As TMCC prepares to move to remote learning for the majority of its classes, we want to give you as much support and resources as we can to ensure you are successful while you are learning from home. In our previous story, we gave you five tips for succeeding in your class. Here, we offer you some advice on how to keep yourself healthy and sane while negotiating the demands of remote learning.
While it’s important to complete assignments, participate in online discussions and complete exams, it’s also important to keep your health and wellness as a top priority. This means focusing on getting some form of exercise, but also focusing on your mental and emotional well-being, too. This list is hardly meant to be exhaustive; instead, we hope it serves as a helpful reminder that being successful in life is learning how to approach challenges holistically.
For starters, don’t sit all day. We understand that studying and online learning require quite a bit of sitting down. Schedule regular breaks for yourself to stand up, stretch and walk around. If you have a foam roller, you can roll yourself out. If you can, go outside into your yard, balcony—some spot where you can get the sun on your face.
Be creative with keeping yourself moving. During a scheduled break from school work, try to find ways to move your body while practicing safe social distancing. Go for a walk, or do yoga in your living room. Maybe you’d like to try a YouTube video that can walk you through body weight exercises (push-ups, sit-ups etc.) that you can do in your own home. Or, if you are craving a little social interaction, Facetime with a friend and host a virtual dance party or simply chat over a cup of coffee or tea. However you can get in any exercise and positive--but safe—social interaction, do it. Your body, mind and spirit will thank you.
Be sure to hydrate. It’s always important to drink water, but even more so now with the increased concerns around public health. As you study, be sure to drink enough water. Health authorities commonly recommend eight 8-ounce glasses, which equals about a half gallon. You can remember this by reminding yourself to be square: 8 glasses, 8 ounces, or “8 x 8 every day.”
Don’t gain the COVID-19. While many college students worry about the Freshman-15, this season we are urging you to avoid the COVID-19 by eating mindfully. Mindful eating means making sure that you are eating what is healthy for you: fresh vegetables and fruits, high-fiber legumes (like beans and lentils) and lean sources of protein. In fact, this might be the moment to embrace learning how to cook at home. Cooking can be therapeutic (it will give you some time away from your computer or phone), and it can also become a way to learn a new skill. Imagine discovering that one of your undiscovered talents is making the world’s best vegetarian lasagna. If cooking simply isn’t your “thing” and you plan to maximize your consumption of take-out food, you can practice mindful eating in that case, too. You can select healthy choices and you can support local businesses by ordering take out from them.
Our last piece of advice comes from our desire for you to be healthy—in your body and your mind. What is going on in the world is unprecedented, and it is normal to feel anxious or even scared. It’s important to schedule breaks for yourself to manage your mental health. In fact, when taking a break, it is OK to do nothing. That is a strange thing to write in a world where it can feel like obligations pile up faster than dirty laundry. We are constantly bombarded with texts, emails, calls and responsibilities that we shoulder as students, parents, siblings, friends, employees and all the other roles we play in our day-to-day lives. We’re used to being asked to do more. Now, more than ever, it’s important to embrace doing less. Work in breaks for yourself that do not include screen time. Watch the clouds. Spend time with your pets. Or simply stare at the wall (sometimes those kind of mental breaks create much-needed clarity and comfort.)
Envision yourself succeeding. There’s a reason why there are cliches that speak about the darkest moment occurring before dawn. When situations become challenging, sometimes it’s hard to imagine ourselves out of them. Trust that you’re a student who’s capable of succeeding despite surmountable odds. Athletes who envision successful races often perform better when competition day arrives; CEOs who work through speeches and meetings, envisioning these to have positive outcomes tend to experience those positive outcomes. Envisioning your success can be a big part of making it a reality.
In the coming weeks, stay tuned for stories of how our students and faculty are succeeding during this time of alternate operations. Additionally, we will continue to share advice with you. For up-to-date information about campus operations and support services, check TMCC’s Coronavirus page at coronavirus.tmcc.edu.