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Hi fellow students, I don’t know about you but I am starting to get bored scrolling through Netflix and re-watching all the same films. Whether you're working or not this is a hard time for everyone and if you're starting to feel overwhelmed or anxious remember that you are only human. This is a time that we all need to stick together, but don’t forget to make time for yourself, so here are 10 (possibly) new things that you can try while in isulation.

1. Meditation:

This may not be everyone's cup of tea, but if nothing else it will improve your posture. Try sitting on the floor with your back straight against a wall, with your favourite playlist, or just anything that makes you happy. Close your eyes and breathe.

Top Tip: Try a 5 second inhale, 5 second hold and 11 second exhale.

2. Stretching/Workout:

10 minutes a day of any form of exercise will make the world of difference if you are beginning to feel sluggish. Stretching, similar to meditation works best for me personally when I put my earphones in and listen to my favourite music. Again, breathing through the stretches and letting any negative thoughts that you may have out.

Top Tip: Think of the white polar bear problem. If you tell yourself not to think about a white polar bear it's ALL you can think about, however if you let that thought in, you will most likely forget about it, so follow this with anything that is making you feel uneasy.

3. Declutter or clean:

It is spring after all, so why not have a spring clean? Get rid of all the stuff that you never use that just takes up a place in your room. While you're at it, try on all of your clothes and have a mini fashion show, you might just find that you fall back in love with that little black dress that you forgot you had, or that coat that goes with all your outfits.

Top Tip: While cleaning or decluttering, take a before and after picture to look at your success and the satisfaction of your hard work – if you're anything like me its super satisfying.

4. Try something creative:

You might just find that you have a new love for knitting or colouring. Now is the perfect time to find a new hobby that you’ve never thought about trying. Other things can include singing; dancing around your room and crosswords, the sky is your limit. Cook your favourite foods or something new to keep it exciting.

Top Tip: Experiment with flavours and see what you can come up with.

5. Internet quiz nights:

What better way to keep in contact with your loved ones and have a bit of fun? This communication with others is the key to avoid feeling lonely. Everyone is still getting used to the current situation, and you are not alone if you feel overwhelmed.

Top Tip: Incorporate your favourite quiz shows and board games.

6. Walking:

Whether it is to get your weekly shop or just to get out of the house, the fresh air and exercise is an amazing stress relief, just remember to keep 2 meters apart and wash your hands. If you have others in the household, encourage them to join you.

Top Tip: Mapping your journey is a good way to keep up with your exercise and then trying to beat your previous distance is great motivation to encourage walking.

7. Try out new funky hairstyles:

Trying different hairstyles is a fun way to keep yourself busy. For example, plait your hair, curl it or even chalk or dye your hair with bright colours, try something different that you never normally would.

Top Tip: watch some YouTube videos and get some new ideas.

8. Keep a diary: 

Keeping a diary can seem tiresome at times, but it is a great way to gage with your thoughts and feelings that you had that day as a way to encourage mindfulness and recognizing any triggers for certain emotions both positive and negative.

Top Tip: remember all of the things that you are grateful for at the end of each day so that you go to bed on a positive note, or if you prefer do this in the morning to boost your mood for the day.

9 Pamper yourself:

If you just need a pick me up, it can be nice to have time for self-love. Light a candle and try a face and/or a hair mask; paint your nails a new colour and moisturize. Whatever you enjoy the most. We all know that you cannot beat that fresh feeling after some TLC, getting into bed with fresh pjs and bed sheets – perfect!

Top Tip: Enjoy this with snacks and a cup of tea or a glass of wine for extra self-love.

10. Read a book:

Have you had that one particular book that has been sitting in your cupboard and you always say that you'll get around to it but you can never find the time? Why not make it your mission to finish that book before this is all over.

Top Tip: Make sure you try to differentiate this from your university work so that it feels like a break.

Although this time is extremely hard and you may feel that there is no end in sight there are so many things that you can do to boost your mood and keep yourself busy, it is just about finding that thing that works for you. Now more than ever it is essential that you care for yourself, particulary during exams and things seeming as though they are all over the place. 

Remember to take breaks, look after yourself and keep yourself safe.

Lauren Connelly

Undergraduate Psychology Student, University of Essex


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