When the first snow storm hit Bethlehem on Feb. 1, students on and off campus pulled out their skis and sleds and headed outdoors to embrace the blizzard. It was one of the few times that students rejoiced in the fact that Lehigh’s campus is one big hill.
From that day alone, Bethlehem saw just under 30 inches of snow. And while it was a nice change of pace to be outside and play, the fun didn’t last long.
The very next day, our sense of isolation only heightened. The snow had rampaged our community. Sidewalks became unwalkable, streets undrivable and the cold was unbearable. The few chances we had before to leave the house — to go to class, the grocery store, or just on a walk to get some Vitamin D — were no longer an option. We were stuck, and three weeks later, many of us still are.
Being sedentary inside our homes for so long can be frustrating and exhausting with the added pressures of academics.
However, there are different activities you can do inside the comfort of your own home to make the weeks feel less motionless and more structured, to give yourself the motivation you need.
Reach out to those you love, and who you know love you
With second semester now in full swing, it can be hard to divert your attention to anything non-school related; and even more so for those who are away from home.
It is easy to forget how a simple phone conversation with someone you love can turn a bad day into a good one.
We’ve found that just giving a call to home, and checking in on your family, is a great way to remind yourself of the love and support you have from the people in your life.
Also, reaching out to a friend who you haven’t spoken to in a while to catch up and hear about their life can be a good way to give yourself a mental break.
COVID-19 friendly activities to do with your roommates
Being stuck in the house for extended periods of time with the same people can get boring quickly. However, if you plan a weekly activity that you and your housemates all enjoy doing together, it can be something you have to look forward to, and can make your weeks feel more structured.
This could be anything from dedicating a night each week where you all make dinner together, have a game night, or just having a designated time to spend together.
Much of the stress that comes from online school originates from the lack of having a structured schedule. Everything now can be done in one setting. You don’t even have to leave your bed to complete a day of school and the work that comes with it.
And while that sounds nice to some, it can actually make life feel messy and disorganized. So giving you and your roommates something fun to do each week, that you know you can look forward to, can hopefully provide some structure and make life in a pandemic feel less out of control.
Cleaning your space makes for a better headspace
It’s commonly understood that having a cluttered and messy room or workspace can make you feel overwhelmed. For many of us the pandemic, along with winter conditions, has only exacerbated those feelings as we are confined to our small spaces.
When you’re spending so much time in one area, it’s likely that it will get a bit more messy than usual, and the mess can have a larger impact on your mental health than you may expect.
Doing little things to tidy your area can significantly benefit you in the long run.
Make a plan to make your bed every morning right when you wake up, or just clear whatever you left on your bedside surfaces from the day before.
These small tasks that take no more than two minutes will help you feel calmer throughout the day and make spending so much time in that one space a little easier.
Secondly, living with a group of different people can be challenging at times because we all have different habits, and it can get frustrating having to cohabitate for almost 24 hours a day.
Creating a chore chart can prove to be helpful in not only keeping your shared spaces clean, but also for holding each other accountable so that relationships with your roommates don’t get strained over a pot left on the stove, or a dirty dish in the sink.
By taking accountability for the little messes in your life, you can help clear your head and stay organized even when the world outside may seem full of disruption.