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5 Tips to Make Staying at Home a Little More Tolerable

If your home office setup and routine are anything like mine, you work at your desk for eight hours then migrate the whopping two feet to your bed once you’ve logged off for the day, only stretching for the occasional snack or coffee. When working from home or studying at Zoom University, it can get pretty easy to fall into monotonous days of little social interaction, an extremely low daily step count, and general pandemic burnout. With these tips, perhaps your shift on Microsoft Teams can be slightly more digestible –– even if there’s no end in sight.

1. Keep water at your desk

Stay hydrated, babes! The easiest way to ensure you’re drinking enough water is to keep it within reach. Get yourself a cute bottle or tumbler cup, decorate it with the stickers of your choice, and fill it up with water and maybe even heart-shaped ice cubes. The most important part about this is that you keep your water close to you, like at your desk. You’ll soon find that you naturally reach for it throughout the day, and before you know it, you’ll have to refill it again! Water can also act as a pick-me-up and might give you the refreshing boost you need to get through one more virtual meeting.

2. Meal prep healthy snacks

Like with the water, the more accessible healthy options are for you, the more likely you are to default to them. Take some time on the weekend to chop up some fruit or veggies, or even try one of my favourite salads. That way, you won’t have to worry about your stomach growling during an important call with your boss and you’ll have time to have a quick snack before your online lecture. Even better, you can feel good knowing that you’re choosing something nutritious and satisfying for your body even if you’re stuck sitting all day!

3. Reach out to someone new

One of my favourite tips: when it’s hard to get together in groups, make an effort to reach out to people, even just to say hi or send them a quick “I’m thinking of you” note. I recommend scrolling through your phone’s contact list or even the people who might be on your close friends list on Instagram or Snapchat. Next, every day choose one person from that list to spark a chat with. It’s just a little thing you can do to make their day brighter, and yours, too! 

4. Send snail mail 

If you can brave the cold to go to your postbox, why not drop off some envelopes addressed to your friends and family? Even better, you can find a pen pal on Facebook groups or even through your school’s forums or community hub. Sending snail mail is a great way of personalizing and having fun connecting with others and there’s a ton of room for creativity! While at first it may seem silly to send a postcard to someone you would ordinarily see on a regular basis at school or work, it’s a thoughtful action that can go a long way. 

5. Try a new recipe 

Having something to look forward to every day is a key part of making the stay-at-home experience as good as it can be. Try venturing out and trying new cuisines at home that you’ve never made before. Or, you can use websites like My Fridge Food to find new recipes to make out of foods you already have in your kitchen. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, why not challenge yourself or your family to an at-home edition of Chopped and put together random ingredients to make a delicious meal? It’s a fun way of having a memorable dining experience without ever stepping foot beyond your front door. 

Working and studying at home can definitely be a challenge, especially since many of us have been experiencing it for nearly two years. While it’s tough to replicate the connection and fun that comes with going out and meeting up with friends and family, these tips can hopefully make your stay-at-home experience a little less grey. 

Rianna Lim

Carleton '23

Rianna Lim is a journalism and political science double major at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario. She is a former Her Campus National Writer and the 2021-22 Senior Editor for Her Campus at Carleton (and loving it!). She is a passionate reader, London fog lover, and baseball fan. Be sure to send her your book recommendations and follow her on Instagram @riannaway!
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