Feel like smashing your laptop into itty-bitty pieces? Here’s some things you can do!
Halfway through week 2 of term 2, I had an epiphany: if I had to spend another moment on Microsoft Teams, looking at blue circles with random initials instead of people’s faces, I would throw my laptop out of the window. (Wow, now I know what our lecturers must feel like.)
Burnout is real. Even if you’re technically ‘at home’ all the time, the meaning of being at home has changed significantly over the past year. From being solely a place of rest, it has morphed into restaurant, grocery store, workplace, school and university. Often simultaneously.
Sometimes, it is essential that you take a break from the chaos that has taken over your computer screen and also made itself comfy on the chair that is conveniently placed by the side of your bed (to help you attend those 10 a.m. classes comfortably tucked into blankets, no doubt). If you’re really itching to smash your computer into smithereens, hold that thought. Here’s some things that you could do to alleviate your stress:
- Step outside your room (not inside the eye of your mind). You might think this is the most obvious one of the lot, but it is NOT. During the initial phases of online learning, I have spent weeks where I would just leave my room 3-4 times a day (to grab some food from the kitchen and to…do other things). For most of the day, I would wallow in my room, frustratedly looking through my window at the sunny day outside. (Those REALLY are a rarity; imagine how frustrated I felt!) Just a simple change of scene, from your room to the common shared space of your flat, or from your work corner to some other ‘chill’ corner of your house, can do wonders. On that note…
- Assign a place/part of your room just for working. This works. A lot. You need a space in your life (and your room) where you can just let yourself take a moment’s rest without constantly stressing about the twenty-seven readings you haven’t done this term. (Who would do that? Me? NOOOO WAY :/ ) If you have a desk in your room, or a table where you prefer to work somewhere in your house, let that be your workspace; try your level best NOT to bring your laptop on your bed and work from there (unless absolutely unavoidable), since then you would feel like you have no space that’s for you to chill in. Not even your own bed.
- Catch up with your friends (virtually)! Connections are especially important right now; if you haven’t heard already, we’re extremely social beings, and not being able to see each other face-to-face straight-up ~hurts~. Therefore, it’s absolutely necessary to schedule meetings (or randomly call up) your friends at regular intervals. You could figure out a study group to help motivate each other (and live out #studygoals), or just catch up for a friendly round of skribb.io. It’s all up to you 🙂
- Head out for a walk/drive (safely, and in adherence to lockdown rules). I don’t mean the two (or twenty) minute walk that you take to Tesco when you head out to get groceries. I’m talking about walks dedicated to the sole purpose of ~frolicking~ through your surroundings. If you’re on campus, you are literally in the middle of one of the most beautiful (and massive) university campuses that exist; explore the parks behind Claycroft, or visit the pitches by Cryfield. The opportunities are endless. If you’re in Leamington, there’s this windmill somewhere (that I have not had the opportunity to visit) that is a short drive away, apparently. If you’re looking for something more local, there’s Jephsons (the basic one) and tons of other gardens and green spaces to explore around the area. Again, the opportunities are endless!
- Eat and sleep well. This is especially important, especially now. With working-from-home becoming the norm, the academic/professional realm has crept up on your personal space. You get way less time to treat your body right, when it comes to the rest you take or the food you eat. I assure you, the saying “you are what you eat” is not just baloney. The Mental Health Foundation stresses on how eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables and legumes can lead to increased levels of well-being in individuals. Harvard Medical School talks about a similar relationship between sleeping and feeling well; the less you sleep, the worse it can be. Therefore, give yourself that break, champ: you need to eat and sleep, too!
- Finally, don’t hesitate to ~treat yourself~ Yes, you heard that right. You are living through a pandemic. What’s more, you’re learning, working, running societies, and doing the whole hog in the middle of a pandemic. If that isn’t a Herculean task, I can’t think of anything that is. ( I don’t think the Herculean labours involved the deprivation of social interaction; what if that had happened? How would Hercules have coped with that?… Oops, I digress.) Point is, you need to give yourself credit for your resilience. For your effort. For your struggle. For getting back up, every time you feel like you can’t take it anymore. For staying home, to make sure that everyone stays safe. For that, I think you can treat yourself. Want to splurge on some takeout? Do it. Want that new book (even though you haven’t read the one you got for Christmas yet)? Get it! Want to shop online for some new outfits? Go for it! (Try to be sustainable, but still do it!) You really do deserve it!
Well, that was it for my tips on how not to feel like breaking your laptop and uninstalling Microsoft Teams (not necessarily in that order) every thirty seconds. For more study tips (I’m not really an expert on this), look up ‘study-tubers’ on YouTube (Jack Edwards, Unjaded Jade and Eve Cornwell are the ones I really recommend), and watch a few of their videos. They have a lot of amazing study tips (and pretty relevant life advice as well)!
In case you feel like you want to talk about something (anything, really), feel free to message me, and we can have a chat! Take care, stay safe, and give yourself (and your laptop) a break!