The restrictions that have resulted from the pandemic and the transition to an online format has left many students feeling burnt out due to the numerous and extensive changes to their daily lives. Maintaining your mental health is very important throughout this process so in this edition of the frequency, we will be sharing some tips and suggestions for keeping busy in the lockdown and giving yourself a break from schoolwork.
There are many potential hobbies and activities that can be pursued to get away from your schoolwork and still have lots of fun. Some students enjoy reading, watching television shows, playing an instrument, playing and watching sports, listening to music, baking and cooking, and even playing video games. The common theme with these activities is that they are excellent options to remove you from mind-consuming thought that often manifests from stressful situations such as thinking about school or the ongoing pandemic. It is important that each day you set aside time for yourself in order to engage in these hobbies and develop a consistent habit of giving yourself a break. Ultimately, this will lower the risk of rapid burnout and make the lockdown much more bearable in the long-term.
There are many clubs and teams at McMaster even though there has been a transition to an online format. On McMaster’s clubs, groups, and teams page for the faculty of engineering, there are over 60 engineering clubs, teams, committees, conferences, and competitions that students can join to enhance their technical and even non-technical skills. In addition, participation in extracurricular activities may provide students further opportunities to network with other students and even staff from within the faculty. Although interacting with other students has recently been made more difficult, these opportunities can provide students with the ability to interact with like-minded peers and develop relationships with others.
Some students even find working on personal projects to be stress-relieving. This can range anywhere from developing a new computing program to setting physical fitness goals for yourself through daily exercise or even aspiring to improve upon your skills playing an instrument. These projects can promote personal growth through the development of technical and interpersonal skills.
To conclude, the final suggestion is that you reach out whenever you need support. This can be through friends, family, or counselling. Although these times can often feel unsettling, it is important to know that you are never alone and that there are always people out there who can support you. McMaster has remained proactive in providing support through the academic advising office as well as student counselling through the student wellness centre. We’re all in this together.
Written by: Taylan Dalkan