A work in progress

Striving for motivation in the new year

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Staff Editorial

During the events of 2020, people found themselves with depleting motivation, and a sense of confusion in the midst of a very confusing year. 2020 was full of exhausting events that burdened people both mentally and physically. Students all across the world feel the weight of the world on their shoulders, and this makes it hard to maintain motivation. From trouble keeping up with classes to horrible sleep schedules, some students are faced with trials every single day. The hope is that there is a way to be full of refreshed motivation in the new year. 

While students begin this new year in a cloud of confusion, motivation can be scarce. Being stuck at home gives many a sense of relaxation instead of alertness. But when physically in school or a workplace, this alertness is evident. From the beginning of online school and when many people started working from home, it was hard to separate home and work, and relaxation or alertness. Not to mention the extreme procrastination that comes along with online classes and assignments, due to the fact that some students find it hard to be motivated to do work in general. Procrastination and lacking motive can lead to being overwhelmed and can take a toll on mental health. 

Many people are struggling with mental health currently, and it is a very important topic to be touched on. Because mental health includes emotional, psychological and social well-being, it is especially apparent when students and many people are stuck at home staring at a computer screen all day. Taking a moment to calm down, breathe and work on one’s self is the best way to help with stress in some cases. Stressful days and days when people are wholly exhausted is all part of the new normalcy. 

Motivation can come in many forms, like intrinsic motivation (self-motivation), and extrinsic motivation (external motivation). People always want someone there to push them and help them be the best that they can be. In many cases, it can be hard to find extrinsic motivation in the age of quarantine. For students going into college soon, they will also struggle to find motivation from others because they will become more independent and may not have someone there to help them. Not being in contact with friends, fellow students or co-workers also has a toll on motivation levels because people push one another. When around others, people are highly motivated because they look for recognition and want to feel that what they are doing matters. 

While self-quarantined, people struggle to gain the opportunity to truly bounce ideas off others, and motivate themselves just for the sake of accomplishment. Staying connected with friends and family is especially important during this time and can be a game-changer. Scheduling time to call a friend or family member or using technology to connect with people such as social media, can lead to many more connections. Feeling alone isn’t uncommon at this time, but reaching out and finding help or encouragement is uplifting.

Prioritizing is key when looking for encouragement in daily life. Prioritizing mental health and sleep is very important, and will always show results. Life isn’t easy, and people deserve a break which only is given to themselves by themselves. Breaks can be screen breaks, time set aside to read a book, time to enjoy a hobby or just doing something that makes one feel happy. But there is also another side to this because being stricter on ourselves can help one to reflect on the past and do better in the future. Getting out of bed at an earlier time and eating food, drinking water and even a self-care regimen can be accommodating mentally. Getting up and moving is important as well because physical health plays a predominant role in mental health. 

Playing sports can help with motivation because of eligibility, team bonding and pushing one’s self. Even when sports were pushed back or canceled in 2020, the anticipation alone helped many people get up and moving. Reaching out to other people and teachers can help take a burden off of a student and taking advantage of opportunities handed to one can be uplifting. One opportunity that has been placed in front of Freedom students is a tutoring day each week, where students have an opportunity to reach out to teachers and catch up on work. This is a great way to apply prioritization, by prioritizing talking to a specific teacher or getting assignments done.

There are many little things that can help to motivate students in the future. For example, changing up rooms, changing seating positions and letting lots of light into workspaces can make experiences fuller. Even little things like candles, a blanket and especially drinking lots of water can lead to feeling better throughout the day. Finding joy in small things and the person in the mirror can all lead to higher motivation. Reward yourself on a continuous schedule, and let yourself breathe for a minute. No matter what, you matter and prioritizing motivation in this new year is vital for the sake of all.