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A Few Tips to Get Through the Long Zoom Days

Zoom. It’s funny how before the COVID-19 pandemic I had quite literally never heard of this app before. Now, however, the very word gives me chills in the worst way and makes my eyes roll. If I had to take a wild guess, you are feeling the same way about Zoom… and if you’re not, congratulations! After having a pretty fun and fulfilling summer (considering the circumstances), I had to participate in a mandatory virtual training for my new job at Temple. And, you guessed it, it took place on Zoom! Just two days of sitting and looking at a screen from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. reminded me how much I despised being virtual, and how much I dreaded “going back to school” and not being able to actually sit in a classroom. This is our new normal for now, no matter how much as I wish I wasn’t. Here are some tips on how to keep your spirits up while being stuck “zooming” all day.

  1. Remind yourself that it’s for your own safety & for the safety of others!

Even though it’s hard to think about sometimes, being on Zoom in your bedroom is for the safety of yourself, your friends, your family, and the random strangers you see. The longer we are around others, the higher the chances we have of contracting COVID-19. Not only this, but we are SUPER fortunate to have the ability to learn virtually. In reality, a lot of people don’t even get the privilege of going to school on a daily basis, let alone being able to continue their education in the comfort of their own home. Consider yourself lucky!

2. It’s okay to be tired, even after not doing anything

This way of life is not the norm for us; people in our generation are very used to the constant “go, go, go” lifestyle. Getting up early in the morning, hopping from one place to the next, and not getting home until late at night. Sitting inside is definitely not ideal and sometimes makes us feel unproductive and lazy, but we must learn to rework our days to be as “normal” as possible. After all, it only takes 21 days to break a habit!

3. Take time to step away from the screen

Let’s be honest, looking at a screen all day is not good for us. Yes we are learning, but don’t you remember when your mom would yell at you for watching TV for too long or for sitting too close to it? It’s no different now, so carving out time in your day to step outside is super important. It doesn’t matter what you do –– go for a walk, a run, drive around, take your dog for a walk, drive through your favorite food place, or just simply sit outside on your doorstep. As long as you are taking at least 30 minutes a day to be away from your computer and being in the sun and fresh air, you will notice a huge difference in your mood and how you feel overall.

4. Make a schedule for yourself

A lot of people think that since we are stuck inside that we have all the time in the world to focus on our studies. Although that is true, it is physically impossible to be productive ALL DAY. Making yourself a schedule to follow will give you something to look forward to, give you the structure you had pre COVID-19, and will ensure that you are not working yourself into overtime. Not only that, but it’s super fulfilling to cross things off a to-do list!

You can do all of these things, one of them, or none of them. What works for me may not work for someone else, and that’s okay. If you take nothing else away from this blog post, know this––we’re all in this together. It’s cliche, I know, but sometimes it’s comforting to acknowledge that simple fact. These are trying times so try to count your blessings, stay happy, and stay healthy!

This blog post was written by Olivia Mianulli, Director of Diversity and Inclusion

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