Nagamma Koppad

Nagamma Koppad, Community Relations and Events Assistant

To help take my mind off stressful situations in work, school or in my personal life, I love to read.

As a co-op student working from home for my Fall 2020 term, there are times where I feel overwhelmed and anxious. Spending time during the day to get off my computer and pull out a book helps me stay grounded. I love reading especially at night before bed because it feels like I’ve been transported to another world. This allows me to feel less tense and more relaxed for bed. 

Throughout the years, I have been collecting books to read, but haven’t had a chance to read them all. During the lockdown period, I thankfully found my joy for casual reading once again, including revisiting older titles like Harry Potter and Percy Jackson and the Olympians.

Here’s a list of some of my personal favourite books, with a wide variety of genres:

-    The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini

-    Memoirs of a Geisha, by Arthur Golden

-    The Virgin Suicides, by Jeffrey Eugenides

-    The Eye of the Jade, by Diane Wei Liang

-    Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn

-    The Giver, by Lois Lowry

-    The Catcher in the Rye, by J. D. Salinger

-    Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline

You can also visit the WStore to check out some amazing books written by UWaterloo authors like Out of My Skull, co-written by Faculty of Arts professor James Danckert and From the Ashes, by alumnus Jesse Thistle.  

Sarina Nathoo

Sarina Nathoo, Public Affairs Coordinator

My favorite way to de-stress and take a break from the hustle of school and work is to either follow an exercise video or try new baking recipes. Since the pandemic began, my favorite thing to do is look at fun, engaging workout videos online and spend 30 minutes a day being active.

I grew up in a big soccer family, which meant practices and games during the week and tournaments on the weekend. I also was a part of a local dance team which meant lots of rehearsals, training and showcases.


As I got older, it became challenging to manage sports, school and working part-time, so I often slacked on staying active. Now that accessing gyms is more limited, I have the opportunity to do quick exercises and yoga videos which help me think clearer, feel stronger and sleep better!

My favorite YouTube workout videos are from Chloe Ting who has quick, but killer, workouts and monthly challenges to follow, as well as MadFit who has amazing dance workouts to great playlists. Waterloo Warrior Recreation also has some great mindfulness tips to remain fit and succeed during a lockdown including some great breathing and yoga videos.

My daily routine is to alternate between a yoga video and a quick fitness exercise every other day. The more fun I have while doing this, the stronger my mind feels, which helps me produce better work in a time-efficient manner. Meditation and yoga are exercises that have helped me curb the anxiety I have experienced during the pandemic from classes and work. When my mind is overwhelmed, taking a minute to clear it and regain control of my thoughts is the best way for me to keep moving forward.

Check out one of Waterloo Warrior Recreation’s breathing exercises to centre yourself on days that might be feeling especially overwhelming. Remember: it’s important to take care of both your body and mind.