Before my university announced an extended spring break, I was looking forward to getting back to classes. I only had one in-person class and the rest were already online and wasn’t expecting to be a full-time online student. I don’t think anyone expected so many people to be teleworking or attending online classes for the past few months and the foreseeable future. Nobody expected this pandemic to happen. And when it did, I don’t think any of us expected it to last this long.
The sudden shift of our entire lives can impact us in more than one way. We are seeing physical, mental, emotional and financial reactions to stay-at-home orders. But, I have found ways to cope with these trying times, that I hope will help all of you.
Connect With Friends and Family
It probably goes without saying at this point that we all miss being with friends and family. While we can’t be together physically, technology has allowed us to stay in contact in other ways. If you’re used to Friday night dinner with sisters, schedule a video call and eat together. If a birthday party was canceled, find a way to celebrate virtually. There are ways to still be there for others, maybe not in the same way as before, but still in impactful and meaningful ways.
Start a Hobby and Get Creative
We all have things we miss about “normal” life, but it’s also important that we use this time to take care of ourselves in a time that isn’t so normal. I have been keeping busy with schoolwork and studying. Personally, I love learning! I’m not a fan of the overwhelming work that school sometimes requires, but I love learning. From the moment my university announced its closure, I began working ahead in the classes that I could. This helped out so I was not procrastinating. Although slowing down and allowing myself to be productive works for me, it does not work for everybody. Productivity levels for many have seen a serious drop and that is fine. We’re going through a lot personally and as a society. But, finding a hobby or a creative outlet in your downtime can help you become more productive when you’re working. Try reading, painting, sewing, running or whatever works best for you.
Take Care of Your Physical Health
I have been taking my time since classes ended to learn about my body and how to take better care of it. Before social distancing and limits of the number of people in buildings existed, I was always busy. If I wasn’t in the library, I was in the Greek office working on Panhellenic tasks. If I wasn’t in the Greek office, I was at a chapter event. If I wasn’t at a chapter event, I was working. If I wasn’t doing any of those things, I was sleeping. I was not taking care of myself. Since things have slowed down, I’ve been paying more attention to how I feel and exercising. I’ve been running using an app that helps train you to run a 5k. Before quarantine, I also worked as a childcare provider at a yoga studio, which comes with some awesome perks like unlimited classes at the studio! Beyond exercising, I’ve been intentional about time outside. My sweet puppy always loves playing fetch outside and it is a great way to move my body. I also try to take walks when I can, it is a great way to clear my head and get outside.
The world has slowed down a lot and so have we. I have been mindful that it can be a good thing. I have time now to do things I hadn’t before. I hope you can stop this week and think about what you have been able to do these past few months. If you haven’t had anything yet, maybe make time for it, whatever it is. If it is walking your dog longer or watching that show you’ve always wanted. Take the time to really focus on you.