No matter if your school is going back in person, online or a hybrid of the two, these are times for change and adjustment for all. Thankfully, there are many resources and tips that you can use below that can help you manage yourself as you navigate the spring semester. If this is your first time taking online classes, click here for tips. It is important to not only take time for yourself physically but also mentally.
At home or in your dorm, there are many ways to help manage anxiety and stress. I schedule 2-3 hours a week to myself and fill that time for me to relax – whether that means a nap or just sitting down with a good book. It gives me time to remove myself from what is occurring around me. I have also found it to be extremely important to have real expectations. Do not put all of your hopes for the future into one plan. The world is in many pieces right now and you have to be open to change. Plans keep changing as COVID keeps evolving.
It is really important to take time for your health. Physically, getting exercise and raising your heartbeat will trigger endorphins to fire, which relieve stress and anxiety. With school in session, it is easy to get caught up in classes and homework, yet even a short walk can be beneficial. Once the weather gets a bit warmer, a nice walk outside can boost your mood. Mentally, if you take the time to meditate you can clear your mind and can focus better when you are “in the moment.” This app offers great introductions to meditation.
If you are online for the spring semester like me, you may also find it difficult to keep motivated. This link shares 10 tips to stay engaged. You can try to replicate your social setting at school and hang out with peers even if it is virtually. Setting up a “study hall” over zoom can be a way to hold yourself accountable and may motivate you to work if you see your peers working as well. If you are near friends or on campus check out this post to see how you can stay safe during COVID-19. This semester I have also spent the extra money to invest in paper copies of my books rather than digital as a way to limit my screen time. I have also found it beneficial to set timers for a certain amount of time to work on an assignment. To maximize productivity, turn your phone off or keep it out of reach while in class or when doing homework.
Keep a routine! I have found using google calendar is extremely useful, especially with reminders. It keeps all of your meetings and things in one place and can give you 30-minute reminders. Try to replicate your setting at school as much at home if you can. As easy as it is to roll out of bed and open your computer, take a few minutes to grab some breakfast. Fuel your mind and body for a day of classes, even if it is from the comfort of your home.
At this time, there is a need to have hope. Hope for humanity. Hope for our world. But it is also a time of uncertainty, which can lead to stress and anxiety. Seek help if you need it, you are not alone. There is nothing wrong with speaking to someone if you need to - this is a difficult time for everyone. I am hopeful to see familiar faces again in person. I am hopeful to be in a classroom again. I am hopeful to hug my friends again. I am hopeful to get vaccinated soon. I am hopeful that we show each other kindness and compassion.
Check out this link for more tips and updates about COVID-19.