Architecture student Juhi shares her tips for staying home.
It is no doubt that the current pandemic has caused a lot of changes in our daily routines as we are spending all of our time at home. It can be easy to feel demotivated, lonely and stressed out during this time. Hopefully some of my tips below will help you make this time a bit easier:
Staying physically active
There are many great at-home, no equipment workouts that you can find on YouTube to help you stay fit while avoiding the gym. Here are some of my favourite ones:
If you can, go outdoors for one walk or a run each day because getting fresh air is good for health.
Being productive while studying/working from home
This can be especially difficult for those of us who are not used to spending much time studying/working at home. Here are some ways to make this easier:
- Create a workspace for yourself- ideally one that is not in your bedroom, as being in the space in which you normally relax and sleep is not good for productivity. Make sure that the space is tidy and that you have anything that you may need while working (e.g. snacks, water, chargers, etc.) so that you don’t lose your flow while trying to get something you may need.
- Set a routine- wake up early everyday, don’t wear loungewear while working (change into loungewear after you’re done studying/working for the day) and set times for your breaks.
- Make sure you have plenty of light at your workspace. Natural light is ideal.
Remaining in-touch with friends
Video-calling and chatting with friends online is an easy and free way to stay in touch. Schedule it or set a reminder even though it may feel odd, otherwise it is easy to feel isolated.
This is actually a great time to catch-up with friends who live far away that you normally aren’t in regular contact with, as they are highly likely to be spending a lot of time at home as well. This could be a great time to reconnect with friends you haven't spoke to in a while.
A great tool that can help you have a movie night with friends without meeting up is the Netflix Party Chrome extension. It synchronizes the video for you and your friends and provides a chat feature. There are various apps such as Houseparty which can add a bit of fun to you normal video call.
Looking after your mental health
Staying indoors and avoiding contact with others can have an impact on one’s mental health. To avoid this, you can do the following:
- Limit the amount of news you expose yourself to, the vastly negative content can leave us feeling upset. For example, set yourself 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening to read the news.
- Make sure you only rely on reputable sources regarding news about the outbreak. Here are a few reputable sources you can rely on: UK GOV, Health Protection Scotland, Public Health Wales,OCD UK- Tips on dealing with the outbreak for people with OCD
- Limit your use of social media as it can cause unnecessary panic. You could even mute triggering words on Twitter and mute Whatsapp and Facebook groups that contain content that makes you feel overwhelmed.
Try and use your time productively
Here are a few things I will be working on;
- Reading books
- Learning how to cook something new from online recipes
- Use your time at home to do some spring cleaning
- Learn a new skills or take a free online course
- Meditate- This is a great habit to start as it will help you stay calm and focused. It also helps reduce stress and anxiety. Insight Timer is a great phone app that has thousands of free meditations of various types from experienced teachers. I would recommend putting your phone on ‘Do not disturb’ mode while meditating.
I hope that the above suggestions will make this time easier for you. While spending so much time at home, it is especially important to put effort into maintaining good habits as it can be easy to get stuck in a rut. Stay healthy and safe!