23 January 2021

Moving Forward, Tips to Stay Motivated while Working Virtual

Written by: Sydnee Martin

It will almost be a year since this country went into a virtual stage, with many people working from home, taking classes online, and many, but not all, social interactions have been held through some form of an online video chat. While health officials are making headway in overcoming the virus, there is some uncertainty on the timeline. The continuation of having to do things virtually is still ever-present. So how can we stay sane and continue to practice social distancing to protect ourselves and others?


I’ve learned that since social distancing, I took advantage of certain things in life pre-pandemic--one of which was enjoying the outdoors more, going on adventures, and even hanging out with friends. While I know many trekked to different parts of the country for their assignments by themselves, I am fortunate I was able to find a roommate in my location under the RA program, leading to a bit more advantages to explore.

Since starting this internship journey and being far from family, I’ve begun to pick up a routine or find things of interest to keep me busy that may help others if they have the access to do so.

  1. Enjoying the outdoors—Sitting inside for so long and staring at a computer screen can become unbearable, causing eye aches and even headaches. I’ve decided for myself that I really need to go outside just once, even if it’s on the balcony of my apartment or walking a monotonous circle around my apartment complex twice. I make it an effort to get some fresh air.
  2. Limiting screen time on my electronics—This has been the biggest challenge for me. After working all I want to do is go on my phone for fun, watching TikTok for hours. Even going as far as waking up early and waiting for 30 minutes before getting on my phone. While it is a process, I’ve also decided I miss reading and writing, so I make it an effort to read a certain amount of pages or to read for an hour to step away from the screen.
  3. Going out on nature rides—At first in this program, I had to go into the office quite a few times so I needed my car. However, much has changed since then, but I don’t let it deter me! Even if it’s for thirty minutes or an hour, I go on drives throughout the town with no destination in mind. That way I don’t have to interact with people, but I can also get a break from the indoors.
  4. Music—Music has been a saving grace for me during this pandemic. Too often I find myself dancing or singing alone in my room, and it brings all the comfort I need to lose myself in lyrics and beats.
  5. Friends and family—Last but not least, the piece gluing it all together. While I don’t see my family and friends in person. FaceTiming and chatting with them on the phone has helped a ton regardless of distance because regardless of how long it’s been since we’ve talked, we’ve always managed to pick back up where we left off. And even with friends, I find myself playing games with them, having watch parties on streaming services, and doing at-home workouts together.

While not many people have the ability to do some of the items listed, take a break to take care of yourself mentally and physically at some point in the day even if it’s for 10 minutes only. Even laying on your bed however silly it seems is allowing yourself the time to rest the mind for a moment.

Every day, especially with today’s social and political climate we are receiving an onslaught of news that can damage our mental slate. We can’t function properly in the day and accomplish tasks if we aren’t doing something in our daily life that brings us joy or a sense of calm, so try to remember that going forward.

Agency: U.S Forest Service

Program: Resource Assistant Program (RAP)

Location: Coronado National Forest

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