These are stressful times. To stay healthy and safe, we must face the challenges that come our way both individually and as a community. These time-tested strategies can help you stay grounded in the face of unforeseen obstacles.
Keep some semblance of normalcy in your daily routine
Even though you may be having trouble sleeping these days, try to go to bed and wake up at your usual times. The same is true with meals. If you had a regular meal schedule before, try to keep to the same rhythms. Have an afternoon walk planned? Make sure to take that walk. Not only will these habits help you stay physically healthy, they will help keep your brain active and contribute to your mental health.
Re-establish your study habits
It can be tempting to skip a virtual lecture or not follow through with your plan to review your notes for an upcoming quiz. I challenge you to stay focused on your studies. Take the time to review the study habits you have developed thus far. Which study strategies are still effective and which ones need to be adapted? You will likely need to be strategic, find creative ways to stay focused and productive. If you haven’t done so already, connect with study partners to help keep each other on-track and engaged academically.
Set a study schedule and stick with that plan
Don’t worry if you find yourself needing to take frequent breaks or if you have trouble concentrating. You are trying to accomplish difficult tasks during difficult times. Be patient, but also be consistent and abide by the guidelines that you set for yourself.
You may not be in the same room as your classmates, but rest assured you are not doing this alone. There will be times when you feel frustrated or sad, it is important to not face those daunting feelings in isolation. There will also be causes for celebration and you will want to share those moments with others. Keeping in touch with the people who are important to us may be more difficult, but the benefits of staying connected will be worth the effort.
We will get through this experience. Sometimes you will need to rely on others, and in turn, others will sometimes need to rely on you. Even in this time of social distancing, there are still many ways we can come together to support each other and achieve our goals.
By Mark Stackpole, MA, EdD, director of the Office of Academic Success and Institutional Support (OASIS)