August Survey Results: How Do You Recharge and Recover When You’re Feeling Discouraged?

Published: September 8, 2020

This has been a summer like no other. Now, across the country and around the world, fall semester is beginning—and for all of us, things look different. After five months of working remotely, it’s time to start … working remotely some more.

In this strange and surreal time, we’ve been asking site visitors, “How do you recharge and recover when you’re feeling discouraged?”

Without the usual social activities, we hope the responses below give you some great ideas to push through the months ahead.

Bar chart showing respondents' preferred ways to recharge

The most popular way to recharge? Reading, writing, or doing art. More than one-quarter of respondents report doing something creative as their activity of choice during tough times. Taking a break from screens and truly relaxing is a great way to give your eyes a break and give your mind a rest. Whether it’s doodling in the margins of a notebook or working your way through that 12-part sci-fi series you’ve been meaning to try, this is a great time to form a creative habit.

Nearly one in five respondents reported talking to friends to improve their mood, which is a great idea. You may not be able to hang out at coffee shops or have parties, but you can still take socially distanced walks with your classmates or sit outside and catch up. And, of course, there’s always Zoom, email, and texting.

Seventeen percent of respondents exercise to bounce back from hard times, while another 17 percent get some extra zzz’s. Both exercise and sleep are closely related to your mood. Exercise produces chemicals that help you relax and boost your spirits, while a good night’s sleep will set you up for a productive day.

Finally, about one in ten of you get outside, and another one in ten cook or bake. Fresh air is one of the few things that isn’t off limits these days, so here’s our final advice: Make some cookies, and then sit outside, eat them, and breathe deeply. We’re all in this together, and you’re going to make it through.