Staying Sane While Working From Home

Social distancing has become the new normal, and people have taken to the Internet to share all sorts of creative ways to make this period of uncertainty a little more bearable. Tik Tok dances and funny (albeit embarrassing) Zoom fails aside, there is also a fair share of quarantine horror stories circulating the Internet. Whether you’re quarantining with your parents, your significant other, your best friend, or your roommate, here some tips to help you stay sane:

 

Set a routine and stick to it

Setting a routine can make you feel at least some normalcy in this uncertain and scary time. It also allows you to make the most of this sudden abundance of free time that many of us suddenly have on our hands. My advice: set up a Google calendar (or go old-school and grab a pen and planner) and draft up a rough outline of what you want your days to look like. Pencil in everything from mandatory online class meetings to Netflix binge sessions to daily FaceTime calls with your girlfriends, and figure out what you want the free moments in between to look like. 

 

Make time for exercising 

While spin class might be off-limits, living room workouts are not. Stream a workout class, do some bodyweight exercises (completely doable and effective even if you don’t have any equipment), or try out some yoga. I like to start my morning off with stretching. My physical therapist gave me a specific set of exercises and stretches to do to strengthen my shoulder muscles and back and I have been making a point of doing them throughout the day. If you are not sure where to start, focusing on stretches that alleviate neck and shoulder tension can make a big difference in your daily life. 

 

If quarantining with others, set healthy boundaries

Just because you are all living under the same roof does not mean that you necessarily want to be together 24/7. Setting healthy boundaries can be especially difficult if you are quarantining at home with your parents. While Mom and Dad likely don’t spend as much time with you as they’d like, too much bonding can easily feel claustrophobic. As I mentioned earlier, planning out your days first shows that you are responsible as a student and an individual, and allows you to be able to give parents or other family members an idea of what to expect from you while you’re home. It can be tempting to spend every second not in class with whoever you’re currently living with, but overextending yourself is unhealthy and does more harm than good. Communication is key in this scenario.

 

Stay in touch 

Just because you’re social distancing doesn’t mean you have to stop being social! Catching up with friends and family through phone calls, texting, and FaceTime is just as meaningful as physically being together, arguably even more so in times like this. Now is the time to put all of that time spent on social media to good use.

 

Prioritize alone time 

Even if alone time means streaming multiple episodes back to back in bed with Ben and Jerry’s, that is totally fine. We all cope with stress differently, and time alone to self-reflect and unwind may just be what you need to stay sane. Reading a book, catching up on all of your favorite shows, journaling, creating art, or napping are all very effective and enjoyable ways to recharge. 

 

Amp up your self care routine

For me, this has mainly taken the form of spending extra time in my kitchen (cooking and baking is so therapeutic for me!) I am also practicing self care by taking baths with lavender and chamomile, sleeping at least 8 hours a night, reading, and spending extra time with my puppies. Self care can be as simple as being more in tune with your body and emotions. All in all, figure out what self care means to you, and make a point of prioritizing it. 

 

Try something new

From Tik Tok dances to the dalgona coffee to Instagram lives, there are plenty of ways to keep yourself (and others) entertained. If there is something that you have always wanted to do, now is a good time to dive into it. Take a Photoshop course, update your resume and LinkedIn profile, learn a new language (or at least attempt to) on Duolingo, start that YouTube channel you’ve dreamed about since you were 13, or spend at least one day a week doing absolutely nothing. You deserve it! 

 

Make the most of it

As we get older, jobs, internships, or postgraduate education can take us all the way across the country or even the world, and responsibilities often replace meaningful interactions with loved ones. Yes, quarantine sucks, but it has really shown me what truly matters- family- and how invaluable time together really is. None of our days are guaranteed, so stay connected with your friends and family and don’t lose sight of what is important.