Hi, I’m Aicha, a final year Occupational Therapy student at Leeds Beckett University. Like most of the WorId, in March the UK found itself going into Social Isolation to stop the spread of Covid-19. As a full-time postgraduate student this meant that a lot of my daily routine changed from rushing back and forth to university most days to spending most, if not all, of my day at home. In this blog post, I talk about how I am getting through the lockdown as an Occupational Therapy postgraduate student.
Whilst at home, I’ve found that it has really helped to start my day off with some movement, I’ve particularly enjoyed doing yoga. I use YouTube tutorials to follow a 40-minute class and I find that i sets me up well for the day. I feel energised and ready for the day ahead and feel that I am more able to sit still and complete assignments after I’ve had a chance to move.
Working from home can be a real struggle with all the distractions that are around the house. Suddenly things that weren’t that exciting before becoming really important – like hoovering, cleaning or cooking elaborate meals - all in the name of procrastination. To try and become more productive and work towards my upcoming essay deadline, I have downloaded a study timer app which times 1 hour of study. It means that I can set myself up to study for 1 hour and then take a break. Studying in these bite-size sessions helps me to focus, knowing that I won’t have to do it for hours on end. It’s also really encouraging to see when I have completed a few hours of study in a day.
When working from home, it’s been great to be able to access books and journals from the online library through Leeds Beckett’s student portal. This has meant that the transition to working from home has not been as difficult as it could have been.
On the other hand, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you must be productive all the time while in isolation or keep up to date with everything happening on the news or social media. If there’s one thing that my Occupational Therapy course has taught it’s that
downtime is just as important. While at home I have tried to factor in some time for relaxing. This can be different for everyone but some things I like to do are meditating with an app, journaling and doing some crafts like making pillowcases or doing macramé. There are loads of online tutorials which have helped me to learn new skills while switching off for a while.
I’ve also found that my tutors and course mates have been a real source of support and inspiration during this time. We have a Pebble Pad (online vision board) set up where we post ideas, jokes, creative projects, words of encouragement and cute pets. It has been great to be able to stay in touch this way and have a sense of community even with the physical distance.
So this is how I am getting through Lockdown while completing my Masters in Occupational Therapy. Making time for assignments, relaxing through fun activities, exercising and staying in contact with course mates and tutors. I hope that you find that these tips are helpful for you too!