Surround yourself with good people.
Surround yourself with people who are going to encourage you to be your best, but also understand when you might not be feeling your best. Make a point to be there for them in the ways that they’re there for you, whether you talk it out when you need someone to hear you, or sit in silence when you don’t know what else to say. Either way, having a strong support system is one of the most important things to have in your life right now.
Call your loved ones.
Keep in touch with your friends and family that you won’t be seeing everyday, especially those that are older, immunocompromised, or living in a place where it’s not safe for them to return to business as usual yet. Give them a call, send them a postcard, or text them to let them know you’re thinking about them, and they’ll likely do the same for you. Keeping in touch with these people every once in a while shows you care, and it will make you feel more connected with the people you care about but might not be able to see right now.
Be open and honest with your professors.
A lot of professors are more understanding than you might think, and many of them are willing to be flexible with you, as long as you reach out when you need help and make the effort to keep up your end of the deal with the professor. Many of them are more than willing to help, but they can’t help if they don’t know you’re struggling.
Wear your mask, practice social distancing, wash your hands, and don’t hang out with large groups of people! Now is a great time to keep your circle small and safely get connected with your closest friends. Take advantage of outdoor spaces, avoid parties and other large crowds, and surround yourself with people who you trust wouldn’t put themselves or you in any danger.
Keep your spaces clean.
It’s especially important right now to keep your spaces clean to help keep yourself healthy, but cleaning can also be especially therapeutic if you’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed. Whether that means keeping up with your laundry and dishes or making your bed and clearing your desk everyday, find ways to keep your spaces clean and organized, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed and anxious.
Be present and kind.
Remember that everyone is going through a hard time right now. Be overly and unnecessarily kind to everyone you encounter. Putting that energy out there will bring it back to you when you least expect it, but need it the most.
Find time to unplug.
It’s harder now more than ever to find ways to unplug when everything is moving online. However, make sure you’re taking moments away from the screens for yourself. Take a walk early in the morning and grab a coffee, take a nap in the sun between your online classes, stargaze with your closest friends on a Friday night, take a really long shower and listen to your favorite podcast. It doesn’t really matter what you’re doing, as long as you feel recharged afterwards.
Take your time remembering your old rhythms and routines and take care in creating new ones for yourself.
It’s been 6 months since we last existed in a traditional college environment. Even now, the environment is anything but traditional. Take your time remembering the way you used to operate in this environment and accept that you’ll likely need to make some changes to the way that you’re used to living on campus. Give yourself time and permission to readjust to life here.
Stay connected to the people who kept you sane over the last few months.
Keep in touch with the people who kept in touch with you over the last few months. Make sure they know you appreciate them and that you didn’t forget about them. Be there for them in the ways that they were there for you. Everyone is struggling right now and letting people know that you care about them never hurts.
Always remember that no assignment, exam, paper, quiz, or reading is more important than your mental and physical health. If you feel like you need to call it a night to sleep, head back to your room. If you need a break for a day because you’re overwhelmed, take the day. There is nothing more important than the way you feel right now.