We hope this list gives you a head start on your at-home coursework (or work for a job you might do remotely). Some of these tips are to help you stay productive, but many are also helpful for your mental and physical health.
Stick to a routine
Even if you’re not used to a set schedule with your classes, group meetings, work, etc., this is the time to set a schedule and stick to it. Daily.
Shower, put on (REAL) pants, do your hair, and get ready for your day as you would if you were going to campus. Bearwear is always a good option – send us your photos working from home in Bearwear to be featured on our social media. Save loungewear for the weekend. It sounds silly to “get ready” to stay home, but this can help you build a routine even when you’re stuck at home.
Prepare a daily schedule for live virtual class meetings, homework, reading, work, and any other responsibilities you have. Make sure to include time for workouts, meditation, journaling, long walks, or anything that helps you feel a sense of normalcy. This is a great time to learn a new hobby or try a new workout. There are many online learning platforms and virtual gyms that are free right now – take advantage of the opportunity.
Finally, meal prep the way you would regularly. If you normally pack a lunch, continue to prepare lunch for yourself every day. This will help you stick to a healthy eating schedule and help you out at the grocery store.
Make your workspace feel different
Start with a clean workspace. Whether your desk is in a designated office space, your bedroom, or is on your kitchen table, you’ll want to make it feel like you’ve temporarily left home while you work. Try out different lighting between work time and downtime, or play a different type of music while you work. Even lighting a candle (or using a residence-hall-approved air freshener) can be helpful to change the atmosphere so you feel a change from work time to downtime.
Check-in with classmates, professors, or coworkers daily
We’re all going to feel a pretty immediate disconnect if we don’t make an intentional effort to connect daily. Connect with your classmates on Blackboard, start group chats, or host virtual study groups. Your professors should let you know the best way to contact them – make sure you communicate with them so they know how you’re doing. This time will be tough for them too without any live feedback in the classroom, so they’ll appreciate you reaching out.
Yes, this was in the first section about keeping a routine. But seriously, you’ll feel better if you continue to practice basic hygiene as though you had to leave the house.
Hangout (VIRTUALLY) with friends
If you haven’t already done this, do it as soon as possible. Schedule a Zoom, Google Hangout, Houseparty, FaceTime, or whatever platform makes sense for you and your friends or family. Grab snacks or drinks so it feels more like it would if you were interacting in real life. Catch up on how you’re spending quarantine, discuss the latest Netflix series, or play games. There are lots of developers offering freebies so try new games with friends. We’re big fans of Drawful 2 and it’s free until April 10.
Give yourself a break
Everyone is stressed right now. Remember that, and show yourself and others some patience. Everyone has problems that feel very immediate and huge right now and we’re doing our best to help each other through it. You’re probably going to feel cranky, anxious, sad, or annoyed as we continue to stay at home. Take a minute for a deep breath and remind yourself that it’ll all be okay because we’re in it together.
If you need help, never hesitate to contact us. We’re always here for #InternationalBears, even if we have to work from home.