 10, 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/depression/stress-anxiety-depression