Steps to maintain normalcy and your educational progress while respecitng the BCCDC Covid-19 precautions.
The world is a different place than it was a year ago. Reminders of the dire state of the world are in the news, in conversation with our families, on the internet and they all rattle around in our brain. It can be scary, uncertain and the danger to you and your loved ones is very real. It’s hard to continue on with day-to-day activities as though the pandemic isn’t happening. After all, our bodies are designed to focus on fight or flight threats and that can have real consequences on your daily life, especially our education. We are fighting the depression and anxiety that has come along with this pandemic.
But it’s important to remember: this will pass. Life will return to normal; you are stronger than you think and there are people out there that are rooting for you. In the meantime, here’s a few pieces of advice that might help you navigate your schooling.
Be Good to Yourself
It is so easy to get caught up in all the things we need to do. Especially when the world around us is on limited operation. It is of the utmost importance that you be good to yourself and take time to address your mental health and happiness. Set aside time every day for relaxation and fun. You might be one of those people whose hobbies have been affected by the pandemic. If so, this is a great time to find a new hobby – or ten.
In this pandemic, we are being forced into significant alone time. Many people find it hard to be alone with themselves for extended periods of time. If you don’t meditate or do gentle yoga, this is a great time to start. Silent reflection and relaxation have proven benefits for mental health, and you will learn how to be okay sitting in silence with your own mind.
Lastly, make a list of the things you like to do to be good to yourself. Keep it handy. When things get hard, resort to that list and go through the items one by one. Some days you’ll get through one or two and feel great. Other days, you’ll go through the entire list. That’s okay, and that brings us to our next point.
Go Easy on Yourself
During times of strife and hardship, we often have the same expectations of ourselves that we do in normal times. But when you think about it, it’s crazy isn’t it? You can easily read a few chapters of a book sitting in your favorite chair, in your comfy apartment, as the evening wears on into night and all you hear are crickets outside. But read that same book when there are sirens blaring outside and it makes it considerably more difficult. When we’re in tough circumstances, we have to temper our expectations with the environment that we’re in. Stop and re-evaluate the things you need to get done. You might not be able to accomplish as much as you did before – and that’s okay.
Organization and Control
When these types of things are happening, it can feel like everything is spinning out of control. So, taking control where you find it can help alleviate those feelings. Make a daily schedule for yourself and stick to it. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. It may seem like a small thing but taking back control of your life in the places you will go a long way in how you feel.
Find the Resources Available to You
And use them. Every single person on this planet is going through the same thing, and most of them are understanding and compassionate. If you are having difficulties, it’s important that you find the help that you need from the right place. Keep this list handy and dial those phone numbers when you need them. The people on the other end want to see you succeed.
- British Columbia COVID-19 Resources 1-888-COVID19
- Brighton College Student Support Services (604) 430-5608
- BC Crisis Center 1-800-784-2433
- Bounce Back 1-866-639-0522
Socrates is attributed with saying, ‘It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.’ It’s not just the beauty and strength that comes of the body, but also of the mind. Physical activity has a profound effect on the mind and doing even just a few minutes every day can help ward off mental health problems. No matter what you choose to do, select an activity that is fun for you. Even in this new world, we can still find activities that allow us to get outdoors and move our bodies.
If you’re into adversarial sports, get a small group together and make that your dedicated group. Bring masks, hand sanitizer and don’t be afraid to speak up if someone isn’t following protocol. Practice outside rather than inside. Consider taking up tennis, as it’s a socially distant sport by nature.
If you’re into single-person sports, there are many other options available. You might consider rock climbing if you’re into physical activities that also challenge the mind. Golfing is another socially distant sport you can do by yourself.
Be Good to Yourself
It’s worth stating again. This is hard. This place that we’re in is new, it’s difficult and it can have a lasting impact on you. Take in the sunshine where you can. Make someone else’s life a little better. Sing in the shower. Spread the good parts of life wherever you see the opportunity. There is an ending to this, and you will get there.