Going back to school (or work, or anywhere, really) this Fall will be anything but ordinary in a post-COVID world. Things have obviously changed a lot since colleges and universities, offices and other workplaces, and grade schools took a big break starting with Covid-19’s emergence last March.
Whether you were totally locked up at home, or luckily close enough to some local parks and beaches that allowed visitors, going back to semi-normal, daily life might be a bit of a shock to your system.
Your brain is likely still foggy from all that time off, or you’re worried about making the transition from working or studying from home to returning to the office or classroom.
Wherever you’re headed this Fall, we’ve got a few tips, tricks and handy reminders to keep you on track while you re-navigate the outside world. Don’t worry, we won’t make it too complicated. A lot of this back-to-school and work stuff is also pretty back-to-basics, but we recognize that you might need a little refresher course when meandering through the new normal.
Remember, We’re All in This Together
Before you start to panic and wonder how you’re going to keep it together, remember that you’re far from alone in feeling anxious. The entire world just went through a pandemic together, and it’s still not quite over yet. Everyone is a little on edge and unsure of what to do next.
Mentioning your nervousness to a close colleague or classmate is likely to return sighs of relief, as your peers are probably hoping they, too, aren’t alone in feeling a little freaked out. While you keep your distance and don your mask, don’t forget to reach out to those around you (without actually, you know, being within reaching distance). The more we can lean on one another, the better everyone will feel, and the more we can all move forward together.
NHS England has a few suggestions if your back-to-school or back-to-work worries are getting in the way of your daily life.
Speaking of Masks, Don’t Forget Yours!
Depending on where you are in the world, you might be surrounded by obsessive mask-wearers, or wondering why you’re the only person wearing one.
Don’t be embarrassed or afraid to protect your health and wear a mask to class or work, even if you’re the only person doing so. Those around you have the right to decide whether or not they believe mask-wearing is necessary at this point in the pandemic, but you also have the right to keep your distance from those who choose to go mask-free.
For your own safety, and the safety of those with whom you might live, we recommend wearing your mask at all times whenever you’re out and about.
Read up on the Johns Hopkins Medicine’s guidelines for properly handling your mask to maximize its protective benefits.
And Keep Tabs on Your Period Cup, Too!
Your medical-standard mask might not be reusable, but there’s another discreet way to be friendly to the environment: grab yourself a washable, silicone menstrual cup!
We’ve already done the dirty work and compiled the best period cup designs for our INTIMINA customers. Give our selection a browse and you’ll see that there aren’t endless pages of product to wade through, or a bunch of nonsensical ancillary products. At INTIMINA, we make choosing a period cup simple and straight to the point, whether you’re totally new to reusable menstrual products or looking for your new favorite cup.
We’ve already written a TON of good stuff on picking your ideal period cup, so give our blog a browse if you’d like some advice on where to begin on your earth-saving menstrual journey.
Take it Easy on Yourself
Whether you’re chomping at the bit to get back to assignments and projects, or you’re feeling exhausted just thinking about checking your inbox, do your best not to overwhelm yourself with classes or work right away.
It’s understandable that your brain might not be in tip-top shape after this year’s weird summer of isolation and long hiatuses from pretty much everything we normally do. Now is definitely the time to slow down and make sure all your loose ends are tied up before sending that email or turning in that big project.
Double-check your math and grammar, clean out your email inbox, and don’t forget to check your spam, and re-read whatever you were going to send your teacher or boss. Plan as far ahead as you can so you can take your time and not rush through your work.
You might even be mentally exhausted before classes or work starts up this Fall because, well, you’ve just lived through an extremely stressful pandemic.
If you’re finding yourself more forgetful, tired, and clumsy than usual, or you’re feeling just plain “off,” Healthline has a few tips for, as they say, “un-frying” brain.
Keep Up with the Basics of a Healthy, Clear-Headed Day
We know it’s been a while since you last had a “normal” day, so you might have forgotten some of the most simple practices that ensure a clear mind and healthy body year-round.
If you’re struggling to get into a good work or study flow, there’s no need to run a marathon or cook a 3-course meal to get your body and brain back into gear (unless, of course, that’s your thing).
The amazing Canadian chapter of the National American University prescribes 7 easy activities to keep your study habits movin’ and groovin.’
If you’ve lost all hope of concentration, try centering with a 10-minute meditation, quickie exercise routine, or a short walk outdoors. Drinking a glass of water or eating a small snack might also be the cure if your body is low on hydration or food energy. When all else fails, a nap might be just the ticket to refreshing the ol’ head.
Seriously, it’s that easy, folks.
Create an Honest Discussion with Your Superiors
Your teachers or superiors at work have a responsibility to keep you safe. If you’re at all unsure of how daily activities, classes, or other related, in-person communications will be handled, open a conversation with an email.
If they haven’t done so already, your concern will likely open the door for discussions that will affect and benefit your peers at school or work. Managing a classroom or group of employees will require a lot of workarounds and exceptions to keep everyone safe.
However things fall into place, your superiors need to have plans in place to maximize your learning and success without putting you and your peers in harm’s way.
The American Center for Disease Control has compiled a checklist for elementary students and their parents concerned about COVID protections in schools, but these tenets of safety can also be highly valuable to anyone re-entering daily life this Fall season.
The points provided are great conversation starters when speaking with teachers or employers.
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Colleen began her sexual wellness career as a sex toy educator in manufacturing and retail. She has since branched out as a writer and marketer, covering all facets of sexual health and anatomy. At Intimina, she specializes in women’s medical care and health concerns, menstruation, sex and pregnancy, and birth control. Colleen frequently confers with top sex educators and intimate wellness experts to stay on top of the constantly changing sexual wellness space.