I think it’s safe to say that everyone is suffering from covid fatigue, all while some are simultaneously dealing with the fear of getting covid, or the loneliness of isolation. I also think it’s safe to say that no one wants to hear the phrase “we’re all in this together”, or “we’re living in extraordinary times”. Despite not wanting to hear these lectures from teachers who will then pile on work that leaves us feeling even worse, many of us could be suffering in silence because they do not know how to cope with what is happening. Here are some things that you can do when you feel particularly down about our current situation.
If you’re feeling unmotivated about school, the best thing you can do is learn how to manage your time: get an agenda or make one online, my recommendation is Google calendar, where you can even colour code your classes and share with friends. You can also set it up to send you notifications, so that even if you forget to check your app, you are reminded nonetheless. It’s also important to go to all your classes, considering if you don’t go then, you’re probably going to be confused about your assignments. If you’re feeling distracted, a popular trend is to film yourself on your phone in time lapse doing your work. Not only does it make it so that you can’t go on your phone, but the longer you work, the more satisfying the video is at the end, which only encourages you to get more work done.
I’m pretty sure everyone has had an incident where they accidentally sleep in and miss a class or an important assignment. This one is easy to fix, wake up early! Put multiple alarms on your phone if you’re someone who likes to hit snooze. If you sleep through your alarms, it’s likely that your brain has gotten used to the sound and learned to tune it out, which means that it’s time to change your alarm to a different sound. It’s also important to make sure to go to bed at a reasonable hour. This also ties in with learning to manage your time. Waking up early can allow for you to get an early start to your day and an earlier end to it. Not to mention if you properly schedule, then you won’t need to rush to make the deadline at midnight and getting a good amount of rest allows for you to work more efficiently.
If you feel overwhelmed with work, drop a class or reduce your schedule for next semester. It’s okay to work a reduced schedule, that way you can do your absolute best on those fewer classes instead of the bare minimum for a lot of classes. If it’s too late to do this, first make sure you are able to make the adjustment for next semester, secondly, reach out to teachers who’ve said that they are willing to give extensions. Another thing is to take a step back and relax for a little while, because while schoolwork is important, your mental state is worth more. It’s better to forget one assignment and do your absolute best on others then hand in half assed ones when you were burnt out. Moreover, a good way to help when you feel stressed is a change of scenery. With the weather getting better, maybe do your class outside, or in a different place in the house. A lot of people will purposely do their class outside of their room so that feelings of uneasiness or anxiety related to school will not be associated with your bedroom which is supposed to be a place of relaxation. In addition to this, it’s also important to exercise, which has proven to boost morale.
Many of us are starting new chapters in our lives alone with the introduction to online school. While I personally believe that opening up schools at the cegep and university levels would be an absolutely awful idea considering the cases in our province have been going up and high school and elementary schools have only contributed to it, I also recognize the isolation that comes with starting something new by yourself. Making friends is super difficult online, especially because online, there’s no such thing as a class environment. However, it is important to try by participating in the class group chat or maybe messaging someone a question about a class and then keeping the conversation going. Or keep in touch with friends who may not be in your class, your program, or even your school. A suggestion is to facetime friends for a virtual study session. You don’t even have to say anything to that person, it’s just so that you can have the company of another person while you work.
One thing that you should never tell someone who is being cautious about covid, is that they are paranoid. Anxiety affects people in all ways and being afraid to catch covid is a very valid fear. Now that the weather is getting better, do not feel pressured to gather if you are not comfortable. Similarly, do not get mad at friends who do not want to meet because they are not comfortable meeting up. This pandemic has brought forth many virtual activities that can be done together instead, such as Netflix party, where people can stream a movie at the same time. It’s important to be there for your friends, but also acknowledge that sometimes they need time to themselves and it’s okay. Similarly, it’s also okay to disconnect, especially in a world where literally everything is online. Instead of spending time virtually with friends, spend it at home with family. Or do an activity that does not require technology, like getting into reading or making art.
While all of this is all easier said than done, it is really worth the effort. I know we’ve all gotten lectures and forced surveys on omnivox on wellness, but nothing is being done to help us, so it’s important that we help ourselves. Helping yourself can be a struggle though, because you don’t know where to start; however, I hope these small tips will guide you and make your days more enjoyable and less stressful.
By Isabella Del Grosso