Editor’s note: This article originally appeared on theeaglecoronavirusproject.com, a separate website created by Eagle staff at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in spring 2020. Articles from that website have been migrated to The Eagle’s main site and backdated with the dates they were originally published in order to allow readers to access them more easily.
If you’re sitting on your couch in the same clothes you put on three days ago and thinking about the iced coffee you should be enjoying with your friends on the quad, we’re right there with you. Because this is such an unprecedented time, there is no guide for how to exist, and however you choose to move forward with your life amidst all the uncertainty is valid.
As students studying health promotion, we hope to pass on some of the valuable practices we have acquired through our studies in hopes you will use them to restore some normalcy to your days. Here are five things you have control over:
1. Getting some fresh air every day
Even if it’s five minutes – the fresh air will remind you that there is still a world outside the four walls you’re contained in and that you will get to return to it as soon as this is over.
2. Setting a few small goals for the day
No, seriously – it doesn't matter how small. It can be as simple as getting out of pajamas each day and putting on your favorite pair of pants or peeling a whole orange in one go. These little tasks will give you a sense of accomplishment and make you feel more productive.
3. Shifting the narrative of loss
There is no question that there are many things that have come to a premature end, and it is incredibly difficult to move forward without goodbyes and closure. As much as we have to allow ourselves time to process the losses, we also have to find ways to look forward and get excited about new opportunities. Gratitude statements are a fantastic way to shift your focus from what you are missing to what you do have.
4. Making your study and relaxation spaces separate
We cannot stress this enough. Differentiating your bed from your workspace can make a tremendous difference. Set up your own library cubicle equivalent somewhere in your living space and save your room for much deserved downtime.
5. Communicating your needs and feelings with the people you’re with
It is imperative that you do not undermine your feelings and that you respect yourself by setting boundaries with your friends and loved ones. College students have demanding schedules, and that has not changed with the move to online classes. Let the people you are sharing space with know your schedule and times that you require a peaceful environment to give yourself the best chance to excel academically.
This moment in time might seem isolating, but at the end of the day, you are part of a larger community filled with people who are experiencing many of the same feelings that you are. We hope these tips make your days a little brighter and remind you that although there is no specific timeline, this too shall pass.