Stress Management For Mature Students

Stress can affect professionals of all ages, in all business sectors, and, because of the additional pressures and workload, it can also be a threat to those who are studying by distance learning. Most mature students who are studying for a professional qualification, or taking a course to improve their knowledge of a specialist area, do so whilst still continuing with their full-time employment, or running their own business. This inevitably adds another pressure to what is already a busy life, at work and at home. Most professionals take distance learning courses which they have to study at home, and this reduces the time that they can spend with their partner, or family, and reduces relaxation time away from the workplace. Added to this, most courses and qualifications have coursework, assignments, possibly examinations all with time deadlines and quality targets that must be achieved. As a result, the studying, in itself a very worthwhile personal development activity, can cause some students to suffer adversely from stress. What is stress? Is it always damaging?. Stress can be very damaging and can be very difficult to deal with. Despite the overuse of the word by the many thousands who are not genuinely stressed, when a person is genuinely suffering from stress, it is a damaging and dangerous condition to be in, and action is essential. Stress is pressure caused by the effect on ourselves that we experience as a result of interacting with our environment, for example our workplace, colleagues, our family, our partner, social friends, and the activities that we are involved in, such as projects at work, social activities, and study activities. There can be positive and negative stress. Positive stress can help us to achieve our goals, complete a project successfully, make effective changes to our working or personal lives. The pressures of taking on new challenges and activities, but being successful in them, can be motivating and result in feelings of excitement and fulfilment. Negative stress is caused by the pressures around an individual becoming overwhelming, and then potentially damaging. Once the pressures become too intense, then the fear of failing and not coping add further pressures. This type of stress affects people in a negative, often harmful manner. Negative stress can result in our feeling frustration, resentment, anger, worthlessness, and despair, as well as causing a range of physical problems. Why does stress affect different people in different ways? It is now accepted that stress affects different people in different ways. Pressures that can become too much for some people can be absorbed relatively easily by others. The reasons for this are many. One is basic personality differences, where one person sees the pressure as a challenge to overcome, whilst another will have doubts about their ability to cope, and see the same pressure as threatening. A related, reason for this apparent difference is that the more positive person has been better trained, or had previous experience to draw on, whilst the negative person is facing this pressure for the first time, or has had a bad experience of it previously. Another reason is undoubtedly the complexity of the environment that surrounds each person. When an individual has most areas of their lives running smoothly then the pressure from a single event or area of their lives can often be managed without difficulty. The same event can be overwhelming for an individual who has many difficult situations current in their lives, which are already putting them under considerable pressure the last straw effect. How can you tell if you are suffering from Stress? That’s sometimes difficult, but if you are: feeling depressed prone to outbursts of anger, feeling helpless and unable to cope, hate the thought of going in to work falling seriously behind with work or study deadlines, having difficulty concentrating, constantly in conflict with colleagues or your partner, eating too much, or drinking too much, experiencing headaches, muscular or chest pains, stomach troubles, losing interest in study or social activities that previously excited you finding that colleagues or family are expressing concern, the chances are that you are stressed. If you are, there is a strong chance also that you have other problems too, as the negative effects of stress can cause physical and mental problems to arise, if the stress is not addressed. What can I do to manage my Stress?. Stress can be effectively recognized and managed. The key is to understand our own signs of stress, select a few appropriate techniques to manage that stress, and then consistently use those techniques. One common characteristic of those who manage stress successfully and positively is that they all view stress, pressures, complexity, as an area of their lives that have to be managed, and they take defensive action if the pressures build to unreasonable levels. If you are suffering from stress, take action! Now! Don’t wait a moment longer take action. Here are 25 ways in which you can manage stress more successfully. They are not in order of priority but are offered as suggestions that can help you to prevent stress from damaging your life. Recognise that stress may be affecting you or could do in the future, talk to someone you really trust face to face, or by telephone, letter, or even email, take time out to play a sport, entertainment, family activity, with friends,exercise on a regular basis it helps manage and prevent stress becoming a problem, eat a balanced diet whenever possible, get plenty of sleep this helps you stay fresh and gives you more energy during the day, avoid self-medication with nicotine, alcohol, too much coffee or tranquillisers, try doing something for others colleagues, friends, family, partner, take one thing at a time when possible if not, don’t take on too much at the same time, try to avoid unnecessary conflict, at work, home, and socially, develop a hobby or interest as a counter-balance to stressful pressures, don’t let work or family commitments become an addiction, don’t feel guilty about taking time out for yourself you are important too, don't put off relaxing - use a relaxation stress reduction technique daily, know when you are tired and do something about it take a break, don't be afraid to say No! You won’t be respected if you say Yes but then make mistakes, delegate responsibility and or tasks where possible and appropriate, manage your time better - you need a system that works for you, not against you, plan ahead for workload and social activities to prevent too much pressure building up, draw up an Action Plan to tackle the causes of your stress, stress is not usually caused by a single, large, problem - break it down into smaller pieces and deal with them individually, set realistic targets most stress causes are complex and cannot be eliminated immediately, accept that some things you cannot change accept them or change direction to avoid them, when you are successful in making positive changes, even small ones reward yourself, be pleased with your achievement, and be realistic about achieving perfection none of us will ever be perfect. Mild, manageable, stress helps us to achieve our time deadlines, get to appointments on time, remember important dates, and get those last minute details worked out on a project that is due tomorrow, perform to the best of our ability, and produce high quality work. This is usually not what causes us to become "distressed" to suffer negatively from stress. Sometimes too many minor stresses build up to create an unhealthy level of stress. What would, individually, be manageable, combines to become unmanageable and stressful. For example, more and more overlapping work activities, with impending time deadlines and high quality targets, building up to the point where it is not possible for the individual to manage it all. At other times, sadly, we will experience events that in themselves result in exceptionally high levels of stress - such as the loss of a loved one, losing a job, or the ending of a relationship. Adding a course of studies to the mix of pressures that affect mature, working professionals, can raise stress levels to a high or potentially damaging level. Being aware of the dangers of negative stress, and how to manage stress, is essential. It is one of the many skills that is required by individuals aiming for successful personal and career development. As the demands on professionals increase, in terms of performance in the workplace, having to show evidence of continuous personal development activity, and having to balance these with the demands of home and social lives. The key to success is to recognise that Stress can be a dangerous enemy, to learn about it, and to find ways to manage it effectively. By taking preventative action, using some of the recognised stress management techniques, stress can usually be managed successfully. About the author CJ Williams is a tutor and management consultant currently working with Brighton School of Business and Management in the UK, specialising in Business and Management courses taught via distance learning. The writer, CJ Williams, can be contacted via

