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Wellness Wednesday: Planning during a pandemic

Wellness Wednesday - Aug. 26
(Photo by Karolina Grabowska)
​​About six months ago, nearly everyone experienced a change of plans in some way, shape or form. For many DePaul students, the plans of going to in-person classes, sports practices, club meetings and outings with friends were no longer a possibility. In fact, the quick, drastic change in and of itself may have been just as daunting as no longer being able to do all the things we are normally used to doing. Going into autumn quarter, plans for a new school year also look different than they have during past years. 

This sense of unpredictability may be starting to spike as it can be hard to plan for the upcoming school year and even harder to think about the possibility of another plan being changed. If you feel uncomfortable because of the uncertainty, here are a few tips that may be helpful:

​1. Focus on what you can control. For some, having a predictable routine is helpful for feeling like they have a stable schedule. This may look like creating consistent morning and night routines, or taking breaks from schoolwork and technology around the same times every day.

2. Find ways to get what you feel like you are missing from plan changes. For example, the idea of taking online classes may work fine for some people when it comes to learning the material, but the social aspect of going to classes is what they miss. If this is the case, it is always possible to contact classmates to set up study and discussion sessions via video chat.

3. Take time for self-care. Stress is stress. Whether you are stressed out by the start of the school year being different from past school years or you feel like you are missing out on fun events, it is important to address your physical and emotional needs. Dedicating time for self-care activities every day can help with easing the stress that this uncertainty may bring. It may help to work self-care practices into your daily schedule to ensure you take time to do these practices and to give yourself another consistent thing to plan on.

4. Talk to someone. If you feel as though the negative emotions of the constant change of plans over the past six months has become too much for you to handle on your own, reach out to someone. For some people, talking to a friend about their stress is helpful. For others, it may be more beneficial to reach out to a therapist for guidance with adjusting unhelpful thinking patterns. Do what you think is best for you.

Beginning a new school year is stressful enough without a pandemic. However, the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness wants to help. Whether it is through one-on-one appointments with HPW staff or helping you find support that fits your needs, we want to do everything we can to reduce as much stress during this time as possible. Be sure to connect with us via email, phone call or social media.

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Take Care, DePaul!