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Coping with being cooped up

As the world walks into completely uncharted territory, it might leave you feeling overwhelmed, like you don’t know where to start, and completely unproductive. Here is a list of things that can help you cope with being cooped up and, hopefully, increase productivity:

1. Make your own work from home schedule

While there are a lot of different recommendations on how to stick to a work-from-home schedule circulating social media, working for a newspaper gives our editorial board a head start on work-from-home experience. Balancing school, work and free time can be hard when there aren’t specific times for specific obligations. Block out time for different tasks (i.e. work, school, meals, relaxation, etc.) and set alarms to make sure you stick to that schedule. 

2. Be intentional with time spent on social media

It can be easy to overconsume media coverage of COVID-19 when trying to stay informed, but it is not the healthiest practice when there are not many opportunities to get out and refocus. Try to set time limits for cellular devices, and dedicate computer use for work and school. It is also important to identify which viral graphics are factual, and which ones are misinformation.

3. Get outside and stay active

Just because many counties have enacted stay-at-home mandates, this doesn’t mean the outdoors are off-limits entirely. A little bit of sun exposure each day is important to boost Vitamin D levels to promote better mental and physical health. Though too much sun exposure can be harmful, too little can cause just as much damage to your mood and productivity. A trip outside does not have to constitute a full sprint or half-marathon. Taking a walk around the neighborhood is better than spending the entire day lounging on the couch. 

4. Keep your space spring cleaned

Keeping clean is beneficial in more ways than one. A messy room or workspace messes with the mind, limiting productivity and positivity. With uncertainty on how COVID-19 spreads, it is also a good idea to keep clean hands and disinfected surfaces. The CDC recommends everyday actions to clean and disinfect frequently touched objects, but just tidying up desk space and cleaning dishes after use can make a huge impact on daily productivity.

5. Take time for neglected activities

Giving busy-ness control has been habitual for the masses, but quarantining gives opportunity to delve into tasks and activities you have always meant to do. Whether that be reading a book you’ve always wanted to read, teaching yourself a few chords on the guitar you haven’t touched in years, or dabbling in a hobby that you’ve always wanted to try, now is a better time than ever to start the things that never got started.

These are just a few ways to cope with isolation while we are cooped up in quarantine, but there are plenty of ideas out there. At the end of it all, do what it takes to stay healthy, stay grateful, and stay home.

Featured Image by Angelica Monsour

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