During this prolonged period of uncertainty that we are currently faced with due to the current epidemic, there is no doubt going to be a rise in feeling anxious and overwhelmed. It is important to remember at this time that what you are feeling is natural, given the current situation and to try and maintain a sense of calm and collectedness amongst what can feel like a very uncertain time. So how do we do this? Firstly, it’s important to look after you as a priority before anything else. You may feel you are following government guidelines, but are still left with a sense of hopelessness and lack of control. So, let’s think about what we can control….. It is important during this time to maintain your overall wellbeing so that you are able to manage day to day life, that at this time is going to look a bit different from your norm. We are going to have to learn to adapt to a new way of living for a period of time and it’s vital that we can maintain this. Sleep Sleep is key to our sense of wellbeing and has an effect on both our mood and our brainpower. During this time, it is a good idea to maintain healthy routines, that we adopt for our normal daily lives. With this in mind, it is advisable to go to bed and get up at the same time each day to maintain continuity. This will enable us to feel refreshed each day when we get up and give us a sense of normality, rather than adopting a ‘holiday mode’ approach. Exercise Exercise may feel a little tricky at this time due to restricted accessibility to do this, however, it may be useful to adapt to the current situation and find certain exercises you can do from home or nearby. This may be yoga – taught through a YouTube channel, or going for a walk in an open space, if this is permitted. Looking After Others As previously stated, first and foremost ensure you look after yourself at this time. However, this is a time of need and people will need support. I’d encourage to help others where you can, whether it be offering to do their shopping, talking with a neighbour to ensure they are ok, or using online platforms such as zoom, facetime, skype, amongst others to check in with loved ones and maintain a sense of connectedness. This will not only put your own mind at ease knowing loved ones are ok, but will help you maintain a sense of wellbeing and normality to be able to virtually meet with them. Reflection During this time, it can be easy to feel a sense of frustration with not being able to live our normal day to day lives. However, this may be a great opportunity to reflect on that very thing; of how we live our lives and of what we value. Life will no doubt slow down over the coming weeks which offers a chance to get back in touch with ourselves. This may come in the form of learning something new, taking up a new hobby, reading a book or getting creative. This, in turn, may help us feel a sense of accomplishment and bring about self-awareness, which allows us to step back into our ‘normal’ lives with a greater sense of who we are and what matters to us most. Routine So, we’ve had to learn to adapt to a new way of living for the time being. This in itself may be beneficial in lots of ways. However, once we have adapted it is a good idea to find yourself a routine, that works for you day to day and to stick to it. Similarly, to maintain healthy sleep patterns, it is useful to create a working day routine; including when we eat and when we take breaks. This will increase productivity, ensure we are not over / underworking and help give our day a bit of structure. Minimising Media Usage This is, of course, a time where we want to stay informed and keep up to date with the latest developments so we can assess how this will affect us in the coming weeks. However, I make a plea to you to limit the amount of news you watch/read and try to avoid being glued to this, the way you might a binge-worthy TV series. This is vital not to overdo it as watching the news religiously may only result in an increase in feeling anxious – which is the very thing we want to keep to a minimum. So, of course, stay up to date, but it may be useful for you own wellbeing to follow this up with something that may cheer you up, such as a book, watching something light-hearted on the TV or playing a game with your family or friends. Further Resources To continue to maintain your sense of wellbeing I recommend trying out these apps that support you to try activities such as meditation, yoga, and that help connect with others as well as apps that can support your learning. These include:
· Headspace · Calm · Aura · Google Classroom · Hangouts · Freeletics – Personal Trainer · Yogaia: Yoga & Meditation · Mondly: Learn 33 Languages · Duo Lingo · Zoom
If you visit the app store (on an iPhone) there is a useful section for working and studying from home. I highly recommend checking this out to find certain apps that work for you. This may also be a feature on android phones and is worth looking into.
Student Wellbeing Advisors - Faculty of Arts & Humanities