Life in Distance: How Do I Manage Learning and Communication? -

Life in Distance: How Do I Manage Learning and Communication?

If we were to ask what you are most looking forward to right now, we would probably guess the end of quarantine. It has compressed us in its grip more tightly than the sub-zero temperatures of this winter. Quarantine undoubtedly brought various challenges, but at the same time, it presented a unique opportunity to get to know oneself better.

Arina Čepinskaitė, a student of English and International Communication, shares her experience of how daily life has changed during quarantine. Valuable advice on strengthening motivation and managing various emotions is provided by Tomas Butvilas, a psychology lecturer at Vilnius Business College.

Arina Čepinskaitė

Photo – personal Archive of A. Čepinskaitė

When quarantine was announced in the spring, my first thought was: “The opportunity to stay at home for weeks on end? A true introvert’s dream!” However, almost a year has passed since the imposition of constant rules, restrictions, and quarantines, regardless of whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, many people start to feel suffocated. COVID-19 has turned everyone’s lives upside down. Today, I will write about how it affected mine.

The beginning of the pandemic was a real shock to my system. Stress and uncertainty pervaded every day and every thought. I tried to stay positive, adapt to a new routine, and distance learning, finding ways to occupy myself within the four walls. As time passed and the situation worsened worldwide, my psychological well-being deteriorated. I have been battling generalized anxiety disorder since I was fifteen, but over the past five years, I have learned to understand it. We had established some sort of balance and mutual understanding, which this unusual, frightening situation destroyed.

Studying became an incredibly challenging task. I had to convince myself for hours to open a book and do something productive for myself. I lost motivation not only for my studies but also for other areas of my life. Fortunately, not for long. Communication with loved ones helped me regain myself and motivation.

In terms of communication, nothing much has changed in my life. I have a very small circle of relatives, consisting of just three friends, two of whom are in another city and country. Despite the fact that we have been communicating remotely for a long time, due to quarantine, we became even closer, started texting and calling each other twice as much. One way to spend time became “Netflix” series marathons and computer games. This constant contact with friends taught me that I am not alone and that my feelings are normal and understandable. Even when it is difficult for me to understand my emotions or anxiety attacks, I know that friends will unconditionally support me in the most difficult moments.

I feel significantly better now. I am returning to my studies and a stable routine, trying to take better care of myself comprehensively. Despite all the challenges posed by this pandemic, I am extremely grateful for the lessons learned, for friends who helped me stand on my own two feet, and for the opportunity to rediscover myself.


Commentary from Vilnius Business College lecturer and psychologist Tomas Butvilas

Working and studying from home has many advantages, but it also requires each of us to make internal efforts to remain productive and positive. It’s not easy.

Speaking of motivation, it’s important to remember that it’s not that easy to maintain it even under normal circumstances. You will strengthen your motivation when you find meaning in what you do. Ask yourself: what is meaningful to me, why am I doing this? Maintaining motivation is also helped by naming positive things, such as why I enjoy studying from home?

Emotions and feelings, in general, are neither good nor bad. They just are, and each experience is significant in its own way. It shows us something, gives us an answer about certain things in our lives. Therefore, it is very important to allow yourself to feel in every way, ask yourself, what does this experience give me?

It is equally important to remember that everything in life has an end. All the difficulties and various everyday experiences. It depends only on me how long I allow myself to be sad or happy and see the meaning even in very difficult situations.

If you feel apathetic, that you don’t want anything at all, nothing makes you happy, it is a sign that you need to rest. Apathy is often an expression of fatigue or emotional exhaustion. That’s why it’s important to plan relaxation in your schedule, days, or hours when you will escape from routine. Even if you are at home, you can watch your favorite movie, listen to music, or just do nothing.

Similarly, with anxiety and panic attacks. Try to answer yourself, what is the source of anxiety, why am I anxious? What could I do to reduce anxiety? Who among my relatives can help me during this period?

And finally, the most important thing – no matter what period you are currently going through, always allocate time only for yourself and remember that we are never alone in any life situation.


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