If you’re anything like myself, this time of year always feels nostalgic: back to campus, back to routine, back to reality. However, as you may have noticed these past months, this year is going to be different. Most of us will do the majority of our learning from home, and this can be really difficult. As someone who not only completed the remainder of the Winter 2020 semester from home, but worked a 9-5 summer job entirely from home as well, I have to say that I have learned so much. And while it wasn’t always easy, I have made it a normal part of my life-- at least for now.
- Try to keep up a routine.
It is so easy to fall into the habit of rolling out of bed five minutes before your lecture starts and immediately sitting down at your desk, table, or even your bed. I myself fell into this habit back in the early days of working from home. And while it was kind of glorious for a little while, I quickly found myself feeling sluggish and unmotivated. To combat this, I have implemented a morning routine. While it’s very simplified-- most days you will not find me with my hair and makeup done--it has really helped me to become motivated and ready for whatever the day may bring.
- Take breaks!
Because we are at home, it is very easy to allow your studies or work to take over all of your time. When this happens, it can be very overwhelming and may even take a negative toll on our mental health. To combat this, I have found it essential to break up my day with periods of rest. After I accomplish a task, I reward myself with a short break. I ensure that I take a proper lunch break to fuel my body and spirit. This has really made all the difference in my WFH life.
- Keep at least part of your home for pleasure.
This may be difficult depending on how much space you have, but it can absolutely be done. While I don’t mean to say that you should restrict yourself to the exact same spot all day every day, I do mean to say that you should keep at least one area in your home where you do not do any work. For me, this is my bedroom. Keeping this space as a relaxing getaway means that at the end of the day, I can turn my brain off and enjoy my evening without thinking about work or school.
- Get outside!
Because we are spending so much time at home these days, it can very quickly feel like we are becoming recluses. My biggest solution for this is to get outside--even if it’s in a very small capacity. The fresh air that you get by going for a walk, riding your bike, or even sitting on our balcony is so important for your health and wellness, as well as your mood. Sitting inside all day can feel really drab. If you need a boost, go outside! Even if it’s only for 10 minutes, I guarantee you’ll feel refreshed upon your return.
- Be gentle with yourself.
The most important thing to recognize during this season is that you aren’t likely to be as productive as you have previously been in your favorite study spot or in a lecture. And it would be irresponsible to hold yourself to the same standard. What I mean to say by this is if you can’t sit down and write 3000 words in one sitting, it’s okay! If you can’t read ahead, try not to beat yourself up. Be gentle with yourself, it’s alright, things won’t always be this way.