In an era where life is even more unpredictable than usual, it’s important to take a step back and avoid what we all know as the infamous ‘burnout’. Post the dawn of coronavirus, we’ve all had to adjust to a new normal — for some, this meant working remotely and for others, it meant having to deal with the many issues that come with unemployment. As the world increasingly depends on the internet and technology to conduct business as best they can, new threats begin to emerge. From mental health becoming a growing concern, to criminals using the internet to threaten those with no cyber safety and security, somehow, we’ve all gotten stuck in a vicious cycle, with no glimpse of an end.
While it may all seem like doom and gloom, there’s been a bit of a bright side to it too — a good chunk of the population suddenly got a whole lot of time on their hands. Of course, as someone with a routine, having absolutely nothing to do or nowhere to be would be disconcerting at first, but as humans do; they adapted. In fact, people are taking this time to learn new skills! YouTube is seeing searches like ‘step by step’ or ‘beginner’ increase by 65% in Australia, this year. People are also using the internet for short, educational courses!
As someone who balances work with University, it can be overwhelming to hear how productive someone else’s day has been while you’re struggling to follow your Google Calendar to a tee. This can lead to a breakdown in the long-run, causing you to become less efficient over time, especially if you don’t make time for yourself to relax and enjoy a hobby or two. Productivity becomes harder to come by and a task that used to take two hours is suddenly taking double the time. Try one of the following tips in your daily routine to get out of the unproductive rut you’re in:
1. Focus on your mental health
The pandemic has taken quite the toll on us, especially mentally. Isolation can be detrimental to some, and unknowingly affects negative behavioural traits. The internet offers multiple free resources, from easy YouTube videos to follow step by step, apps that can help you build a meditation ritual, and even live webinars that connect people from across the world in one single class.
If you’re unsure and you’re looking for a buddy or two to work through this with, you can look up resources within your community. If you’re studying, look up student groups, or even just subscribe to YouTube users; a lot of them have online communities for specific purposes.
Just remember, if you have the time to scroll through social media, you’ve got ten minutes to give your brain a mini-break. On that note…
2. Put a timer on your social media apps
Even if you think you don’t have a problem controlling the amount of time you spend on social media…just do it. The current climate we’re in requires individuals to stay informed but it can often build into an unhealthy relationship with overreliance on the media. Social platforms continue to influence us and based on your timeline and preferences, that could be positive or negative.
It isn’t hard to lock several apps within a set time-frame, protecting you from further distractions in your day, as well as opening up some spare time to connect with your loved ones in person. If long-distance communication is all you’ve got to go on for now, pick up your phone and give them a call, instead of communicating through ‘likes’ or memes. Sometimes, all you need to turn your day around is a good conversation with a close friend or loved one.
3. Find a new hobby to focus on
COVID-19 forced us all indoors — but it also forced a new appreciation for the arts. As more people began cooking for themselves, it opened up the possibility of DIY ideas finally taking on a physical form. People began finding new hobbies or interests to spend their time — time they’d never really had as much of before. Personally, reading became a reclaimed hobby for me. Australia’s government has several community libraries that have reopened and they’re all free! If you’re more of an e-reader, there’s several options online, with audiobooks being the newest craze. If you’ve been struggling to actually read a book, perhaps try giving an audiobook a shot, people have grown to love books through this new technology.
In conclusion, try and find something new to do everyday. Being stuck indoors can negatively affect you, especially if you’ve been living the same routine for months. It can be hard to focus especially when the internet has so many distractions on offer. However, remember to stay safe online as well; you don’t want more problems cropping up due to unsafe practices on the internet. Hackers are always looking for an opportunity so if you’re looking at using internet resources more often (which we’re currently all a little guilty of) consider leveling up your privacy game with vpn solutions or an antivirus software, if you haven’t already. It’s best to be safe, no one wants to have to visit a repair centre right now.
Cara Shrivastava is currently pursuing her Masters in Marketing Communications and working part-time as a Copywriter at Newpath Web. Writing is her jam — especially if it needs a creative spin! Beyond the internet, Cara loves spending time thinking of new potential names for her house plants; Taylor Smint, Hazel the Basil and Samuel.