Jen Bladen

Watching yearbook staff change their spring coverage midstream has been so heartwarming. I love seeing your completion posts and witnessing your resilience in the face of uncertainty. My heart is filled with gratitude for the teachers and students in my life — your posts remind me that this is an adventure as well as adversity. 

Adapted from a post I wrote for the Tulsa SPCA, here are some things to help keep you sane while working from home.

Focus On Facts.

Media coverage can be scary. Use your media literacy skills to ensure you’re absorbing just the facts and not the hype.

Be Smart.

As recommended by the WHO, be smart and inform yourself about coronavirus. Follow accurate public health advice from WHO and your local health authority. Check your sources and don’t spread rumors.

Stay Connected.

I learned at work that video calls and virtual face-to-face can make a big difference in how you communicate with your friends, family and virtual colleagues. Verizon says it’s handling an average of 800 million wireless calls a day during the week as more of us re-learn (or our students learn for the first time) the value of a voice call.

Acknowledge This Is Stressful.

Yearbook production is stressful enough without the burdens the coronavirus has added. When you meet with your staff, don’t forget to do an emotional check-in. Talk about your stress and ask about your staff’s. Maybe you can share strategies for alleviating stress, but honest sharing can be helpful all on its own.

Stay Healthy.

Safer at home doesn’t mean safer on the couch. Use your whole space — set up a standing desk in your kitchen, take a phone call on the front porch or out on a (socially distanced) walk. Eat fruits and veg. Drink tons of liquids. Practice slow, deep breathing.

Take A Break.

Consider your news consumption. It’s important to stay informed at this time of global crisis; however, it’s equally important to give ourselves a breather from the constant barrage of information. Take time away from screens.

Stop snapping selfies and look up at the spectacular world around you. Zachary Levi and Sesame Street's Bert know that a day in the park doesn't need a filter.

List Your Can-Do’s.

So much of what we’re hearing in the media is about what we cannot do. It’s good to make a list of what you can do. Organize your closet. Bake with your family. Write a letter to your grandparents. Go for a walk. Play with your pet. Make a cup of tea. Share your list with me!

Structure Your Day.

Don’t lose track of the rhythm of the day. Try to go to bed at the same time every night. Make a virtual coffee date if you need a reason to get up on time. Break for lunch with your #quarantinebuddy every day, if you can.

Thank Those On The Front Lines.

Take a moment to thank those who make it possible for you to continue to work: your IT department, your administrators, your yearbook rep and account exec, your home family and your work family. When it comes to appreciation, no thank-you is too big or too small.