Campus Cope: The effects of the physical on the psyche

 

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With all the time we are spending at home, it is important to recognize the impact our surroundings have on us. Spending nearly every day inside can lead to cabin fever and intense feelings of restlessness. Where you work, sleep and relax can all dramatically affect your day-to-day mood. When I first moved back home, I had trouble readjusting. However, I discovered that by rearranging and redecorating my room to match the energy I was trying to obtain, I was able to create a new environment that inspired me and kept me happy.

The move to online classes paralleled another big move in the lives of many college students —  moving back to our childhood rooms. While this move can be comforting, a lot of us have grown accustomed to living outside of our childhood homes and have grown into new, different people. The experiences and memories we have created at college have affected and shaped who we are today. Moving back home was made all the more difficult because I did not have a space where I felt totally comfortable in. So I decided to rearrange and redecorate my room to match who I am now, not who I was before college. By embracing your personality and what makes you unique, you can create a space where you feel genuinely comfortable and relaxed, which is especially important right now because of all the time we have to spend indoors. By maintaining a positive space with energy that we connect with, we can ease ourselves into a better mindset and make staying at home much easier.

While I was redecorating my room, I also decided to be mindful of what I was surrounding myself with. Quarantine and online classes have allowed for more free time. To take advantage of that, I decided to pursue new hobbies and look into activities that interested me. While it was exciting to try new things, committing to them was difficult. But by physically manifesting your goals into your environment, you have a better chance of staying on track. For example, I decided I wanted to draw more. To remind myself of this, I set a sketchbook and pencil on my desk. Just by having it in my line of sight, I was reminded of it every day and was able to set aside more time for it. Right now is the perfect opportunity for self-growth and self-improvement. By taking the time to manifest your goals into your physical surroundings, you have a better chance of meeting those goals.

Our physical environment can be extremely influential at times. This may be why I find myself doing the most work when I am outside of my home in places with high productive energies, like cafes. However being in quarantine does not allow for that option, which is why I decided to create a small workspace inside my own home to keep me focused. I moved my desk next to the window so I could work in natural light and have a view of the outside. I brought in small decorations, such as houseplants, artwork and candles. I removed things that distracted me and brought in things that motivated me in order to create what I needed for a productive work area. This ensured that, whenever I was in that space, I would be doing something productive. Over time, I found that just by being in that workspace, I was encouraged to stay on task.

What we are surrounded by has the potential to impact how we feel and how we react. Because of this, it is important to create an area that not only comforts you but inspires you as well. Realizing that we are influenced by our surroundings gives us the opportunity to create one where we can strive to be the best version of ourselves.

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