Step by step: Staying motivated in the midst of a global pandemic

The Channels Opinion Pages | STAFF COLUMN

Serena Guentz, Features Editor

I won’t pretend I have everything all together. 

I won’t pretend that I’m being really productive everyday. 

We are in weird, unprecedented times right now. I’ve noticed some side effects of the coronavirus pandemic reaching far beyond the symptoms the disease causes: lack of motivation and increased anxiety.

In fact, there have been many days during this stay-at-home order that I haven’t been very productive at all, where all I wanted to do was lay in bed and watch movies all day.

The lack of face-to-face interaction with coworkers and classmates, paired with the uncertainty of everything, can take a toll on your motivation and mental health.

But there are some things that have helped me feel a little more motivated, that could help others too.

One of the main things I do to motivate myself is to make a list, this way I get stuff done. Sometimes it will be a general list of things I need to get done within the week, other times it will be a list of more specific tasks I want to get done that day. 

Moving these thoughts or tasks from my mind and onto a piece of paper I can look at helps take away the stress and can help me organize my thoughts better.

Journaling is another great way to organize and reflect on your thoughts, especially right now when there is so much going on in the world. If you decide to start a journal, you can make it as pretty as you want, and don’t worry about  following any “rules.” A journal can be whatever you want it to be and however helps you best.

Once I can get motivated I really try to immerse myself in what I’m doing that day. As a journalist, I’ve been trying to really immerse myself more into the stories I’m working on and remind myself why I am doing this.

Another thing that helps me telling myself to focus on getting at least one thing done each day. 

This helps when I feel especially anxious or overwhelmed, so I don’t feel defeated if I don’t get much else done.

But if I have an off day and I’m not as productive as I would’ve liked, that’s okay, too. Don’t be afraid to take breaks during the day if you feel overwhelmed.

We’re in the middle of a global pandemic and I think it’s fair if we take it easy on ourselves.

Although it has been hard dealing with the uncertainty of the world’s current situation and the lack of motivation that has come with it, what has been comforting to me is knowing that my peers are going through some of the same emotions.

We’re all in this together and we’re all going to get through this eventually. In the meantime, take things one day at a time and know you’re not alone.