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  • Gia Khanh Luong

When the going gets tough, the tough get going

“What do you do these days?”

“Nothing much, I am lingering at home.”

Do any of you feel familiar with this situation? I strongly think that you do. We are living in a pandemic-stricken world. This period is deemed to be the hardest time ever for most of us for many reasons. As Quebec is entering the second wave of the outbreak, we are repeatedly told to stay at home and avoid contact with other people, and this is not the end. Furthermore, the longer the pandemic lasts, the more pessimistic we become due to the soaring cases and deaths, not only in Canada but also around the world. Some people are even coping with mental problems such as depression and stress. The only way that could survive our unlucky days is to stay motivated by cleaning up our own act.

Let’s have a look at some ways that could help boost your motivation and productivity.

You can ensure a wonderful day by making yourself a planned morning.

Have you ever thought of a morning routine? If not, let’s make one right now! Quarantine seems to be an opportunity to stay up a little bit late and wake up a bit tardy. However, these new habits could lead to lazy and tired “you”. What would be different if we wake up 30 minutes earlier, do some exercises, make breakfast and grab a book? You could feel very energized and well-prepared for a nice day. The morning is a vital foundation that matters for the rest of your day.

  • Create a to-do list for every single day

You might be too occupied to come up with your to-do list in daily life. Now, let’s grab a pen and a book to make one. It could be monotonous staying at home without any specific goal besides working and studying, so a daily plan can motivate you to be active and productive. At the end of the day, when you look back at what you have accomplished, at least you find out that it is not utterly meaningless during the quarantine.

  • Friends color your life.

"I am so lonely in quarantine." Wait, why don’t you grab your phone and talk to someone? According to Dr. Eva Stubits, a Houston-based clinical psychologist whose major is in stress management, speaking diminishes stress level.

Reaching out to your friends is a totally effective way to survive your uninteresting and stressful days. Get some chatty conversations with your friends whenever you miss them or feel down. Friendship brings incredible power to our souls. Maybe just seeing your friends faces or talking to them for a couple of minutes can totally change your feelings.

  • Go out for some exercise and get some fresh air.

Minimizing as much social contact as possible does not mean you have to stay in one place. Go outside to get yourself some fresh air, and do simple exercises like going for a walk or running. I am not telling you to go to crowded places. It could simply be your garden or your neighborhood. Remember to keep two meters of social distance. Come out of your shell and expose them to the outside world in a different way.

  • Quarantine is not meaningless with your family.

Quarantine is mundane but profitable. This period of time could help us balance work and family life. We were too occupied at work to arrive home on time and have dinner with family. Or some of us were so busy hanging out with friends after school that we came home late and missed dinner time. After dinner, we had our own affairs to deal with, which led to the lack of communication among family members. If any of you didn't have much time for family, now’s the right time for more conversations and understanding each other. Clint Edward, the author of “Silence Is a Scary Sound,” “I’m Sorry … Love, Your Husband” has done this. He agrees that quarantine has accidentally resumed his family’s activities. He has more spare time for his children and wife because schools are closed and no activities are allowed to run. At the moment, everyone has time for meals, watching movies and regular weekends together that would have been missed due to workload and personal affairs.

  • Organize your place

Marisa Wolch suggests that keeping organized increases your productivity and reduces stress level. When everything is in order, you can easily look for important tasks whenever you need them. Moreover, your stress level can also be lessened. Any time you feel down, try to leave where you're at and tidy up. That could mean simply putting your books on the shelves or making your bed, but it really matters how you feel. Give it a try to know how much of a difference it makes.

  • Learn something brand-new

Pandemic time could really steer some people's lives if they know how to manage their time smartly. We have more extra time than ever because we are working from home, which means there is no need for the daily commute. Why don't we seize this time for self-learning? You can learn new languages or skills thanks to online courses. Who knows, that new knowledge you gained during quarantine could even polish your future path and shape who you are. For example, if writing is your passion, find a writing class online which enhances your skills in addition to the limited time in class. Judicious decisions in time management make a different "you" during pandemic-stricken world time.

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