Here are some tips on surviving lockdown in the New Year 👇
As 2020 draws to a close, it’s fair to say that life as a student in the midst of the pandemic has not been easy. Students throughout the UK have had to adapt to a university experience like no other; with remote learning and restrictions on social gatherings added to the mix.
With all of that in mind, it's more important than ever to take good care of your physical and mental wellbeing. This guide will explore some of the steps you can take to ensure your survival as a student in lockdown. 👇
Stay motivated 💪
Social restrictions will likely mean you’re seeing less of your classmates and lecturers day-to-day, completing the majority of your learning remotely. Without this face-to-face interaction that usually comes from your course peers, it can be hard to motivate yourself to complete work to your best possible standard.
Try setting yourself achievable targets each day - and reward yourself for completing them. Comforts, such as your favourite takeaway, tasty sweets or a feel-good movie, may just give you the drive to get through a tough day.
It’s also important to remember that the situation is far from ideal. While there are steps you can take motivate yourself, it's likely that it won’t be perfect. So, try not to be too hard on yourself and take each day as it comes.
Make time for self-care ❣️
While your studies should be an integral part of your university experience, it's also important to set aside appropriate time for self-care. Being cooped up inside your house or halls all day isn’t good for your physical or mental wellbeing, so be sure to get some fresh air and exercise regularly. Walking and cycling are great for your physical and mental health; both provide a much-needed escape when things get a bit crowded.
Additionally, maintaining a good diet will keep you feeling fresh, healthy and energised as you complete your studies from home. Simple things, like dressing appropriately for studying, putting on your favourite background music or having fresh coffee to hand, will put you in the right mindset.
Taking good care of your living space will help you create an environment in which you can be productive. Keeping a tidy home and having reliable utilities - such as broadband, heating and electricity - will give you the comfort and peace of mind to succeed when studying remotely. Check out student utility providers for more information on affordable solutions for students.
Be organised 📝
Organising your workload and routine will help you to stay focused and motivated on a daily basis. When you’re studying or working from home, it can be hard to know when to switch off, so it’s important to have certain start and finish times - as well as taking regular breaks throughout the day.
Be sure to make time in your schedule for hobbies, as well as spending time with friends. Having free time in your schedule to relax and focus on yourself is essential for good mental health. Working this into your timetable will allow you peace of mind so that you’re truly able to switch off without feeling anxious about your workload.
Stay connected 📲
With restrictions on gatherings, it's important that you don’t become too withdrawn. Instead, try to make the most of the people you have around you. Get to know your housemates and, if possible, those on your course who are all dealing with the same social restrictions whilst being away from home.
Take advantage of the technology available to you to communicate. Be sure to check in with your friends and family, as well as fellow students on a regular basis via video call. It might be nice to let your friends or loved ones know you're thinking of them, even if you can't hang out quite yet. From sending a thoughtful care package to something more tailored to their hobbies, this will brighten their day if they're feeling low. Even if you can’t meet up, it’s important to let your loved ones know you're still thinking of them during such strange times.
Another great way to make new friends and meet like-minded people is to join university clubs and societies that suit your interests. Although most, if not all, clubs will be meeting remotely via video link at the moment, taking part will still provide a much-needed escape from your busy studies and likely crowded home life.
Seek support 💭
As well as talking to your classmates, friends and family on a regular basis, be sure to take advantage of all the support that is available to you through your university. Talking to lecturers via video link will allow you to ask questions and seek advice in the same way that you might face-to-face. Also, try to get involved with any remote workshops, seminars or extra courses that might aid your studies.
There is also a large amount of mental health support available to students through your university, as well as through local and national organisations, such as helplines and counselling services. Check out national charities like Student Minds for more information on the mental health services available to students.
Written by Imogen Clarke