By Ben Macintosh
The UPEI counsellors are now working from home but are still available to help students. Because of the pandemic, counsellors are doing their sessions via phone or video calls (photo credits: UPEI).
According to one UPEI counsellor, structure is one of the keys to remaining productive during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
As social-distancing is widely encouraged at this time, UPEI Counsellor James Reddin shared some advice to help mental health and remain productive while at home.
Reddin said one of the most important things is to not treat this time like a vacation.
“I think it’s really important for folks, whether they’re students or not, to fight the resistance to think of this as just an extended snow day.”
With the uncertainty of how long people will be encouraged to stay home, he said building a new routine is important.
“Our day has structure even if we don’t think it has structure. Now we’ve lost a lot of that so I think it’s going to be important for people to say, ‘Oh, I have to be the creator of structure in my life.’”
Reddin said that some form of a schedule is the best way to get some structure when working from home. The schedule should have time for work, studying, sleeping, eating and socializing.
He also recommended that the schedule can be revised to suit each person.
“It’s okay if it’s not perfect at first. Think of the schedule as something you can go back to and adjust to make sure it is giving you what you need it to.”
While the coronavirus pandemic is new territory for many people, Reddin says the usual stress management techniques still work well.
“People do best when they exercise regularly, when they get enough sleep, when they eat well, when they socialize appropriately, we just have to be a little bit more creative about how we do that now.”
Video calling services like Skype, FaceTime, other apps and video games are ways people can socialize while still conforming with social-distancing.
The UPEI counsellors are now working from home but are still available to help students. Because of the pandemic, counsellors are doing their sessions via phone or video calls. While this is not normal practice, Reddin says that it is still important that counsellors are there for the students.
“Yes it’s different and I’ll be glad to go back to the standard way of doing it. I think it’s better, but I think being available to students through telephone and video chat is infinitely better than being unavailable.”
Students wanting to contact a UPEI counsellor can email firstname.lastname@example.org
Reddin also recommended Aspria which is an online service available to all full-time UPEI students.