Self-Care Tips for Students Learning from Home

Managing self-care is difficult during any time of the year, but during a pandemic, while attending school - talk about non-existent! However little time you have though, it’s important to at least give 5 minutes to yourself if that’s all you can spare. Here are some tips for maintaining self-care while learning remotely from home during COVID-19:

  1. Exercise: You’ll be sitting at your desk staring at a screen for a good chunk of the day, so it’s a good idea to get up and get your body moving, now more than ever. We’ve pretty much all inherited a 9-5 office job and we’re going to have to do some exercise to compensate for this new, ultra-sedentary lifestyle. It doesn’t have to be anything drastic. Start small: get up from your desk at least once every 40 minutes or after every class to stretch or take a walk. Maybe set aside a half-hour or an hour every day to do a low-intensity workout, take a walk around your neighbourhood, or even just follow a Youtube workout video. The point is to make sure you’re staying consistently active. 

  2. Be Gentle with Yourself: If you’ve noticed that you’ve gained or lost weight during the last six months of quarantine, be gentle with yourself and not overly critical. This is a hard time for many people, and we shouldn’t be judging our bodies for acting a little differently than usual. Living through a pandemic is stressful in more ways than one, especially for individuals who have high-risk family and/or friends whose safety they need to think about. And if you find that you’ve adopted maladaptive practices with food or exercise, please seek the help of a professional or make an appointment with your healthcare provider.

  3. Make Time for Hobbies: It can be especially hard to separate school from your personal time when school is happening inside your own home. It’s the same problem faced by those who work from home: they’re always technically “at work,” so they can have a lot of trouble knowing when it’s time to “clock out” and just do something for themselves. If necessary, create a detailed schedule with clearly-defined times for class, schoolwork and studying, hobbies, (virtual) social time, etc. If you’re always working you will eventually burn out, so it’s incredibly important that you kick back and enjoy yourself every once in a while. 

  4. Personal Hygiene: I think we can all agree that most of us didn’t keep track of how often we were showering or taking care of our personal hygiene when quarantine first began. But doing things like having a shower, or even putting on a bra, can make us feel more productive than not engaging in these activities. If you’ve found yourself questioning when the last time you had a shower was, try keeping track on a calendar. Your physical and mental well-being are deeply intertwined so neglecting one will eventually have negative consequences on the other. And if you’ve gotten out of a morning routine, try to get back into it by setting a reminder on your phone in the morning to brush your teeth and wash your face.

What are some of your self-care strategies when online learning? Let us know in the comments below!