Looking after yourself
Following on from the previous article, ‘10 new things to try during isulation’ (click here if you haven’t read it already), we wanted to share some more ways of looking after yourself during this lockdown. As this is an unprecedented time, you are likely to experience fluctuating emotions. Therefore, it is important for you to look after your health and well-being. If you haven’t tried the following tips already, how about you give them a go?
Try setting limitations
It’s very easy to get into the habit of constantly refreshing your phone or TV to get the latest updates on Covid-19. However, this can take a toll on you and your mental health by increasing feelings of anxiousness and fear. Try setting limitations by having a fixed time where you look through the updates and stick to verified news outlets.
Focus on what you can control
In the current situation, it is easy to get into the mind-set of feeling powerless. Take back some power by focusing on the things you can control. Set up a routine to give your daily life some structure. You can start by something as simple as making up your bed within 10 minutes of waking up; drinking a glass of water to start your day and spending 10 minutes a day stretching etc.
It is also a good idea to set up realistic goals and try to stick to not more than 3 or 4 at a time – as having too many goals will bring up feelings of failure and disappointment if they aren’t met.
Take some time out for yourself! Have spa days, experiment with homemade masks and try a new skincare routine. It’s also important to get a good night’s sleep, preferably 8 hours so your body has time to re-energise.
Try to avoid going on social media within the 30 minutes of waking up – take this time to concentrate on you and your surroundings.
Try the 4-7-8 breathing technique
- Breathe in through your nose for a count of 4
- Hold your breath for a count of 7
- Exhale through your mouth for a count of 8
Staying at home does not mean you have to stop learning. Why not use this time to invest in yourself and work on your professional goals. There are plenty of free online courses which teach essential and transferrable skills. Websites such as Linked in learning and Future learns offer lots of free workshops and courses, which also include a professional certificate for a small fee.
Social distancing does not have to mean social isolation. Take this time to reach out to friends and families, whether it is to share updates; favourite stories or interests. Scientific research shows that staying connected increases our happiness, feelings of belongingness and reduces stress.
Stay healthy and active
Having a lack of structure and routine means that we are more inclined to take up unhealthy habits, such as eating out of boredom, staying in bed and relying on junk food etc. Not only do unhealthy habits take a toll on our waist line, they also make you feel more lethargic and tired. There are tons of YouTube videos on how to eat healthy on a budget. To make it more fun, why not have dinner dates with your friends and families online?
These days, we are constantly in front of the screen, whether it is for online lectures, meetings or just going on social media. It’s really important to take regular breaks and be in control of your posture.
Here are some stretches you can try:
- For lower back pain: lay flat on the ground with your knees bent; bring one knee to your chest; hold for 20 seconds. Repeat this 3 times on each side.
- Child’s pose: sit on all fours; bring your arms forward and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat this 5 times.
The university is holding numerous wellbeing workshops for both staff and students for free. These include:
- Mindfulness for uncertain times (every Monday at 1.10pm)
- Healthy back class (every Thursday at 12.30pm)
- Yoga for remote working (every Friday at 12.30pm)
Click on this link to join and get the exact dates and times*
On the same link, you can also find out the various activities being held by the SU such as the SU Quiz and Open mic nights.
There is professional support available
SU Advice runs drop in sessions every Tuesday and Thursday (2 to 3pm); Zoom ID: 565-702-6431. For 1 to 1 appointments, email them at:
Shout: is a free, 24/7 crisis texting service. Whether you are feeling anxious, worried or stressed, text: 85258
Samaritans helpline are open 24/7; you can also email them at email@example.com or call them on 116123
Mind is a mental health charity organisation and has posed a really useful guide on how to deal with covid-19
With love from your SU x
"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning how to dance in the rain." – Vivian Green