COPING with COVID: Varun Gopinath on Finding a Routine

After spring break, I experienced a whirlwind of emotion as my schedule and sense of routine was thrown into disarray due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. A marathon I had been training for had been cancelled, Prometric sites were closing and classes were moved online. At first, I did not know what to make of it and soon enough I found myself exerting to control a schedule that was soon falling apart. After a couple days, I told myself that the best thing to do was to focus on what I could control. For me, I could control my everyday schedule, and that aided in maintaining my sanity.

Personally, I decided on putting what was important first and then slowly building my schedule. Things like sleep, exercise, and nutrition were first on the list. I now start the day at 6 a.m. with coffee/breakfast and then 7 a.m. yoga that is livestreamed from my local studio. I then study from 8 to noon with small breaks in between so as to not get burned out with the material. Then comes an hour break for lunch or a short nap. I continue studying till 6 p.m., which is when I head out for a hike, run or bike ride. I’m usually back at home around 8 p.m. and wrap up some loose concepts till 9:30 p.m., which is when I start getting ready for bed.

For me, having a set routine upon which I can rely allows me to achieve flow in my work and has helped me stay on task stress-free. Rather than stressing out about the latest case numbers in Ohio, I choose to focus on what I can control in the present. Though my social life has come to a halt, this time has allowed me to focus on studying so as to aid future patients down the line.

--Varun Gopinath, second-year College of Medicine student

How are you coping? We want to hear, whether you’re a student or a member of the faculty or staff. Send your thoughts and photos to The Pulse. Visit News Briefs, select Submit a News Brief, title it “Coping with COVID,” fill in your thoughts, and submit.

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