Whether this is your first time working remotely from home, or you already had a home workspace ready to go, there are a number of challenges you may face with the sudden adjustment. Below, campus recreation professionals share their best tips and advice to help you succeed during this unsure time.
Mila Padgett, the director of Campus Recreation and Wellness at the University of South Carolina Aiken, on keeping your routine:
- Get yourself up and ready as if you’re driving in to work.
- Same thing for eating patterns – I plan what I am going to eat and don’t necessarily put it in to-go containers, but I know what I am having.
- Keep up with exercise. It doesn’t look the same, but I am moving my body most days of the week to keep that structure.
- If you’re able to, I suggest bringing your keyboard, screen and docking station from the office.
Eric Maki, the managing director of Recreation Sports at Texas Tech University, on sharing space:
- If you have a partner or roommate who has also been thrust into a remote work from home situation, talk things out – establish healthy boundaries and acknowledge this is a new situation for each of you.
- If you are a parent and children will also be at home with you, consciously allow yourself extended time with them.
- Assist with homework.
- Take lunch and breaks with one another.
- Laugh and accept this added time with loved ones as a gift and not a disruption.
- Practice gratitude: Studies show when you support or assist another person, the person doing the helping receives an equally positive feeling with a profound sense of value.
Daniel Lawrence, the director of Campus Recreation at Utah State University, on taking breaks:
- Make sure to take breaks and an official lunch break away from your computer.
- Coffee Hour WebEx with your team. Don’t talk about work, just connect with everyone personally to see how each person is doing.
- If you need a mental health day, take a leave/sick day and do not answer any emails.
- If you’re working from home and you don’t have a home office to close the door and walk away, throw a sheet over your workstation so you don’t see your computer and get reminded of the difficult times we are facing right now.
- Play online virtual games/activities with your colleagues and even family members from around the country.
Janes Dreamweaver, the director of Fitness and Wellness at Truman State University, on managing stress:
- Shift your focus each morning to only what needs to be accomplished today.
- Ask the questions:
- Who are you able to assist?
- Who are you responsible for?
- What are you able to accomplish for your department and community with your current setup?
- When are your wellness breaks?
- What are you doing to keep yourself well?
- Use your time management skills and previous experiences to allocate approximate time to the tasks you need completed.
- If your day looks feasible on paper, you are likely to enjoy this “stress-relief” moment and relax as you get things moving.
- If your day looks overwhelming, it’s best to consider adjusting what you can as soon as possible. Use your personal wellness as your guide.
John Sweeney, the director of Recreational Sports at Marquette University, on how his campus is connecting with students virtually:
- Our fitness director has been sending out weekly, or more, workout routines for at home workouts, as well as tips on how to deal with stress, isolation and other issues that might be happening now due to the ‘stay at home’ orders.
- Our staff has communicated with all of the students they supervise from their respective areas either via email, text, or phone to see how they are doing and if there is anything we can do for them to assist during these times.
- The campus community is updated almost daily from university leaders with whatever issues are on the table day to day. The Office of Communication and Marketing sends out the updates via the Marquette Today, an electronic newsletter.
- Our Campus Ministry department has been streaming online masses every few days, available to the overall Marquette Community. These have been a real source of comfort and strength to those that have joined in.
To find educational webinars, articles, and more to help you and your staff during the coronavirus pandemic, visit our COVID-19 Resource Page.