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College Life | Undergraduate | Graduate

How to Keep Normalcy in your Life During an Abnormal Time

It’s been about a month since social distancing measures were put in place to keep us safe from COVID-19. Schools, businesses, gyms and several public places are limited or closed, leaving many confined to their homes. Daily life may look different now than before the pandemic. However, this doesn’t mean we can’t find a new normal. To find satisfaction or productivity with our work, school and daily life, we must feel like ourselves. Follow these tips to create a sense of normalcy.

Wake up at a normal time

While getting a good night’s sleep is necessary, sometimes sleeping in can hurt you more than help. By waking up in the morning, you can retain some form of routine, making the transition back (when that happens) less difficult.

Get ready for the day

We all find some comfort in comfy clothes. It’s OK to be a little lazy and stay in your pajamas every once in a while. But to keep your confidence and normalcy up, push yourself to get ready for the day. You will find yourself being more productive when you feel like your normal self.


Staying at home doesn’t have to mean less physical activity. You may be surprised at how much exercise you can get from your own living room. Do a workout video, play a dance video game or lift some weights. Go outside and get some sunshine. Go for a bike ride or a walk. Not only will you feel good and maintain your health, but you will also find an activity that keeps you from being bored.

Eat healthier

Sometimes stressful situations can cause us to eat unhealthier than we typically would. That is OK in moderation. Take this time to try to eat more whole foods, fresh fruits and vegetables and having a balanced diet. Even if you would not normally eat healthier, now is a great time to form new habits. 

Limit your exposure

While social distancing or even self-isolation may not be normal to you, there could be major consequences if you don’t limit your exposure to others. If you become infected with COVID-19, you could become very ill, greatly affecting your life and the lives of others. It could be the lives of those who live in your household or the lives of others you may have exposed. Do yourself and others a favor, stay at home if you can. 

Keep in touch

It’s normal to crave social interaction; you just may have to get a little creative with it. Thanks to technology, people can keep connected in several different ways. Hop on a video chat with those that you miss. Challenge your friends on Instagram or duet a video on TikTok. Play video games online with them.

Not technologically savvy? There are some traditional, yet personal, ways to keep in touch. Send a loved one a letter or card to let them know you are thinking of them. Support a local business by ordering flowers for your special someone.

And then there’s making a phone call. You can always pick up the phone and call someone. I know talking on the phone may be cringe-worthy to some, but there are loved ones in your life who may really appreciate it. Think of those such as parents, grandparents, siblings and more. When talking over the phone, you can have a candid conversation, like ones you have when you spoke to them in person (remember those?)

Start a project

Is there a project you always wanted to complete, but never had time for? Now may be the perfect time. Craft projects, rearranging furniture, reading a new book, are all great activities during isolation. You will feel accomplished by checking an item off your list and it may distract you from what’s going on in the outside world.

Plan for the future

No one has a crystal ball to predict when this pandemic will be over. However, we must remember that this is all only temporary. People need things to look forward to. Think about what you would like to do once social distancing measures are lifted. Is there a certain place or person you would like to visit? Be realistic and keep an open timeline.

And last, but certainly not least;

Respect your mental health

During these periods of pandemic and isolation, it is normal to experience a sense of stress or loss. Instead, focus on what you can control. Try to find the positives in your life.

If you feel that you need help coping or need a little bit of extra support, please reach out to a health care professional. For South Dakota State University students, the Student Health Clinic and Counseling Services are still available. Call 605-688-4157 to make an appointment. We’re all in this together, Jackrabbits.

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