Coronavirus has led to much uncertainty in many many things. This is new to all of us, so everyone is just figuring things out as we go along. For us students, it means starting the new academic year knowing that everything is not going to be the way it was, which can be worrying when we’re left to our own devices.
This is why I’ve decided to curate a list of things to keep up with for the year ahead. Sometimes we just need a reminder of what’s important, especially in a new situation. As I said before, we’re all just working it out step by step, but I believe these points are key to keeping us healthy and focused, whether you’re in your first or final year.
Whether that’s to-do lists, tables, reminders etc., make sure you note down important meetings, lectures, assignments and all the rest of it so you know when everything needs to be in so you can prioritise and plan ahead.
Regularly stay connected to friends and family further away
Especially now because of the 6 person rule and some universities even making their students not leave their flats for a bit, it’s now more important than ever to stay in touch with family and friends. You don’t want to end up being lonely and/or detached from your loved ones during this time, so make sure to schedule time to speak to them.
Plan fun things to do with those in your social bubble
Put in that extra effort to plan something fun with those you can see (within the Government guidelines of course). That can be anything from going out to play crazy golf, eating out or planning a game night at your flat/house. It doesn’t have to be expensive or put you at risk of COVID – just make sure to plan something fun every so often to keep you entertained and reward all your studying hours.
Make a study space or use the library more often
In your room or house, create a designated study space where you won’t be distracted and you can work in peace (preferably separate from your bed or sofa (aka lounge areas)). This will help you stay in the zone and get more work done. If this can’t be done in your house, use the library more often if available/safe to do so, and really allow yourself to get some solid work done.
Make space for ‘me time’ in your schedule
This is more important now than ever: in this time of worry and uncertainty, make sure to take a breather and schedule time for yourself. This can be anything from making your favourite meal, to meditation, to reading, to watching a TV show, to pampering yourself – just make sure you have that time every so often to switch off and do something beneficial for your wellbeing.
Tuning into your wellbeing, my last point is making time for regular exercise. Exercise really helps clear your mind as well as being beneficial for your health. If you don’t regularly exercise, just start with a couple days a week (use your local gym, work out with a friend or do a home workout on Youtube) and build it up from there. I’ve realised over this period of COVID-19 that exercise really does impact your mental and physical health in the best way (people don’t just say it for show, funnily enough), and now I’ve realised that I feel awful if I don’t do it. Just give it a try, even if it’s 20 minutes a day.
At this time, it’s more important than ever to check in with yourself. Keep on top of things and don’t let your mind get into a scramble – take things step by step, plan ahead and take the each day head on.
Stay safe x
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