Third year Architecture student, Juhi Parmar shares her wellbeing tips:
With the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic making us spend most of our time at home, it is particularly important to take out time to look after our wellbeing. It can be difficult to figure out how exactly to go about that sometimes. So here are some of my tips for looking after one’s wellbeing, currently:
As we are working all day on our PCs, it is especially important to find time to exercise and move around. If you don’t have much time, have a look at these stretches you can do from your desk.
If it is possible for you to get some fresh air, go for a walk, go for a run, or take a hike!
Picture from my hike last weekend
If not, there are plenty of workouts that you can do from home. For example, from YouTube or fitness apps. There are also apartment friendly workouts that don’t include jumping, which you can do if your neighbours are concerned about noise. If you don’t know where to start, try these:
- Meditation and mindfulness
Meditation is a great habit to have/start because it has so many benefits. It helps reduce stress, controls anxiety, improves concentration, improves sleep etc. It is also a great way to organise your thoughts and feel calmer throughout your day. You don’t need a lot of time to do this, just 5-10 minutes can make a huge difference. If you are a beginner, it may be difficult as you will become very aware of all your thoughts for (probably) the first time. I would encourage you to stick with it as it gets easier with practice.
You can join the University of Bath Meditation society that hosts weekly sessions. Don’t worry if you are a beginner as all the sessions are beginner-friendly! Additionally, there are many meditations that you can find online, but I would recommend the ‘Insight Timer’ app.
Other than meditation, you can also try to practice mindfulness. It is the act of focusing on the present moment without judgement or interpretation. Usually, while performing mundane tasks such as making a cup of tea, brushing teeth, or combing hair, we tend to think about other things. You can start by trying to pay attention to the present moment while doing such mundane by focusing on your senses. (i.e. focus on what you can smell, hear, taste etc.) Since we are doing nearly everything virtually these days, this practice can help provide a much-needed break.
- Keep in touch with friends and family
During these times, staying in touch with friends may not happen as naturally as it would under normal circumstances. Although it may feel forced at times, it is important to check up on your friends and family. Apart from texting and zoom calling, there are other things you can do:
- Meet a friend outdoors while ensuring that you’re both wearing masks and social-distancing
- Netflix party
- Online games such as skribbl.io, Catan, and Codenames
Cooking has become a popular quarantine activity so you may have already tried some recipes at home. However, there are so many recipes out there so you can always find something new to try! It is also a great opportunity to take advantage of your opportunity to make home-cooked meals, to cook and eat healthy food.
Here are some of my favourite things to cook and eat:
Pink sauce pasta with vegetables
Berry smoothie bowl
Thai red curry
- Maintain a healthy sleeping routine
Without having in-person classes or other events to attend, it can be easy to slip out of a routine and wake up, shower, and eat at irregular times. However, maintaining a routine can have a significant positive impact on your wellbeing. Therefore, try to wake up, sleep, shower and eat at the same time every day as you would under normal circumstances.
To fall asleep easily and have good quality sleep, it is beneficial to not use electronic devices such as laptops and phones before bed. Instead, you can try to read a book (paperback or Kindle), meditate, or journal.
- Try to study in a room that is not your bedroom (if possible)
As we are both working and relaxing at home, it is important to make a separation between the two, to do each of those effectively. Therefore, try to not study/work in your bedroom (if possible). For example, you could study/work in your living room or on your dining table. If not, at least make sure that you are not studying/working in bed. I have been using this technique for many months now and it has made me very productive. It also helps reduce procrastination.
- Blue light glasses
Spending most of the hours of the day on a laptop can cause eye strain and headaches. Therefore, it would be a good idea to invest in blue-light glasses that can help counter this. You can find many options on Amazon.
Hopefully my ideas above have given you some inspiration to take out some time for yourself by focusing on your wellbeing and helped you realise that there are ways to look after your wellbeing even if you don’t have a lot of time.