Hey everyone! My name is Tina; I am the Director of Counseling and Wellness at QCC and I wanted to provide you with some tips to manage your time at home. Ready?
Let’s take a moment to be real. This is an overwhelming, confusing and scary, kind of weird, time. For some students, sitting home in your pajamas, having access on line, and not having to talk in class, is a gift. It may create less stress (once we figure out how to get all our processes on line) and reduces time and money concerns dealing with commute or missing out on work hours. For others, this new normal creates a great deal of discomfort because leaving home to come to school helped both academically and personally. For some students, structure from outside sources and leaving a potentially toxic environment helped them to feel more grounded.
Since we cannot adjust our current situation, we can adjust some of our thinking and learn to work within the structure we have been given. Yes, it is easy to say this. Yes, it may take a bit of time to find a best fit process for YOU. And finally, yes, it is going to be a bit awkward; change often is.
Step 1: Review your current situation and make a positive list of how this can work for you (pros and cons). For my positive, I can slow down the work I am doing. I know you have already determined the negatives…so you can review them after you complete your list, and decide which of your negatives are tolerable. For example, my negative--my dog will bark during my meetings. That is SO not appropriate, and yet, I can objectively understand that for the time being no one will mind.
Step 2: Look at how you can structure your day or create a reasonable flow to your process. I had to figure out that I did not do well without my usual morning routine (shower, coffee etc); I was psyched to wake up and “roll into my office”. Nope, that did not work. Now I have a daily routine to work with. It takes a bit of trial and error, so be kind to yourself while you are adjusting.
Step 3: Realize that any routine you have can be flexible! Be present in the current moment and for example, accept that you may not have internet on a given day and have an alternative plan to help you succeed. Realize that it may take you longer than you like to work your on line learning platform; go slow and feel good about your success.
Step 4: Give yourself the time to review being at home as opportunity to do some things that previously you did not have the time or resources to complete. Time is now your friend. Reading books for pleasure, getting rid of old clothing that is taking up space in the closet, learning to cook and sharing with your family or housemates, or exercising, painting, creating music or building your on line business. This is an opportunity to create and utilize time as an ally vs feeling that you are in a race to get to your next class, your job or a meeting.
Step 5: Take care of yourself. Don’t ignore symptoms, manage your care with the tools noted online—washing, acetaminophen, rest, hot liquids—I am not a doctor so check what they say on MD resources. However, before you might have kept going to class, to work and now you can take the time to heal. If you are experiencing emotional issues, anxiety, loneliness, use this time to explore on line therapy options, take a class in mindfulness or contact a provider (like me). You have the time to focus on healing that emotional concern as well. That is a gift. Take care of yourself.
Step 6: Stay connected. There are tons of ways to do that, we live in a digital age and everyone has access to a phone. Reconnecting with family/friends via FT, calls, Whatsapp, or whatever format you work with, is a very important part of managing our new normal. If you do not have access to people you feel comfortable with or are feeling depressed, use a chat line---Active Minds, Trevor Project, National Suicide Hotline, Samaritans-all provide access to folks who want to be there for you. If you were part of a club at school, see if you all can meet digitally. We have almost no limits to the ways in which we connect.
Once you have set a framework, schedule or structure to your day, test it out, use what works, and discard that which is not effective. As students you are have the OPPORTUNITY to create new behaviors, choices and strategies for life management. You are college students, which to me means that you have the skills and tools! Is it easy, nope. Is it challenging, yes.
If you have thoughts about my suggestions or questions about something I said, or felt like it was helpful, send a comment. Do you want more information, send a comment. You can also reach out privately to firstname.lastname@example.org I wish you all peace, growth and suggest that you take a deep breath. We can do this!