Ways to cope during a pandemic
It wasn’t just universities that experienced a transition week from face-to-face teaching to online teaching, but the general public who also transitioned from going out whenever they wanted to being restricted to their homes. Staying in is recommended, except for ‘essential’ shopping trips, which apparently doesn’t include buying chocolate.
For most students, the university bubble burst abruptly with most people having to move back home and say goodbye to their friends. This was months earlier than they had prepared to do so and now must rely on apps like Houseparty to stay connected.
My ‘transition week’ back home has consisted of me baking brownies, feeling unmotivated to work and binge-watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine, thanks to my brother’s influence. Although this sounds fun it is not ideal when you are in your final year and have a dissertation to write. Here are some ways I’m adjusting to cope with this new, unexpected situation.
First up, routine. I’m not one to enjoy rigid routines but I feel the only way to get my work done is to create some sort of system. This could involve creating a list of what you want to achieve each day to help you stay on top of your work, additionally some people may find it useful to wake up and go to bed at the same time each day.
As much as it is important to try and keep up with your uni assignments, you need to give yourself rewards, and a rest. This can be watching something on Netflix or on Disney+ , which you can get a free one-month trial for. Alternatively it can also be your chance to practise a hobby like cooking and baking, picking up an instrument you have neglected or reading that book that you never quite got around to reading.
As someone who enjoys going to the gym, I have found it hard to motivate myself to exercise without the structure and facilities going to the gym provided me. If you find staying indoors makes you go a little stir crazy, now is the perfect time to exercise outdoors. This can involve going for a brisk walk, jog, run or cycle once a day, which is a nice way of staying active and clearing your mind.
If you are house bound, there are plenty of fitness videos online covering all types of workouts from arms to abs, cardio to Zumba. Joe Wicks is offering ‘P.E to the nation’ every morning Monday-Friday at 9am if you wanted a little more structure, or you can download this later if are enjoying living free from 9am starts at the moment.
Social Media Detox
Try a social media detox, especially when you may find yourself constantly checking the news for Covid-19 updates, and with being stuck at home it can be tempting to flick through Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat more than you normally would. Sometimes it is good to have a detox and log out of your accounts; maybe replace this scrolling with trying something new.
Boris said say no to going out with your friends but you could instead say yes to Houseparty, the app. There are numerous ways to stay in touch with people: you can have phonecalls, texts and video calls with your friends and relatives, and even your tutors – which has become new norm with Zoom.
In case you’re struggling to have much to say about your quarantine days there are apps like Houseparty designed for playing games with your friends or family online. Mass group calls can be a chaotic but also hilarious experience. Also don’t forget about your elderly relatives during a time when they can’t leave the house or have visitors, giving them a call may be all they need to make their day.
It is completely normal to feel anxious about leaving your house, especially if you or someone in your household is at a high-risk. However, if you do need to leave the house you can ensure you are keeping to the safety measures by standing two metres away from people, wear gloves or a mask if you have any and ensuring you wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds (or sing Happy Birthday twice!) when you return home.
It is an uncertain time for everyone so keep safe and remember to take care of yourself and others.