Now that the government has announced a three week lockdown at least for non-key workers and the University of Nottingham has moved to online classes, students are left wondering what to do with this added time whilst isolating at home to minimise the effects of COVID-19. Although our studies still remain a clear priority, especially for final year students who have worries over how they’ll graduate, what should be placed first and foremost is the state of our mental health and prioritising our wellbeing by looking after ourselves.
Many find it difficult to allow for self-care as we are so often consumed in our hectic lives and helping others. Whilst self-care should place our needs first and restore some sense of normality into our lives, it can also allow us to help others in the community who are struggling from COVID-19, even if it’s only in a small way.
Here I give you some suggestions on how to best use your time for self-care in isolation:
- Binge watch your favourite films or TV Series
Before doing anything else during isolation I would definitely recommend allowing yourself some time to just chill and watch TV. Although excessive screen time isn’t recommend for square eyes, being able to take some time out of your studies and have a laugh whilst watching one of your favourite films is crucial during these hard times as we need to prioritise ourselves and our mental state first. My personal recommendation would be the film ‘The Post’, but I’m sure you could spend months just scrolling through Netflix’s options.
Staying connected is what is truly important during this time.
Phone up an elderly relative for a chat or offer to get a neighbour some shopping
As I already mentioned, self-care doesn’t mean just prioritising you, but it can also allow you to find small ways to give back to the community. This can be as easy as picking up the phone and reaching out to an elderly grandma as we are all in the same boat and require some support. Staying connected is what is truly important during this time.
Make sure you have a daily workout or go on a walk
Being in lockdown doesn’t mean that we can’t stay fit. Exercise is crucial in order to care for ourselves and make sure our bodies function well. Even just being in the garden and gaining some fresh air can uplift moods and provide us with a different perspective on the day.
Whether it is learning a new language or simply writing a blog, isolation gives you plenty of time to do what it is you really enjoy
Learn a new skill you also wanted to do but never had time
Allowing yourself to explore creatively during isolation is crucial in order to promote self-care. Whether it is learning a new language or simply writing a blog, isolation gives you plenty of time to do what it is you really enjoy rather than being confined to rigid schedules and the pressure of work.
Try some meditation
Although this doesn’t work for everybody, meditation provides a really important breathing space in order to forget about any worries and make you feel more grounded. Practising meditation can also help with sleeping and allow for some quiet time in the day.
Stay in touch with your friends
This is arguably one of the most important tips. Sadly, everyone is in the same boat with this virus so calling and facetiming your friends is more important now than ever and will allow you to feel as connected as you can even though you can’t physically see each other.
Get lots of sleep
Sleep is crucial in order to improve your mental state as it leaves you feeling restored and ready to tackle another day of isolation without feeling run down.
Open up to people if you’re struggling
If you are finding self-isolation particularly hard it’s important to open up and get support rather than bottle things up as there are lots of support networks around in order to help people. Whether that is reaching out to a family member or talking to a counsellor, there is lots of support out there so you don’t ever have to feel like you’re the only one feeling like this.
Read lots of books
Reading is very important during isolation as it allows for some escapism and prevents us from staring at our screens all day. Whilst it’s important to keep up with course related books, delving into a novel will allow you to forget about the current stresses of COVID-19 and relax whilst reading something that has always been on your to-do list.
we must remember that the sacrifices we are making are crucial in order to protect our NHS and support key workers.
Try to place your situation into perspective and stay optimistic
Although this is a very worrying time for all of us, it’s important to be thankful for what we still have and try to value some time to relax as much as we can whilst we’re still healthy. Hopefully this self-isolation will not go on for long and we must remember that the sacrifices we are making are crucial in order to protect our NHS and support key workers.
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