We've all had those days when even thinking about homework gives us headaches and we find ourselves instinctively reaching for our phones when our Zoom lectures get too boring. In order to make it through these long days of online classes, I've found five main things that have saved my sanity — and my grades.
1. Silly Putty and Kinetic Sand have helped me keep focus, whether I'm on a 9 a.m. Zoom lecture or listening to a dull episode of "True Crime."
Giving your hands something to fidget with while you're losing focus can help you concentrate your energy into a simple act that won't distract you from the looming task at hand.
2. The game "I Love Hue" is probably the most relaxing and satisfying puzzle game on the market.
The premise is simple — turn the jumble of colored squares back into a gradient. The levels get progressively harder, but the satisfaction of finishing a level never fades. I've used it to take a break from work, calm down, and even ground myself before therapy sessions.
3. This journal has changed my daily routine since entering college by giving me a chance to reflect on my day and wind down.
I've never been one for journaling or having a diary, but the simple layout and small size of the One Line A Day journal make it easy to fill up a day's worth of space. The five-year aspect of the journal is also a great tool to track progress and see how you've grown through college and adulthood.
Get it from Amazon for $10.25.
4. Tree-themed productivity apps that give you a well-needed guilt trip whenever you distract yourself with your phone.
You can set a timer for however long you want to study or take a technology break, and while you work, you grow a tree! These apps also have options to set timers and plant real trees across the planet, so you can save your grade while saving the environment!
5. My "Paint by Numbers" kits are the best blast from the past if you loved coloring books or painting as a kid.
My roommate and I both got one and they have helped us both wind down at the end of a long day by sitting down, putting on a calming playlist or podcast, and painting. The kits come with all the necessary items to create one painting: the canvas, paints with their corresponding numbers on them, and three paintbrushes.