Last week, I decided I would head home to spend time with my family for the rest of the term, thinking it would be better to spend this stressful time at home. I am incredibly grateful that I had the choice to go home and have a more comfortable setting while things are unpredictable. I hope you are all adapting to this situation as much as you can and keeping safe. This week, I want to share some of the ways that I have been trying to stay motivated to finish off the rest of the term especially as someone who usually doesn’t do well studying at home!
These are stressful times where news can be unsettling, summer internships unknown, and online testing can be difficult. Standards for productivity should change, so, I decided to cut myself some slack. I tried to adapt things to help as much as possible: attempt to have a daily routine, spend time with my dog, eat good food, and get sunshine!
There’s something motivating about having a routine set at home, even one as simple as having three meals a day. I caught myself the past few weeks thinking that online learning meant that I had to work all day and definitely missed a few meals. The lack of commuting and distinction between school and home time is very difficult.
So, the past few days, I’ve gone back to waking up closer to my normal commute time – 7am. I take the first hour of the day to relax by playing video games or watching videos. Then I have breakfast and set up the tasks I need to get done for the day, including trying to attend my classes even though it’s really easy to skip them. This morning routine helps me ease into the day.
The rest of my day is mostly spent working on projects and class assignments as unfortunately, this is the busiest time of the academic year. I’m someone who would typically study in different locations on campus during the day, so I create that illusion by rotating to different study locations around the house, whether it’s at the kitchen table, on a couch, or at a desk. This constant change helps me get more natural light as the day goes on as well!
I have been trying to take breaks that involve a bit of movement because it is really easy to sit the whole day. My commute used to involve a lot of walking, so, while being careful and aware of social distancing, I go on walks with my dog around the neighbourhood. I’ve also been trying to do my nightly yoga to help stretch and wind down.
Leading into exams, we might be needing a bit more structure in our lives so that we don’t burn out or lose motivation. It is okay to take a day off, take some time to watch TV, read, or do whatever you can to keep yourself busy. Don’t force yourself to always be productive – set pockets of time to do work and other pockets to focus on other things. One day at a time, we will get through this term!