By now we are all beginning to fight the mild-hysteria brought on by the time we’re spending indoors (and how much of it is spent on Netflix).
Our homes, once a welcome retreat after long workdays and commutes, now double as our classrooms, faculty lounges, and even our gyms. This makes it difficult to appreciate the escape our homes once offered.
This blurring of spaces, on top of the everyday challenges of teaching, can take quite a toll. Proper self-care during these times will be crucial to keeping you motivated, productive, and happy.
Here at Paper, we would like to share some strategies that have helped us cope with working remotely, besides binge-watching Tiger King episodes (unless that’s what you really want)!
1. Embrace the missteps
“I feel like a first-year teacher all over again,” said every teacher, these last three weeks. The reality is that many lesson plans probably won’t go as expected during this time. Don’t let that get you down; treat this as a new learning experience. Use each day to experiment. Just like a first-year teacher, take this time to try new techniques. Start each day with a deep breath, prepare for the unexpected, and flex those teaching muscles.
2. Don’t work where you sleep
While it might be enticing to work from bed (just for today, I swear!), it is important to create distinct spaces for different activities. The Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard says, “Keeping computers, TVs, and work materials out of the room will strengthen mental associations between your bedroom and sleep.” Having your home life and work life as separate as possible can do wonders when it is finally time to log off for the day: Your home still feels like home.
3. Yoga pants are the new chinos
Establishing a personal work routine keeps us accountable and purpose to our day. It can be easy to become a little complacent when working from home. Create a routine: Setting a morning alarm, getting dressed as if you were going into work (yoga pants count as work clothes!), and designating specific times for lunch and breaks will create balance and make your day manageable.
4. Make it count
After reading countless online forums on remote teaching, it is natural that we might feel the need to overcompensate for the lack of face to face instruction by tossing more content towards our students. But truthfully, this is a time when the “quality over quantity” mantra has never been more applicable. Keep in mind that your students are adjusting to online learning, just as you are to online teaching.
5. You do you
Let’s admit it, working from home means we have a little more time to ourselves—and if you have it, use it! Whether it’s perfecting that guitar solo, getting an early start to your summer reading list, or finally finishing that half-knit blanket, don’t feel bad making time for the things that bring you happiness. Countless studies have shown that allowing yourself time to indulge your hobbies help keep the blues at bay, allowing you to feel productive and accomplished.