I had a mini stress-meltdown almost every day during the first week of online schooling. Teachers suddenly were assigning more work than the usual and without their guidance, I was forced to teach myself the same material with the threat of failure from my lack of skills in this department still looming over my head. All of the “fun” parts of social distancing were nowhere to be found. An attendance email had to be sent each morning before a certain time so there was no sleeping in and work somehow took up all day, eliminating the hope that I could use this corona-cation to catch up on Bojack Horseman. Even though I was no longer in the physical building, the exhausting routine made the transfer into my home as well. There was something inexplicably mind-numbing about waking up early each morning, spending forty minutes in class for eight classes a day, then finally going to bed with the knowledge that I would do the same thing all over again the next morning. As days drifted by, my anxiety continued to escalate with no hope in sight for a cure. Then it hit me, maybe the school routine could be the key to reducing my anxiety and finding some normalcy during a time that could be described as anything but.
Starting the next morning, I awoke at the same time as I would for a normal school day, ate breakfast, changed out of my pajama pants and took a seat at my makeshift dresser-top desk. I set myself up on a timer, only forty minutes, no more no less, could be spent on a single subject each day. Not only did my stress levels drop, but there was plenty of time in the afternoon for bingeing Bojack Horseman.
The one thing I hated most about school wound up helping me to stay sane while social distancing. Not only that, I learned how my brain achieves its best productivity and how to work in unstructured time for as long as I must do it.