Transitioning into a new chapter after a period when our lives have been so severely disrupted might require extra effort and energy. We might be noticing that more parts of our lives have been affected than we realized, and it is important to make sure that we take care of our whole self during a transition. Navigating this will most likely look different for everyone and reaching out for support is normal!
Create balance in your social calendar.
Socializing may feel different now: make sure to make it maneagable and realistic.
- Reflect on your priorities and values. Prioritize tasks and activities that are important to you first, then move on to others. Planning can help avoid regret about how you spent your time. Remember to set aside time for yourself- it’s okay to take breaks. Consider using a planner for academics and social life to visualize and make sure you are able to do all you want to do with your day.
- Learn to say no. To be at your best, you may need to say no to an opportunity, leave a gathering, or have a moment to yourself. You may feel like you want to do it all. Allow yourself to take time daily to recharge.
- Learn to say yes. Say yes to opportunities that are valuable to you. Look for ways to engage that increase your energy. Open yourself up to new experiences.
Take care of yourself mentally.
Caring for our mental and emotional health takes consistent attention, especially in times of transition.
- Check in with yourself. What is going well? Where is your energy level? Where are you holding tension? What do you need right now? Take advantage of resources on Grounds to support your well-being and ease the transition into a new normal.
- Be a friend to yourself. Comparison is natural. Take care to have it benefit you and not be detrimental to your self-worth. Your and others’ bodies may have changed over the pandemic. Be kind to yourself and be thankful for all that your body does for you. Practice self-compassion.
Take care of yourself physically.
Make sure you are eating, exercising, and tending to illnesses in a healthy manner.
- Plan eating times. You may be out at meal times more. This means that food might not always be readily available to you: meal prepping, bringing snacks, and planning a food schedule will be helpful tools. Meet with a nutritionist at SHW.
- If you choose to use, use safely. Tolerance levels for substances, including alcohol, might be different than they were last year. If substances play a role in your life, remind yourself that your tolerance has shifted in the past year being at home, whether that be up or down. Take stock of what and how much you are putting into your body in order to stay safe and healthy.
Academics may have changed.
Transitioning back to in-person classes and exams may be a big change.
- Exams may be different. You may be more used to other exam formats and settings. Make sure you give yourself enough time to study before the test, create a study plan, and familiarize yourself with the exam format.
- Attention spans may have been altered. Taking good notes, separating work and play spaces, and giving yourself time to prepare are all ways that you can find stronger focus during your academic year.
- Take advantage of what you learned. Since being online and taking classes in a different format, what have you learned about what works best for you academically?
"Check in with yourself often and know that it's okay to respond differently to pre-COVID situations than you did before. Although diving back into social activities, clubs, classes, and all things in-person is super exciting, it will also be overwhelming. It's okay to set boundaries and decide that you need to slow down! We will all adjust differently." – A.Z.