As the University continues to take steps to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, there are many resources that remain available to support graduate students as they work remotely and transition to working from home.
Create or continue your routines
During the time you are working from home, many of your normal routines will be impacted. However, many experts suggest that maintaining a routine is important. Try these 5 tips for creating a daily routine and tips for building daily and weekly routines as shelter-in-place continues.
Eat well and hydrate
Homewood Health suggests to try to maintain healthy eating patterns and stay hydrated. Avoid high sugar snacks and beverages to avoid swings in mood and energy levels.
If you're limiting trips to the grocery store, you can also attempt a pantry challenge to make meal plans based on what you have on hand.
For graduate student parents, we know many childcare routines and activities are impacted during this time. Consider some tips for parents working from home, and check out these online resources:
- CEMC at Home: includes games, videos and other materials to help kids with their math and computer science studies
- CBC Curio.ca: Online streaming platform, currently with complimentary access, with collections of educational videos.
- Khan Academy: A non-profit providing free education through fun lessons, like “Imagineering in a Box.
- Scholastic Learn at Home: Day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing.
- Storytime online: Most days at 3pm, author Mac Barnett reads his books on Instagram Live, and author Monique Gray Smith also reads her books and shares the videos on Instagram Live.
Set up an ergonomic workspace
Even if you are working at your kitchen table, there are strategies you can implement to create a more ergonomic set up. Review the ergonomics information provided by Safety Office, including an Office Ergonomics workshop on LEARN.
There are lots of free online tools available to help you stay connected while social distancing, try out a new tool for your next meeting:
Whether you are at your desk or kitchen table, sneak in some (free!) yoga:
- Try a free online desk yoga session.
- Join local yoga student Modo Yoga for their Instagram live yoga classes every day at 10:00am, 2:00pm and 6:00pm.
Even if you don't have fitness equipment at home, there are options to stay active:
- Try a 20 minute full body workout - no equipment required!
- Join your Waterloo Warriors for free live fitness classes Monday to Friday. Check out the full schedule for workout and Zoom login details.
- Movati Athletic is also offering live classes via Instagram and Facebook.
Continue moving and stretching:
- Try some desk stretches that you can do quickly and easily wherever you're working.
Take time to focus on your mental health
You may be avoiding a stressful commute when working from home, but remote work can come with challenges of its own. There are many free, online resources to help:
- Check out some tips for maintaining your mental health while you adapt to working from home.
- Try using a free meditation app like Headspace or Insight Timer.
Elise Vist, a Writing and Multimodal Communication Specialist, offered a tip for grad students, "the best academic writers write CONSISTENTLY rather than A LOT. 15, 30, 60, 120 minutes a day - whatever you can do -- is better than 8 hours one day and a week of exhaustion!"
Try out these options to take a break and maintain social distancing:
- Visit a virtual museum or attend a virtual concert. While you may not be able to head out to a museum or concert, there are many museums that provide virtual visits and several concert or opera performances available for you to view or listen to online.
- Take a virtual hike through a National Park on Google Earth.
- Listen to a new podcast. Try starting with the 20 best podcasts of 2019.
Continue your career development
The COVID-19 pandemic likely disrupted your usual routine, including your career develop, networking, job search and conference plans. However, there are still ways that you engage in career development during this time:
- Read about At-Home Networking Strategies, with concrete actions you can take during this time
- Check out the suggestions in the LinkedIn article During a Pandemic: How to Continue Your Career Development and Job Search
- Consider ways that you can still include accepted, but cancelled, conference presentations on your CV
- Take advantage of free, online resources, like free how-to seminars and career conversations from Beyond the Professoriate
- Review the campus services (below) that continue to operate virtually, including one-on-one appointments with career advisors and coaching sessions with Concept coaches!