In our ongoing series on how members of the MACES community are coping during the COVID-19 lockdown, Margarita Leal Parada, MACES IT Assistant, talks about the importance of resilience.

What has been the biggest challenge for you during the past few weeks of social distancing?

The most difficult thing is not being able to work because I really enjoyed the contact I had with people. Also, not being able to move around the city, walk and enjoy the normal movement of Montreal. Overcoming this is not easy, but I think we all need to simply adapt to this new way of life, be resilient and enjoy family and home.

Working and studying remotely can come with its distractions, from email notifications, family commitments, to social media alerts, and of course Netflix; how do you stay focused?

Being at home 24 hours a day has forced me to establish a daily routine that allows me to focus on both activities that I must do and those that I like to do.  I think it’s important to adapt your workspace, establish schedules, and use all possible tools to manage time.

Do you have any tips for SCS students on how to pass the time?

Staying active is important. Once I finish what I must do for the day, I do 30 min of exercise.  I recommend dancing or doing Zumba; it is very entertaining.  At night, before bed, I read a good book.  You can also sign up for virtual courses in art or a language you want to learn, cook with your friends through FaceTime, or make virtual parties with your family and friends. 

Do you have a favourite book, article, workout routine, movie or TV series, playlist, or anything else to recommend to students?

A good book: “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer” by Patrick Süskind

A good movie: “1917” (1917 is a 2019 war film directed, co-written, and produced by Sam Mendes)

A good series: “Dark” (a German science fiction thriller web television series co-created by Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese)