With the fourth week of the new virtual school year approaching, classes have become increasingly mundane, tiresome, and stressful. At times, some of my peers and I have felt as if we’re trapped in an academic prison in our own homes. Having to sit at your desk for seven and a half hours every day and then countless more doing homework can become exhausting and destructive to your psyche. This has made finding outlets to take your mind off of school essential. That’s why I compiled a few ideas that you could use to take between classes or after the school day before you start your homework
- Get Some Fresh Air
Staring at a screen for hours uninterrupted can take a toll on your mind and isn’t great for your physical health either. Having both your mental and physical health potentially compromised is never a good idea so getting some fresh air and movement is one of the best ways to combat any stress related to the new school year. This is even backed by science; according to Harvard’s Health Publishing site spending time outside and in nature can greatly boost your mood and lower stress and anxiety.
2. Take a Power Nap
FCPS has incorporated at least 15 min between every single class so why not use it to boost your focus and alertness while reducing stress levels. Allow me to introduce a technique that will do just that: power napping. Taking a short 15-20 minute nap can help clear your mind from all the baggage you’ve acquired from previous classes. It can also give you a good energy boost going into the next class allowing yourself to be more productive and can help strengthen your ability to learn. If you don’t have the luxury of 15 min transition periods between classes you should still consider taking a quick nap before doing your homework after school to allow your mind and body to take a quick breather after an exhausting day
3. Get a Quick Bite to Eat
It’s hard to learn and concentrate when you’re hungry so utilize the luxury of having school at home by getting a quick snack or meal between classes. Having a grumbling stomach can cause irritability, stress, and ultimately cause you to lose focus in class. Eating can also serve as a well-deserved break from your computer screen, allowing yet another way to reset your mind and body. However, just eating isn’t going to help you in the long run if you’re meals of choice include fatty and unhealthy foods. These foods can potentially cause you to gain weight, increase stress levels, and other medical issues. The goal here is to eliminate as many stressors as possible so go with healthier options when looking for a mid-day snack.
4. Listen to Music or a Podcast
My final suggestion is a simple and easy one: listening to music or a podcast. They both essentially accomplish the same goal, which is to distract you from school. There is such a wide range of genres and topics in music that you can listen to just about anything and take your mind off of whatever is stressing you out. Music can also have a profound impact on your mood which can be used to your advantage by finding types of music that will uplift your spirits and thus your mental health. Similarily, podcasts have a wide range of genres with new ones popping up every day that discuss different and unique topics. Take advantage of websites and apps like YouTube and the Podcast app on iPhones that allow you to search for podcasts free of charge. These platforms allow users to pick podcasts related to their interests and passions which can provide a great outlet for students like you who are stuck at home learning stuff that you might not ever use outside of school.
I hope I was able to give anyone reading this some inspiration for activities that they can incorporate into their daily schedules in the new school year. I know for myself it has been challenging adjusting to the new virtual classroom setting, but I think it’s important to make an active effort to make it as enjoyable as possible. These suggestions have worked for me and hopefully, they can work for you all.