Psychology student Hannah talks through some of her tips for staying connect.
During this period of physical disconnect, it’s time to strengthen our virtual connections whether these are to ourselves, our friends, family or the world at large. Dealing with lockdown in a healthy and manageable way, can feel challenging which is why student services have compiled a series of blogposts to help you adjust.
I’ve seen so many posts about productivity in isolation and now is a great time to take up a new hobby. However, this is not to say that productivity is essential in this period. It is a scary time for everyone, a time of upheaval, and there is something soothing about nurturing the connections you already have, building up a virtual community in a time where your physical one may feel fractured.
First, let’s talk about connecting with yourself. With everything going on right now, you may be feeling a pull towards news articles but let’s not let that pull drag us from ourselves: our emotions, our intentions our headspace. Disconnecting from the media and connecting to ourselves can ground us in the face of a media storm.
Keeping a journal can be a great way to check-in with ourselves, as well as track our mental health during this time. I know I’m susceptible to thinking I can’t be sad about my own experience when so much is going on in the world, but your feelings are always valid. Being able to express these, without fear of judgement, may help alleviate any build-up of tension you’re experiencing as a result of the pandemic.
Meditation is also a great way to ground ourselves, and there are great guided meditation apps to help you check-in at the click of a button. One I’m getting a lot of use out of right now is Insight Timer, this free app offers free guided meditation on a variety of topics such as alleviating anxiety, boosting self-esteem and improving your sleep.
Staying connected to friends and family, who may now be elsewhere, is a new challenge we’re having to navigate, but apps such as Zoom are incredibly popular for group calls – and understandably so. Try organising a group quiz on Kahoot, watch a movie together on Netflix Party or have dinner with friends on Zoom. These are unprecedented times but there are plenty of online tools to help it feel more normal. The SU have also set up Corona Community on Facebook, with daily workouts and a new schedule each day to make each one different to the last.
If you’re well and able, there are plenty of volunteer services which could connect you to the people who need it most. The NHS has launched their volunteer army, via GoodSAM, where you can help deliver items to the vulnerable as well as check-in with those who may be struggling with loneliness at this time. There are also plenty of local groups which could use your help, if you’re in Bath right now there are details on the Corona Community page for volunteering in Somerset.
We know it is hard right now, but Student Services are here for you. If you’re feeling like you need a chat be sure to contact them for any further advice. Your mental health is important to us, stay connected, stay well and stay safe.