So we’re all working from home. It’s great, right? You can wear your pyjamas all day, your commute time is suddenly zero, and you can get a snack whenever you feel like it.
But what if it’s not all smooth sailing?
Here are things that will help you look after yourself in this weird time in history:
Keep a routine
Prioritise normal sleep patterns.
Go to bed on time.
Put your devices away.
Set your alarm every night, and actually get up when it goes off.
Go to class on time every day.
Late running trains are no excuse at the moment. Make an effort to get there, and be on time. If you do this, not only will you feel better, but you’ll get a lot more out of your studies.
Make your bed every morning.
Even if you don’t normally make your bed, getting into this one habit can have a huge impact on your mood. It also removes the temptation of just crawling back into bed just because you can.
Make sure that you’re eating enough veg and drinking enough water. It’s tempting to eat the entire packet of Tim Tams, but it rarely makes you feel good.
2. Connect with people
Go to class every day.
If you just can’t for some reason, check in with your teachers. Otherwise make the effort to be there.
Regularly contact your classmates.
They’re in a similar boat. Chat about class, what you’re working on, ideas for radio shows, terrible movies you’ve watched on Netflix, whatever.
Regularly contact your family, friends, and anyone else in your support network.
You may have a bit more time on your hands, which is a good excuse to message the friends that you don’t quite have enough to see.
Say hello to people.
If you’re at the shops, say hi to the staff working there.
If you’re around your neighbourhood, say hello to people you pass (naturally while trying to keep a social distance of 1.5m).
I know it’s a small thing, but those tiny moments are important to remind you how connected we all are.
3. Step away from the screens
It’s important to have regular rests.
Given that we’re all studying media, it’s hard not to get overwhelmed with news on the pandemic. It’s okay to stop looking. (PS. Social media feeds aren’t really a rest.)
Develop a hobby or activity that’s not screen-based.
Read a book, draw, play a game, reorder your cupboards – whatever works for you. (I’m planning on making some terrible pottery.)
If you’re struggling to get motivated, just do it for 10 minutes.
Rest your eyes.
If you can, go outside. If you can’t, look out the window.
Breathe fresh air.
Open a window or go outside. Just breathe for 10 minutes.
4. Throw yourself into your studies
Work on your blog.
Contact your teachers. Send them what you’ve made.
Share what you’ve made on our Facebook group.
5. If the tech isn’t working for you …
Let us know.
Although we’re not miracle workers, we are pretty good at finding workarounds. Send an email, and we can call you to chat through things if that suits you better.
Make what you can.
If Adobe isn’t working, work on your blog instead.
If that’s not working, write. (Use a pen and paper if you have to.)
Everything you make will get you closer to finishing your course.
Know that you’re not going to fail because of this.
We understand that this is a weird time, and that the tech doesn’t always work the way we want it to.
If you can’t get your editing projects done because you can’t download the Adobe suite, let us know. We’ll make sure that you can still finish your course.
6. Seek help if you need it
Contact your teachers.
We’re all keen to help you get through your course, however we can. We’re also aware of lots of support services, and can refer you to experts.
TAFE Counselling is free, confidential and generally pretty excellent. They’re also working on ways to support students remotely.
Call them on 9217 3238 or email Si.ContactUltimoCounsellors (at) tafensw.edu.au
Contact other support services.
If you can’t work or income is otherwise affected by COVID-19, here’s info on services provided by the government.
If you’re experiencing financial hardship, contact the National Debt Helpline online or phone 1800 007 007.
Beyond Blue has lots of support available, including info on anxiety, other practical advice. You can also contact them for short term counselling or referrals online or phone 1300 22 46 36.