Establishing a routine and therefore setting boundaries for yourself
I think it’s safe to say that during these strange and unsettling times of lockdown, us students can feel a little overwhelmed. It is absolutely essential for you to firstly establish a routine that works for you. It is however important to acknowledge that what works for me may not work for you. So, if you are naturally most productive in the mornings then it would be a brilliant idea for you to start the day early and have the evenings off. Having set hours of work and sticking to these hours will not only make you more productive but will motivate you to complete the set tasks quicker.
Get ready to start your day at the same time every day. Pre-planning and incorporating any meetings, online lectures, workshops and practical classes into your timetable will ensure that you stay organised.
Set up realistic goals
When coming up with your study plan, be sure to set goals that can be realistically achieved. Having a check list would help you visualise your tasks for the day. Prioritising tasks from most to least important will help you establish the amount of time that needs to be allocated to complete these.
Time management is vital!
Take regular breaks
You should not stay glued to your screen all day. It is imperative for you to take regular screen breaks, get up from your ‘desk’ and move around from time to time.
Pro tip- I have been using the Pomodoro Technique, a method of time management which breaks your working day into 25-minute chunks. Each chunk is followed by a 5-minute break, give it a shot!
If there are other people in the house, finding a space where you are not likely to be disturbed is crucial. If you have a study table, utilise it!
A work station could be anywhere you feel comfortable; whether it’s the sofa in your living room or the comfort of your bedroom. You do not need any extra equipment for your home office: your laptop, books, paper, pen along with your headphones (to attend any online classes or meetings) are the only pieces of equipment you need. At the end of a working day, switch off your laptop and tidy away. This will help you unconsciously recognise that it’s time to unwind.
Moving swiftly onto the importance of having some downtime:
This is the best time to take care of your mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing. Put some music on, light some candles and take the time to self-care and be one with yourself. I have been practicing mindfulness, meditation and have taken this time to reflect upon my actions in the hopes to enhance my skills however doing a facemask concentrating on your hobbies work equally as well.
Washing and dressing will psychologically prepare you to start your day. Whether you need to change into full business attire or cosy loungewear depends on you and the nature of your schedule. For example, I find that dressing well is helpful and convenient especially when I just need to dial into a video call.
Nonetheless, the point of getting dressed is being forced to shower and change out of clothes that you may associate with sleep even if that means just changing into a T-shirt and some jeans.
Nutritional balanced diet
Now more than ever we need to strengthen our immune systems to lower the risks of potential infections. You should eat a variety of fresh and unprocessed foods to get the vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre, protein and antioxidants your body needs. Staying hydrated and avoiding excessive eating is key!
Pro tip- I have been learning to cook and I think it’s safe to stay that there is something so therapeutic about cooking your own food. This way you are minimising your rate of contact with others and are learning a new, useful skill set.
Make exercising FUN
Use your allowance, get your shoes on, get outside and enjoy the fresh air. A change of setting will help undo mental blocks and give you perspective.
If you can't go outside, you can bring the same energy home. YouTube seems to be a great place to explore home workouts. I have especially been enjoying “Yoga With Adriene” and “The Body Coach TV” workouts.
Entertaining things to do during lockdown
There's lots of entertaining things you can still do in lockdown, including;
- Video call a family member
- Download Houseparty- invite friends to join in on all the fun
- Tag along on the online Bingo (organised by our societies- visit Students Union website/ follow their socials to find out more)
- Have a movie night (Disney Plus and Netflix have been the true saviours of quarantine)
- Read a book
- Listen to podcasts
- Pick up a new hobby (e.g. coding, cooking, gardening, yoga, juggling)
- Bake cookies! Or cake? Or anything to fulfil the late-night cravings
- Organise your drawers and wardrobes
- Make a den
- Complete a puzzle
- Water your plants
Apart from that just #STAYHOME and #STAYSAFE. See you around campus after quarantine