• Cayla Kaufman, MSW Graduate Student

Self Care, Study Planning and COVID-19

COVID-19 has successfully managed to infiltrate almost every aspect of our lives over the past few months. It has had a profound effect on our society as a whole, but presents a unique set of challenges for university students .

Through this time of intense change, we are also strapped with overwhelming emotions associated with the virus and what it means for our day to day. We are more anxious, depressed and internally focused than ever before. Though our lives are impacted in a multitude of different ways, there are a few constants that we all share. We are uncertain, and this can make us anxious because planning for the future has been halted. We are also isolated, more than ever before and are unable to see and share time with our loved ones.

With these factors at play, it is so important for our mental health to take the time to focus on self-care. As much as I am an advocate for long bubble baths or an intense gym sesh, self care can also be strategies that are less intuitive. One type for instance that can be very effective now more than ever, is taking the time to control the things that are possible to control and manage our time effectively.

As college students one of the best ways that this can be done is by developing strategies to stay on top of school work and keep up to date with assignments. Yes this is really self care! By scheduling assignments and due dates, it takes away that awful feeling of dread when we open our canvas or blackboard profiles praying that we haven’t missed any assignments.

Using a scheduling solution app like StudyBuddy is one way to have this piece of mind and care in an intuitive way. The app was developed by students for students to help schedule class assignments and cater to the unique university experience. StudyBuddy allows you to input all of your classes for the semester (which is alone an amazing first step to de-stress) and then list assignments and due dates for the semester in an easy to read way.

One of the unique features that separates StuddyBuddy from other such platforms, is the implementation of the timer method. This allows you to estimate the amount of time a project or assignment may take, and then set the timer while you are completing the assignment. If it takes longer than the estimated time, this then gives the user a better estimate for similar projects. Having this method gives the user autonomy and power over their own study schedule and a little more certainty in this uncertain world.

If jumping into an intense scheduling system for all classes all the time with a timer seems too much for your sensibilities, that is totally understandable! Even just the act of having all of your courses and some key assignments in one place can still give you the user a sense of control over your schoolwork.

If this is the kind of self care tool that you may find appealing, it can even be used beyond the realm of school. Some users even have “courses” to schedule activities like working out, social time and other stress relieving functions. Part of scheduling time is also giving yourself permission to enjoy these activities without the intense guilt that we should be doing something else.

In sum, taking the time to schedule school work is a small way that we can fight back against the waves of present uncertainty. You are worth taking the time for care and so is your mental health.