The COVID-19 pandemic shutdown cruise ships, theme parks, ski resorts, entire countries and in-person classes at Oklahoma Christian University. Chances are good that your Spring Break did not go as you'd hoped. And, you 'returned' to school online, where things are way different too; not good, not bad, just different.
More than anything, your mental and physical health are important. You’re doing right by staying home, but change this big can be challenging to your overall health. We’ve created a list of five things to check off your list as you tackle each day. These five self-care tips will help keep you healthy as you navigate university life online.
#1 Maintain Your Schedule - Wake up at your normal time and follow your typical routine of getting ready and eating breakfast. Use the equivalent of your class walk-time for something constructive and then be ready to start your online class on time. At the end of class, move on to the next ‘normal’ activity; class, homework, fun, virtual chats with friends, etc.
#2 Practice Good Hygiene - Avoid falling into the hole of pajamas with a hat. At the very least, throw on a clean shirt and pair of sweats each morning. Then just practice good hygiene. Shower, brush your hair and brush and floss your teeth. Don’t forget deodorant. Do your skin care routine. Take care of the outside to be your best on the inside.
#3 Dedicate a Work Space - Identify a spot where you’ll do your school work and commit to focused work when you’re there. You need a place that signals it’s time to focus, but also a space that you can get up and walk away from. Studying in bed and throughout your home or apartment makes it difficult to separate school from other parts of life.
#4 Eat Meals - A bottomless bag of chips near your work area can span breakfast, lunch and dinner to the point you are always eating, but never have a meal. Enjoy healthy meals at regular times to fuel your body and brain. Pause here just a moment to fondly remember how that the Branch made this so easy on the daily!
#5 Take Breaks - You’re not walking across campus to get to class, but you should definitely go for a walk! Move your body and clear your mind with some intentional movement. Get your heart rate up a bit and have some fun. Be intentional about when your break begins and when it’s time to get back to class.
At the end of the day, this transition will be difficult despite all the tips and tricks you’re finding. Give yourself grace. If you find yourself binging Netflix and potato chips, don’t beat yourself up over it. This pandemic is uncharted territory for everyone, and you’re not alone in not having it all figured out. Keep these tips in mind when trying to keep up good spirits as you work on school from home, and you’ll be right on track to coming out of these next few weeks confident and healthy.