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6 Tips: Staying on Top of Your Game During a Pandemic
No one could have prepared for this situation… and as a student trying to finish up the last year of her undergrad, the timing isn’t ideal. I mean no timing is great for a pandemic but you get the point. As school goes “virtual”, both students and teachers are navigating new terrain. It has taken adjustment on all parts, but over the past few days I have come up with a few tips and tricks to stay motivated, stay on top of shifting due dates and finish off this school year strong.
1. Make a plan.
I cannot stress this enough! And while I’m a big fan of plans regularly – I know, nerd alert – making plans right now is important and helpful to visually understand what needs to be done today, and wait for tomorrow. The best way to do this for me is to write one out for the next few days. Don’t go too far and plan the next month out because, let’s be honest, life happens and things change. Star or underline or even highlight the most time sensitive projects to complete. Plans also help to maintain daily structure in a time where structure has gone out the window.
2. Organize a comfy - but not TOO comfy - work station.
This is one of the benefits of having to stay home, so take advantage of it! For me, I need some natural light, a comfy but structured chair and a blanket. I also enjoy a cup, or a few, of hot coffee, so I have that ready beside me. If it’s chilly I turn a space heater on, or it’s a little warm I open a window or put a fan on. I would suggest, from personal experience, working on your bed can be difficult to maintain focus, and well not fall asleep, but if that works for you, go for it!
3. Change up your working station.
Again, one of the benefits of working at home, you aren’t restricted to one desk or table. Move around, changing my setting can help me think differently and tap into different creative ideas based on what’s around me. You make the decision.
4. Take breaks! You’re at home, why not?
Study or work breaks are essential any day of the year, but they are even more crucial when you begin to go a little stir crazy from being inside for a prolonged amount of time. Pet your dog, cat, hamster or pet rock- whatever works for you. Have a free homemade snack! Watch an episode or two of the new Ru Paul Drag Race season. Breaks are healthy and help your memory work better.
5. Stay hydrated.
This is a tip that literally helps any issue I find I run into. Stressed? Drink a glass of water. Sad? Drink a glass of water. Thirsty? Hey, drink a glass of water! But this is even more important when you are self-isolating because you aren’t getting as much physical activity so chances are, you also aren’t drinking enough water. This will help your mood, your focus, your metabolism and I’m no scientist, but it also helps your hair and skin stay less dry.
6. Go outside.
While we have all been overwhelmed with fear and notions of separation from the outside world, stepping outside, whether that be your front or back porch, walking your pet around the block or going for a walk or run, will dramatically improve your mood and focus. In times like this we need not forget that our world isn’t our enemy. We are all on the same team, don’t be afraid of collaboration, human beings need connection. Stay safe and take precautions but don’t fear each other! Negativity spurs more negativity. *Remember to practice physical distance from others - at least 2 metres.
Together we will overcome this, as generations have overcome adversity in the past, but for now, I hope these few tips and tricks help make finishing the school year or simply getting through this, a little bit easier.
Rachel is in her fourth and last year of an undergraduate degree at Western University.
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