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Top 10 things to do before your 10 a.m. class

Having later online classes leaves extra time in the morning. Here are some ways to fill that gap.

1. Enjoy a yummy breakfast 

It is pretty easy to only have a cup of coffee or even nothing at all for breakfast when you are in a hurry. With the extra time we are spending indoors and the ability to enjoy your breakfast while on Zoom, take this opportunity to feed your body something nutritious. Whether it be a smoothie, waffles or just a bowl of cereal, indulge your taste buds with the most important meal of the day. 

2. Talk with friends 

This pandemic has made it difficult to keep up with our friends. By having a Zoom call with your buds or even just checking in on them over text, you can get a boost from this much-needed social interaction. This is especially important given that many folks are struggling during the pandemic. These quick conversations help both you and your friends feel supported and cared for. 

3. Get ahead on assignments 

There is no better feeling in the world than getting stuff done early. If you find yourself getting bored before your class starts, look ahead at your assignments or readings to see if you can get started on something ahead of time. Doing these tasks earlier will feel a lot better than rushing to finish them to make a deadline. You’ll finish feeling productive and confident, which is a great mood to be in as the clock reaches 10 a.m. 

4. Plan your day

Looking at the long list of things you must do by the end of the day is daunting and can leave you feeling overwhelmed. Combat these stressful feelings by looking through your calendar and deciding what you need to do for the day. I find that creating a to-do list and assigning each task to a certain time helps keep me on track and leaves me feeling productive by the end of the day. 

5. Meditate

The idea of sitting down for an extended period of time and thinking only about your breathing can seem boring, but many students can benefit from mindfulness. Learning to calm yourself is so important — not only for your college years, but especially during a time of blaring news headlines regarding the pandemic and fights for racial justice. Apps such as Headspace offer guided meditation for varying amounts of time. Even if you are not sure if meditation or mindfulness is your thing, it is worth a try. 

6. Exercise

I was quite sedentary before I first came to Grounds last year, so after one trip to the AFC, I knew I should start spending my time before class working out more often and focusing on my health. Try getting some active time in while you still have the energy to do so. Try going on a run or head to the gym to combat the extra time we spend inside and at our desks.

7. Journal

The pandemic has forced us all to adapt and change our lives in ways we have never done before. Not only are many of us experiencing stress, but we also have to find out which aspects of our “new normal” are productive and which ones are harmful. If you find yourself lacking motivation or are unsure if your new routine is actually helping with your life, try journaling about it. The simple act of writing down your daily experiences and emotions can help you sort through your emotions and daily habits to find a healthier lifestyle

8. Go for a sunrise hike

For those of us on Grounds, we are extremely lucky to be near some amazing hiking trails. If you are not on Grounds this semester, there are still great opportunities to take walks around your neighborhood and community. Getting some fresh air is a great way to start the day, and nothing beats seeing the sunrise from a mountain. Hiking is also a great activity to do while social distancing. Have your friends meet you at the trailhead and walk six feet apart with masks on. You’ll start the day with a great view and a sense of accomplishment, guaranteed.

9. Catch up on your favorite media

Many of us have tried to capitalize on the extra time quarantine has provided us by being more productive. However, it is important to give your brain a break and prevent burnout too early in the day. Watch an episode of your favorite show on Netflix or even listen to podcasts such as “The Mindset Mentor” or “The Michelle Obama Podcast” as you get ready for the day. 

10. Sleep

While getting up early to do all of the above activities can put you in the right mindset before your class starts, it is important to take care of your body. As students, many of us are sleep-deprived and could use an extra hour or two of sleep, so there is absolutely no need to feel bad if you want to just sleep in, too. Just remember to double-check your alarm so you don’t sleep through your class.