How To Develop Reading Skills In Children

Reading difficulties can be prevented during early childhood. When introduced at an early age, reading skills can be achieved without much difficulty. Early intervention can prevent future reading difficulties in children. It is crucial that parents introduce reading to their children as early as possible – especially when they suspect that their children needs extra help in development.

Here are some tips on how to help children develop good reading skills at an early age:

* Introduce reading as an enjoyable activity. It should be highly motivating and not stressful for the children. Games and surprises should be part of reading activities. Children will be interested with something fun and enjoyable. When you introduce reading as simply a task that they should do because they have to, don’t expect any positive result.

* Parents should choose books and reading materials that are highly interesting, colourful and easy to understand. The choice of books should depend on the ability and age of the child. It should be something which they can relate to. Books should be written in big letters and with images.

* Children should be guided in learning the connection between spoken and written words. Strengthen word recognition to avoid problems with reading comprehension at the later stage of learning and reading.

* Allow the children to read more or you can read for them. A better reader is one who reads more. Fluency in the recognition of words can be achieved through constant reading.

* Introduce alphabetic principles. Let the children understand that words are formed by letters of the alphabet. Mastering the alphabet makes reading an easy task later on. Children should be guided to achieve familiarity of the alphabet and the sounds they represent.

* When children are already able to read independently, let them read on their own. It helps them develop their own reading strategies that will make reading and comprehension a lot easier for them.

When developing reading skills in young children, remember the principle of motivation. To encourage children to read at an early age, you need excellent motivational strategies. They will read when motivated.

It may seem to be a challenging task to teach children to develop reading skills at an early age; however, it will all be worth it. Early intervention in reading prevents future problems with reading. More adolescents today are facing reading difficulties. It could have been avoided if early reading intervention was done during their early grades.

With seventeen children's books currently in print, and with sixteen new books to be published in 2007, Marie Dunleavy is an accomplished children's books author. Her books and associated resources were originally developed for a differently abled child in her own family but are now used for children with special needs in classrooms in U.K. and Ireland. For more information about the resources, please visit

Home School VS. Public School

"Each day, more than 1,200 young men and women give up on their high school education, and, in many cases, on themselves" - so says the AdCouncil. Each day, 1,200 young men and women are becoming a burden to society. In a report done in March of 2006 for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, it was found that one third of all Public High School students failed to graduate with less then 2 years to go. Nearly one half of those were blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans. Many students gave personal reasons for leaving school. A third (32 percent) said they had to get a job and make money; 26 percent said they became a parent; and 22 percent said they had to care for a family member. At the end of this article I will show you where to get the rest of this disturbing report.

I am not a fan of the public school system. Not with numbers like... the nationwide grand mean in reading for home schoolers was at the 79th percentile, and the 73rd percentile for language and math. This ranking means home school students performed better than approximately 77% of the sample population on whom the test was normed. Nearly 80% of home schooled children achieve individual scores above the national average and 54.7% of the 16,000 home schoolers achieved individual scores in the top quarter of the population, more than double the number of conventional school students who score in the top quarter.

Facts are facts, but commons sense dictates that the public schools just do not work. They keep throughing money at the problem, working on self esteem and incentives while passing out condoms. They took out morals and replaced it with acceptance. They took out accountability and replaced it with food stamps. That's what the government gives in return for your tax dollars. Not to mention the NEA. They are a force in Washington that would rival the IRS. Just mention the word 'school vouchers' and red flags go up while the race cards come down.

Point being that this great country does allow us a means to avoid the peer pressure filled, barb wire lined, police patrolling institutions we call public education. The number of home schools is rising every year, and with that are SAT test scores. The fact that nearly all home schools are Christian based is reason enough to go this route. But even if you took that out of the equation you would be left with flexible schedules, like going year round and taking a week off anytime you like. One on one training and tutoring, a nurturing environment as apposed to one that requires self defense as part of the curriculum.

It is easy to realize that the home school beats public school, and even private schools for that matter. One must consider the time it would take to pursue such a task though, along with the cost. I have found places that get the process rolling for a $75 Registration fee, $25 processing fee, and then $500 - $750 per child, depending on the number of children. These organizations will provide proper paperwork, curriculum's, planners, schedules and support to keep it in line with all the various state laws that apply.

For those interested in many more statistics and getting further details on home schools, a good starting point would be at . Included is a fun read call "The Teachers Interview", which will need no explanation.

Brandon McVey

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