Get Ready With Me: Zoom Edition

You have nowhere to go but your desk, and people can only see you from your favorite camera angle. This is the comfort behind online school. But do we throw away that precious time of getting ready to go to class, or do we just play a little with it? I’ve realized that by preserving my getting ready routine and changing it up a little, I am more excited and focused during class. Getting ready is the kind of mood-booster aid for an otherwise disheartening school experience. For those trying to remaster it, or figuring out a way to create a sense of normalcy, here’s a mock routine. Make it your own.

1. Try to wake up at least an hour before your first class. 

And once you get the hang of it, wake up two hours before, then three. Allow yourself to take it slowly - being in a rush compromises mindfulness for punctuality. At first, it's hard since sleeping cycles are too strong of a habit. But the rest of your daily routine can positively change according to when you wake up. Gradually adjusting your alarm clock can have beneficial effects - more leisure time, perfect for settling down, practicing mindfulness, and doing things that you wouldn’t normally have enough time for. Getting up a little earlier than usual and feeling relaxed and responsible is the best of both worlds.  

2. Get out of bed right away!

While staying in bed keeps your body at rest, and breakfast in bed does sound enticing, the easiest way to gain some energy after waking up early in the morning is getting out of your bed and walking around your room, apartment, or house. Try taking your classes at a desk or table instead of in your bed. Your attention and ability to process information will significantly improve with a better learning environment and good posture. 

3. Eat a hearty meal 

If a class is early in the morning or you live in a dorm without a kitchen, make sure to at least get a quick snack in your mouth like a granola or protein bar, a fruit, or some mixed nuts. But, here lies the importance of waking up earlier than usual: you have more time to prepare and eat a substantial, nutritious meal. Going to class on an empty stomach is detrimental to your focus - you don’t want to miss anything discussed by wondering about what you’ll have to eat later. Satisfying your hunger before class will help you log in to class with a clean slate. And why wouldn’t you want to treat yourself beforehand? Getting those nutrients in at the start of your day will stimulate your brain, putting you on track for a productive day.

4. Look good, feel good.

Pick out an outfit true to your style. Whatever “look good” means to you, do it. Whether that is doing your skincare routine, wearing your favorite sweater, or wearing your favorite earrings, make sure you do that. Boosting your confidence in small ways will help you work faster and better. 

5. Set up your bedroom 

The room you're in can heavily impact and reflect your mood. Being in a space that you are comfortable in allows you to have a clear, calmed state of mind. As most of us are taking classes from our bedrooms, a good idea would be to get creative with organizing and decorating it.  So not only is it clean, but unique and familiar to you. By doing this, I’ve found that I have been more inclined to stay in my room - particularly a designated, decoratively authentic desk - decreasing the procrastination that could ensue aimlessly walking around other areas. 

Moving away from bad habits can seem tedious, especially in the stillness of shelter in place. However, life and school goes on, even via Zoom. These tips will not only benefit your online, academic presence. Incorporating them into your routine can produce long term effects on your mental and physical health and your productivity. It’s a scenario where the pros overcome the cons - these small changes will yield amazing results.