Looking after your mental health during a pandemic
This has never happened before, so its okay if you’re not being the most productive human in the history of the world - even just getting out of bed is a massive step. The most important thing you can do during this time is to look after your mental health.
- The news can be scary, so think about how long you’re spending reading it. If you’re finding that social media and the news is making you feel anxious, then consider taking time away from it or give yourself a set time to check the news each day.
- Reimagine and stick to a daily routine – even just getting out of bed at the same time every day will help to create some stability. This routine won’t look like a typical day out of lockdown, and that’s okay.
- Try to continue activities that you enjoy – if you’re used to attending a society every week, see if they’re running any events online. Or if you love going to the gym, try out some home workouts.
- Get fresh air regularly – if you can, push yourself to go for your daily outing, staying at home all day can seem all-too-tempting, but the more you get outside the better you’ll feel. If not, even just opening the windows will help!
- Be kind to yourself – there are so many unknowns at the moment, so feeling anxious, scared, sad or angry are all normal emotions. Give yourself some slack – no-one’s expecting you to keep up your normal life patterns.
- Embed time bound activities into your day – whether its promising to call a friend or family member at a certain time, or joining a live class. This will help you prioritise your work, keep to deadlines and limit procrastination.
- Create a workspace that you feel comfortable in and will enjoy studying in – adding plants, stationary and your favourite course content will help get you in the zone
- Plan out your study goals for the day, or the week, or even the month – different timescales will work for different people, so try them all out and see which feels right and don’t forget to make sure that they’re realistic!
- Utilise the awesome web-based study techniques – from Trello Boards, to online mind-maps to checklists.
- Reward yourself – studying during a pandemic, especially under lockdown, is a huge achievement! If you’ve managed to get just even some of your work done, then celebrate that with something you enjoy.
It’s totally okay if you’re feeling a bit restless, we’re used to having so many different sensory things flying at us in our usual every-day lives, that its only natural that our brains are getting a little fried. If you’re finding that you’re struggling to sleep, or getting bored easily, try to mix up your daily activities, and remember these don’t have to be geared towards being productive or self-improvement!
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- If you fancy being a bit creative, have a look at different drawing prompts on Instagram - #drawthisinyourstyle is a great one to have a go at, and there’s so many different drawings to try.
- Volunteering is another great way to do something different, check out this link to see all of our awesome online volunteering opportunities. Whether its transcribing War Diaries of soldiers from the First World War, counting penguins in remote regions of the world, or writing postcards to residents of care homes, there’s something for everyone.
- Attend virtual SU Brews and have a cuppa with other students – keep an eye on our What’s On page for details. Human connection and seeing other faces goes a long way in times like these (even if it is over Zoom!)
- Sign up to become an SU Buddy, and help support fellow and incoming students – we don’t know what the future holds, but a little helping hand will never go amiss.
- Think about whether you can help those who need the most support during the pandemic, whether its collecting and delivering essentials, checking-in with them over the phone, or volunteering with local community organisations. LINK
If you need support remember there are a range of services able to help:
Other useful support links: