Guys… things are nuts right now. Is there even another word for it? Schools are closing, businesses are closing, and staying at home is our new normal for now. We all know #StayingTheFHome is the right, smart, responsible thing to do, but that doesn’t make it any easier. Save your sanity and handle this period of social isolation as easily as possible with these eight tips. We promise, they’ll make a difference.

Shower and get dressed.

I know how tempting it is to roll out of bed and start your day. Staying in pajamas all day is half the fun of e-learning and staying home all day, right? Well, not really. To put it simply, when you dress like a sleepy, lazy person, you’re likely to have the work ethic of a sleepy, lazy slacker. Take a bit of time to shower, wash your face, and put on real clothes (or at the very least, clothes you didn’t sleep in). You’ll feel refreshed, like a real person, and ready to tackle your day.

Get outside.

Sunshine and fresh air can work miracles. Whether you need to get a breather from your family for a bit or shake off that cabin fever, penciling in some time to walk or jog around your neighborhood can do the trick. Pop in your headphones and listen to a podcast, or grab the leashes and take your pups for a walk. Make sure you’re getting that vitamin D and getting outside every single day – just don’t forget to stay six feet away from your neighbors! #SocialDistancing

Exercise.

Sports are canceled and gyms are closed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t break a sweat. Endorphins will work wonders for your mental state, and you don’t need a fancy treadmill or a home gym to get them. Go for a run outside. Google “free bodyweight home workouts.” Move your coffee table and spend 20 minutes stretching or doing a yoga video. Get on YouTube and search “dance workout” – as someone with two left feet and zero rhythm, this one is my personal favorite. Exercise can transform a bad day into a good day, so make time to move your body in whatever way you like.

Plan a (rough) schedule, and stick to it.

You don’t need to create a strict plan for every minute of your day (unless that’s your thing), but having a general plan for your day can provide a comforting sense of structure. For example, you may spend the time from breakfast until lunch strictly working on your academics. Following lunch, you may allot time to things like chores, exercise, catching up with friends, watching TV, additional school work, and so on. While a schedule will look different for everyone, we cannot stress how important it is to have one. These can help with productivity, but more importantly, they can bring a sense of normalcy to a pretty surreal time.

Work in a dedicated workspace.

Speaking of your schoolwork… don’t do it in your bed! I know it’s tempting to get comfy on your comforter, but that really doesn’t work out well for most people. Instead, give yourself a dedicated space where you get your work done. It doesn’t need to be anything special – maybe it’s the kitchen table, a desk in the corner, or a coffee table in your basement. Wherever your workspace is, make it a place where you turn off your phone, eliminate distractions (as best you can), and focus on your work. When you leave that space, you can leave your work there. And your bed can remain your happy little bubble for sleep! The blurring lines between home and school can be a cause of stress, and it’s so important to draw a line between the two.

FaceTime, text, and call your friends and family. Often.

Luckily, this generation has plenty of experience connecting with people from a distance. Make sure that while you’re physically distancing yourself from people, you aren’t emotionally distancing yourself from them. Set aside time for FaceTimes with your friends – seriously, put it on your schedule – and call your grandma while you’re taking a walk around the neighborhood. Pick a movie on Netflix with your friends, start it at the same time, and talk about it in a group chat as you watch. None of us are quite sure how long this thing will last, so make a point to prioritize your social circles and commit to getting through this together.

Give yourself a whole lot of TLC.

Things can feel really uncertain and scary right now. In the wise words of Tom Haverford, there’s never been a better time to treat yo’self. Pick up your favorite ice cream on your next grocery store run. Turn off the news when you feel overwhelmed. Rewatch the funniest movie you’ve ever seen. Call your best friend to talk about absolutely nothing. Binge watch that show you keep hearing about. There will be times when you need to get schoolwork done, need to pitch in to help your family, and need to make sacrifices that you really don’t want to make. So every chance you get, show yourself some extra love.

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