Wellness/Productivity Tips for 2021


  Though schools, parents, and even YouTube advertisements have been stressing the importance of wellness ever since stay-at-home restrictions were implemented, it’s hard to balance a sustainable self-care routine with loads of schoolwork. The Paw Print has provided seven concrete tips to make your days at home more productive and manageable.

    1. Get dressed and ready for the day. While being at home and not seeing anyone in real life might be a discouragement, changing out of pajamas and doing some sort of morning routine will help you feel put together and ready to take on the day. It is likely to increase your motivation to work and supply a boost of self-confidence. In fact, according to “Wall Street Journal,” “Researchers studying links between clothes, brain activity and productivity have long found that dressing up for work can improve your performance.” 
    2. Incorporate movement or simply step outside in between classes. Taking a breath of fresh air boosts oxygen supply to the brain and refreshes your mind. Activities such as taking a short walk or jog outside make a big impact on your focusing abilities throughout the day. In fact, according to psychologist Charlotte Fritz PhD, in an interview for the American Psychological Association, “‘Breaks can improve our moods, overall well-being and performance capacity,’” leaving you enthusiastic to take on your next Zoom class. 
    3. Breakfast is your best friend. Not only can breakfast improve your physical health, it also sets your daily routine on a path to success. Ditch the caffeine for one of our favorite protein-and-plant-packed morning meals: banana and protein powder smoothies with milk or milk substitute, granola with berries and yogurt, and avocado toast with a fried egg are all reliable, yummy picks.
    4. Write a daily checklist. Though you might feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of assignments you have to complete, a checklist will help you compartmentalize and schedule which assignments to complete each day. Make a fuss-free digital version in Google Keep or the Apple Notes app, or purchase a small whiteboard from Target or Amazon to keep by your desk as you complete assignments.
    5. Create a study playlist. Though 2000s pop punk and high-energy hip-hop might be what you listen to normally, catchy, upbeat songs can actually be a distraction when it comes to schoolwork. Lo-fi study beats, classical music, and even instrumental movie soundtracks can give you something ambient to listen to while focusing on your schoolwork. 
    6. Organize your online classwork into folders. With almost a year of online school work sitting in our Google Drives, it’s become a hassle to sift through all your documents every time you need to reopen an assignment. Consider creating a Google Drive folder for each of your classes. This makes assignments more accessible and even allows for organizational flair via color-customizable folders.
    7. Take full advantage of your online resources. Beyond Quizlet and SparkNotes, there are a ton of free online resources designed to help you retain information! 
      1. Getcoldturkey.com is a browser extension that blocks distracting social media and gaming sites when you’re working.
      2. With Canva’s boundless array of graphics, text and backgrounds, you can take your class presentations to the next level. 
      3. Though Crash Course is known mainly for science and history-based content, the lesser known Crash Course Literature videos provide an animated chapter-by-chapter breakdown of classic novels like “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Lord of the Flies” to supplement your memory on chapters you’ve read. 
      4. Because we’re looking at our screens for hours every day, Eye Care can help you manage your screen time in order to protect your eyes. The free Chrome extension reminds users to look away from the computer screen for 20 seconds every so often on a customizable time interval.

   Working from home doesn’t have to be tedious and dreary. By implementing these tips into your daily tasks, motivation and productivity may come easier. Keep working hard Cats, we can make it through the rest of the online semester!