Kirtana Devaraj

Cannon Writer

 

This semester has been an unprecedented one and has impacted everyone in many ways. While online learning does have its benefits, it is easy to forget to take care of yourself. It has become more important now than ever to consciously practice self-care and take regular breaks. 

  1. Get adequate sleep – While it is easy to compromise on sleep when assignments are due, sleep is very important for a healthy lifestyle and boosting productivity. The Mayo Clinic recommends 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night for adults. Try not to stockpile sleep as getting adequate sleep each night is integral. 
  2. Eat healthy – As we sit through hours of online classes, it is easy to give into the temptation of eating snacks which may not be healthy. Healthy eating is essential for good health. In turn, good health will allow you to perform better in university. 
  3. Stay connected with friends and family I have found that staying connected with friends through virtual means leads to a sense of normalcy and somewhat replicates the in-person experience. There is also a sense of camaraderie with friends as they are going through the same online learning situation. Don’t be hesitant to reach out to your friends and family as they know you the best and can empathize with you.
  4. Do something you love – Whether this may be picking up a new hobby or practicing an old one, doing something you love leads to a sense of peace and will help you take a break from the monotony of online learning.
  5. Exercise – With in-person classes, we used to have the chance to stretch our legs when we went from one class to another. However, with online learning, more often than not, we sit at our desks for a long period of time. Exercising is a great way to stay healthy as well as taking a break. Since a lot of gyms are closed now, the best way may be working out at home or going for a socially distanced jog or a run.
  6. Take a break – It’s okay to take a break. It’s okay to put aside an assignment to take a short break. Not only will you feel refreshed, but studies have shown that taking short breaks increases productivity. Furthermore, do not force yourself to study when you are not in the mood to. It is very likely that you would not absorb a lot of the information and you will have to spend more time studying the same material again later. 
  7. Take a social media break – Social media can be a fun indulgence but it can also be a form of distraction. Considering that we spend almost our entire day in front of a screen for classes, restricting social media usage also helps reduce screen time. However, make sure that you still stay connected with your friends and family. 
  8. Let go of the guilt – In my experience, the biggest impediment in self-care is the guilt. The guilt comes in many forms such as feeling guilty about taking a break while there are pending assignments, comparing your performance to that of your peers, etc. Remember that the system of online learning is new for everyone and we are all learning on the go. Everyone learns at different paces and letting go of the guilt is of utmost importance for your mental health. Lastly, consider dropping courses if necessary as it will help reduce workload which may be beneficial for your mental health.

Remember that nothing is more important than your mental health and it should not be compromised. If you are feeling overwhelmed, reach out to your friends, family, a professional or anyone you feel comfortable talking to. While doing well at university is very important, it should not come at the cost of your mental health. Following the self-care tips will ensure that you have a good mental health and increase your productivity!

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