Written by McKenna Tanner
As COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, spreads rapidly across the globe, governments, schools, and businesses are taking action to protect the individuals they serve by limiting gatherings of over 10 people. For Spring Branch and many area school districts, this means closing schools until April 10, meaning Stratford students will have three extra weeks at home after spring break.
In the midst of looking out for your physical health, please don’t forget to consider your mental health as well. Rather than getting caught up in the anxiety of the constant virus alerts or succumbing to the boredom of staying home and social distancing, take a look at some steps you can take to keep calm and carry on during the “coronapocalypse.”
Set realistic and specific goals
Feeling aimless with three extra weeks on your hands? Set goals to give yourself a plan during this period of uncertainty. Take this time as an opportunity to tackle some projects you’ve been meaning to get around to. Maybe you’ve been putting off making that T-shirt quilt for your future dorm or reorganizing your bedroom to make it feel fresh. If you’ve already lapsed on your New Year’s resolutions, this can be your chance to try again. Remember to make your goals attainable by being specific about what you hope to achieve and being realistic about what you can reasonably get done right now. Don’t forget to reward yourself when you complete them.
Create your workspace
It’s hard to be productive with your schoolwork when your younger sibling is playing superhero right next to you or you’re continually shifting around clutter to make room for your stuff. Pick an area of your home to be your study space and tailor it to suit your needs. Whether that means staking out a corner of the kitchen table or clearing out the desk in your room, find a place to work that minimizes distractions and lets you focus so you can spend less time working on assignments, and more time on more enjoyable pursuits.
Keep your body active
Staying home doesn’t mean you have to stay on the couch. There are plenty of ways to exercise while maintaining social distancing, even though gyms are closed. Try yoga to calm your mind and work out your muscles; there are plenty of videos online to coach you through it. If cardio is more your thing, take advantage of the last few days of temperate weather left before Houston becomes a sauna and go for a run or bike ride. Just remember to stay six feet from others and stay hydrated.
Make a routine for yourself
You may not have to follow a school schedule right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make your own. No, you don’t need to wake up as early as you usually do, or even follow any semblance of a normal school schedule. It’s a good idea, however, to give yourself a routine to help you get things done every day. Humans are creatures of habit, so get yourself into some good habits now. Set aside time for schoolwork, time to check in with friends, and time for your own fun activities. A routine will help you avoid boredom and feel more productive.
Spend some quality time with your family
No one’s family is perfect, but since you’re going to be spending so much time together, you may as well have some fun doing it. Pick out some activities you can all do together, like a family puzzle, and celebrate with each other when you finish. Have a family board game night or see who’s the king or queen of Wii Sports. Alone time is always important, but make sure to block out time when you can all have fun together. It’ll make your social distancing that much smoother.
Get back into your hobbies
In all the buzz of high school, you may have given up on some of your old pastimes. If you’re feeling bored, why not try picking some of them back up? Maybe you used to knit or take photos or draw, but had to stop when life got too busy. Now you can use the extra time on your hands to rediscover something you used to enjoy. This is a great chance to start practicing an instrument again, too—even if that means breaking out your elementary school recorder (just make sure not to annoy your family too much).
A final thought
Please remember that these, and all the other tips you may be seeing only, are just that: tips. Right now, everything’s in flux, and it’s important to do what feels best for you, whatever that may be. Don’t worry about what other people are doing during this time; focus on what makes you feel confident and comfortable. Stick to a strategy that works for you, and you’ll get through this craziness, no problem.