How students and business owners have adjusted and stayed motivated

By: Emily Chandler

Humans have always been good at adapting to our environments when we need to. When we get a new job, start a semester at school, or move to a different city, we adjust to a new routine based on our surroundings. 

COVID-19 has forced us to adapt to strange environments and modify our daily routines.

Many people on social media are sharing how they stay motivated, keep active, or take time for their mental health. However, these feats are easier said than done.

Ben Kirton says it was hard adjusting from full-time school to working from home. He says he thought the transition would be easier, but it has taken some time to find a routine that works.

“Getting to bed early and trying not to sleep in are probably the hardest parts,” Kirton says. 

The 21-year-old Business Administration student says it feels weird to wake up at the same time as his parents.

“It feels like I’m back in high school.”

Kirton says when classes first moved online, he lacked motivation. Finding structure in his new routine has helped him feel determined to finish the semester strong. 

According to an article published by the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, disruptions in routine can cause feelings of stress and loss of control, and can seriously put a strain on your productivity.

Megan Noonan, 25, said teaching from home and interacting with students has been a hurdle.

Noonan is in the After-Degree Education Program at the University of Manitoba, and heavily altered her teaching styles and techniques.

“Knowing that every family or living situation is different, these times may be a lot harder for some compared to others,” she said. 

As a physical education teacher, Noonan uses a platform called “Edsby” to post lessons and quizzes, including YouTube videos.  She says teaching from home has helped her recognize the importance of face-to-face communication.

“Staying at home can take a toll on anybody’s well-being, even if they’re unaware of it,” she said. “And that’s why it’s important to stay connected with others during a time like this.”

The abundance of time spent at home opens up time for some Winnipeg residents to focus on personal growth.

Amie Seier, owner of The Community Gym, said it’s been a stressful, yet stimulating month since The Community Gym switched to online classes. She said this time is not just an opportunity for people to get in shape, but an opportunity to take care of their mental health. 

“I’m struggling to move my body and I do this for a living,” she says.

Seier hopes to give her audience online something to look forward to every day.

“I keep thinking about what personally fuels me, and what helps people while being creative.”

Between equipment rentals and online classes, Seier hopes The Community Gym is an accessible and open environment for members, instructors and online viewers.