I know I spent all of reading week wishing for a few more weeks of holiday but I take it all back. In the
past few days, the COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta has become increasingly severe, with all in-person
university classes being cancelled from Monday onwards. To help slow down the spread of this disease,
self quarantine has been advised; in short, don’t come into contact with too many other people unless
you have to.
If you’re anything like me, having a routine that forces you to get out of your house early in the morning
is essential; without it, spiralling into cycles of procrastination and laziness is almost guaranteed. I’ve
usually try to combat this by scheduling my classes as early in the morning as I can, and picking up the
morning shift at work whenever my schedule allows me to. But in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,
classes have been completely switched from in-person to online. Plus, a lot of small businesses have
either drastically reduced their opening hours or temporarily closed altogether.
All this means that our daily commitments have all been more or less cancelled for a while. As we move
into what will be at least a few weeks of self-quarantine its natural to have some anxiety about how
exactly you will spend your time; I definitely have in the past few days. I think the most important thing
is to try maintain some routine- it doesn’t (and probably can’t) be as rigid as it was a week ago, but
having a rough outline of how you will spend your time is a great way to not get into an endless cycle of
binging Netflix and ice-cream.
Here are some things I’m thinking of adding to my routine:
Even though most gyms and fitness centres are shutting down for a while, you can still get in a decent
workout in your bedroom or backyard (with or without equipment). Working out with a YouTube video
to guide you is a good place to start
The pile of books that I’ve hoarded over the past year and am yet to read will be thrilled!
To be honest, in a few weeks we may not have any choice but to cook most of our meals at home as local
restaurants begin to reduce hours, shift to only delivery options or close temporarily. This is as good a
time as any to learn a few more recipes.
(BUT in the same breath, if you like to order in, keep doing that! Support your local restaurants, even if
you can’t visit them)
- Keep Up With Classes
I keep on having to remind myself that this isn’t really a holiday- classes, midterms and finals are still a
thing. I haven’t had the best experience with online classes (you guessed it! procrastination and laziness)
but now that none of us have a choice, it’s important to avoid common pitfalls
1. Do all your class work during your regularly scheduled class time- act like you’re “going” to class
like you typically would
2. Check in with people in your class and hold each other accountable
3.Try to set out different spaces for different tasks- for example have your “school day” in the
dining room or living room instead of wrapped up in blankets in bed.
4. Stay organised- make note of changes in your syllabus!!!! Due dates and weightings are all
probably going to change so stay informed about exactly what those changes will be
- Stay In Touch With Friends and Family
Schedule facetime dates and phone calls whenever you can. This is even more important if you don’t live
at home- hearing your favourite voices can help get you out of your head and keep you grounded even
with all the craziness happening around us.
- Practice Mindfulness and Introspection
Whatever that looks like on a given day, this is another way to stay grounded. Meditation and journaling
are just a few ways to do it but this article (or this) have a bunch more
- Get Some Fresh Air
Self isolation does not (and should not) have to be you locking yourself in your bedroom for 2 weeks. As
long as you’re not getting in contact with large groups of people, or in crowded areas you should try get
outside as often as possible. Take a walk outside, hike down the river valley or simply just sit outside in
the sun and listen to music for a while.